Investing Against Human Nature


“The loser is the trend-chasing, comfort-seeking investor. The market doesn’t reward comfort. It rewards discomfort.”  Rob Arnott

The above quote brings to mind a book I read recently, The Little Book of Behavioral Investing by James Montier. It attempts to describe in detail why we are our own worst enemies in investing. 

Human evolution has dictated much of our decision making process and emotions.  In modern society we don’t have to play the predator/prey game of survival on a daily basis.  Yet much of our instincts are based on this survivalist mentality developed hundreds even thousands of years ago. 

Contrary to when it was safer to go with the herd, a safety in numbers mentality can be detrimental when applied to modern investing.  Enter the discomfort.  Going against the grain when it comes to investing can be very scary, for example funding your Investment accounts when you’d rather throw a brick through your financial advisor’s window; however, it is generally where the best investment returns come from. 

Having a sound investment process in place to identify opportunities and maybe more importantly to avoid “knee-jerk” reactions is critical in investing.    Process, in an uncertain world, is one of the few things we can control.  Just as important as the process, is the time that must also be taken to reflect on your process when you are most successful and not necessarily when you are making the most mistakes. 


Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.  Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.