Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Overconfidence
AAA
  1. Behavioral Finance: Introduction
  2. Behavioral Finance: Background
  3. Behavioral Finance: Anomalies
  4. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Anchoring
  5. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Mental Accounting
  6. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Confirmation and Hindsight Bias
  7. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Gambler's Fallacy
  8. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Herd Behavior
  9. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Overconfidence
  10. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Overreaction and Availability Bias
  11. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Prospect Theory
  12. Behavioral Finance: Conclusion

Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Overconfidence

By Albert Phung

Key Concept No.6: Overconfidence
In a 2006 study entitled "Behaving Badly", researcher James Montier found that 74% of the 300 professional fund managers surveyed believed that they had delivered above-average job performance. Of the remaining 26% surveyed, the majority viewed themselves as average. Incredibly, almost 100% of the survey group believed that their job performance was average or better. Clearly, only 50% of the sample can be above average, suggesting the irrationally high level of overconfidence these fund managers exhibited.

As you can imagine, overconfidence (i.e., overestimating or exaggerating one's ability to successfully perform a particular task) is not a trait that applies only to fund managers. Consider the number of times that you've participated in a competition or contest with the attitude that you have what it takes to win - regardless of the number of competitors or the fact that there can only be one winner.

Keep in mind that there's a fine line between confidence and overconfidence. Confidence implies realistically trusting in one's abilities, while overconfidence usually implies an overly optimistic assessment of one's knowledge or control over a situation.

Overconfident Investing
In terms of investing, overconfidence can be detrimental to your stock-picking ability in the long run. In a 1998 study entitled "Volume, Volatility, Price, and Profit When All Traders Are Above Average", researcher Terrence Odean found that overconfident investors generally conduct more trades than their less-confident counterparts.

Odean found that overconfident investors/traders tend to believe they are better than others at choosing the best stocks and best times to enter/exit a position. Unfortunately, Odean also found that traders that conducted the most trades tended, on average, to receive significantly lower yields than the market. (To learn more, check out Understanding Investor Behavior.)

Avoiding Overconfidence
Keep in mind that professional fund managers, who have access to the best investment/industry reports and computational models in the business, can still struggle at achieving market-beating returns. The best fund managers know that each investment day presents a new set of challenges and that investment techniques constantly need refining. Just about every overconfident investor is only a trade away from a very humbling wake-up call.

Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Overreaction and Availability Bias

  1. Behavioral Finance: Introduction
  2. Behavioral Finance: Background
  3. Behavioral Finance: Anomalies
  4. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Anchoring
  5. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Mental Accounting
  6. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Confirmation and Hindsight Bias
  7. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Gambler's Fallacy
  8. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Herd Behavior
  9. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Overconfidence
  10. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Overreaction and Availability Bias
  11. Behavioral Finance: Key Concepts - Prospect Theory
  12. Behavioral Finance: Conclusion
RELATED TERMS
  1. Sharpe Ratio

    A ratio developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe to measure ...
  2. Annuity

    A financial product that pays out a fixed stream of payments ...
  3. Einhorn Effect

    The sharp drop in a publicly traded company’s share price that ...
  4. Endowment Effect

    The endowment effect describes a circumstance in which an individual ...
  5. Self-enhancement

    The self-enhancing bias is the tendency for individuals take ...
  6. Gamification

    Gamification describes the incentivization of people's engagement ...
  1. Why is Average Collection Period important to a company?

    Discover why the average collection period can be a particularly important accounting ratio for a company that relies heavily ...
  2. What is considered to be a good fixed asset turnover ratio?

    Learn what the fixed asset turnover ratio is, how the ratio is calculated and how the fixed asset turnover ratio can be used ...
  3. What role does ratio analysis play in valuing a company?

    Learn about the role of ratio analysis in determining company value, including some of the most common ratios used by modern ...
  4. Is it possible for a country to have a comparative advantage in everything?

    Learn whether one country can have a comparative advantage in everything and what the difference between comparative advantage ...

You May Also Like

Related Tutorials
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    Ethical Investing Tutorial

  2. Investing Basics

    Industry Handbook

  3. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Investing For Safety and Income Tutorial

  4. Fundamental Analysis

    Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Ratio Analysis Tutorial

Trading Center