Posts in Behavioral Finance

Introduction to Behavioral Finance – Part 2: Limits of Arbitrage

May 20, 2014

In the first part of our series, “Introduction to Behavioral Finance – Part 1: Behavioral Bias,” we explored several market anomalies, and the first required condition for the real-life implementability of many quantitative strategies: the existence of human behavioral biases. In this Part 2 of our series, we consider a related question following from our Keynes example: given that certain behavioral biases can affect investors, how can it be that their effects persist in markets so we can take advantage of them? This would seem to contravene the notion of efficient markets, and leads to the second required condition for implementing a tradable strategy: limits to arbitrage.

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Introduction to Behavioral Finance – Part 1: Behavioral Bias

May 19, 2014

In this blog post, Part 1 of our two part series on Behavioral Finance, we explore human behavioral biases, how they affect us as investors, and how they are reflected in the stock market. In Part 2 of our series, we will explore the second required ingredient for profiting from behavioral bias: Limits of Arbitrage. Human behavior is diverse and complex and, unfortunately, despite our best intentions, it is not always governed exclusively by rationality. In particular, our judgment and decision-making can be significantly affected by intuition, a form of abstract, automatic thinking that can override our reason. Decades of research in psychology have shown that intuition is often systematically biased, and follows identifiable patterns, causing us to reach conclusions that are predictable wrong, since they are based on our gut or instincts, rather than on logic. An important aspect of behavioral biases is that they affect us in areas of our lives where it is very important that we be purely rational, such as in investing. In this blog post, we highlight a number of behavioral biases, and specifically how they can affect investors. Before getting into the specifics, we wanted to review some background we hope will be informative, and put the biases into an appropriate investing context.

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