As humans we are prone to different foibles and biases. We continually tell ourselves stories, believe them and act on them.

We suffer from overconfidence; we credit ourselves with too much ability. We believe our wins are down to us, our losses out of our control and, therefore, we do not learn from either as we should. We do not like to acknowledge how much luck plays in both good and bad outcomes.

We extrapolate the present into the future. With short memories we allow ourselves to believe benign or traumatic conditions will remain. But the evidence is unequivocal – we live in a world where nothing too good or too bad lasts indefinitely.

We do not know what we do not know, how could we? Known unknowns are fine, unknown unknowns you cannot do much about. It is what we could have known but did not that get us. What we see today is not all there is, was, or will be.

There are many mental ticks we should be aware of, for example:

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – everyone else is making money (they are not) in Crypto, why not me? This is the Siren’s call. Let us strap you to the mast and keep rowing.

Confirmation bias – tending to search for, interpret, favour and recall information in a way that confirms or supports our prior beliefs or values. Not looking at the entire, big picture.

Survivorship bias – concentrating on people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions. The ten most successful people you know came from a cohort of perhaps 100. We do not remember the other 90. This is particularly pertinent in the world of investing. Many hundreds of thousands more investments have been launched than exist today. They all had investors, most have closed or failed.

Availability or recency bias – tending to think that things that come readily to mind are more representative than is the case. The thing that happened most recently carries more weight than what happened a month ago.

Opportunity cost – what we could have had from an option we did not choose. What you do today may mean you cannot do something better tomorrow. We overlook this at our peril.

Expert syndrome – having an answer for everything. Real experts know their limits and say so. Others often don’t know what they don’t know.

Loss aversion – we experience losses more severely than equivalent gains. This fear of loss can cause investors to behave irrationally and make bad decisions.

Our experience is that highly successful people deliberately seek out intelligent and capable people with opposing views to them. They understand the value of having their preconceived ideas challenged.

Working with you we add a new, different and challenging voice. A different perspective, a critical friend. We widen your horizon and deepen your view. We know things you do not and vice versa. Who would not want to see more? Where is the drawback? Wise counsel is priceless.

We do not have to defeat biases, recognising them is enough. Two heads and two voices are better than one.

It is simply another way to mitigate risk for you, your family and your wealth.


Posted on

March 16, 2022