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CHAPTER 8 Behavioral Finance and the Psychology of Investing

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1 CHAPTER 8 Behavioral Finance and the Psychology of Investing
Chapter Sections: Introduction to Behavioral Finance Prospect Theory Overconfidence Misperceiving Randomness and Overreacting to Chance Events Sentiment-Based Risks and Limits to Arbitrage Technical Analysis “The investor’s chief problem, and even his worst enemy, is likely to be himself.” Benjamin Graham

2 Investor Psychology Investor what?!
Psycho-logy: The study of psycho’s? I prefer to call it Sly-chology In 1962, there was a brief recession and a sharp market downturn, the President’s chief economic adviser was giving a presentation to many of the political and economic leaders of the time, describing what they were doing to right the economy. One of the attendees asked, “So when is the stock market going to recover?” The adviser curtly responded, “I am an economist, Sir, not a psychiatrist.”

3 Investor Psychology (continued) Because of the tremendous amount of money involved in the markets, Much research has gone into trying to understand investor psychology Some of the research is very revealing about who and what we are Not only as investors but also as a species in general “There are three factors that influence the markets: Fear, Greed, and Greed.” – Old Wall Street saying

4 Common Investor Weaknesses
Reading too much into the recent past Beware the “Permanent Trend” Even though there are countless examples of investors “getting on the bandwagon” just as the wagon was about to veer into a ravine, We trick ourselves into believing that, “It’s Different This Time” “It’s a New Era” So did you pile into Apple or gold in 2011 and 2012? Did you buy oil in mid-2008? How did that condo conversion “flipper” in early-2006 work out? How about eToys,, or CMGI in 1999?

5 Common Investor Weaknesses
(continued) Misperceiving randomness Even though stock price movements in the short term are random, our brains will trick us into seeing a pattern We humans are “heuristic” – we look for patterns Even if we know that there aren’t any to be found In a series of a million random digits, the probability that one digit will be repeated 13 times in a row is essentially 100% In my humble opinion, Technical Analysts are guilty of this failing. We will discuss Technical Analysis soon.

6 Common Investor Weaknesses
(continued) Being overconfident Believing you know more that you think you know, or Believing you are better than most other investors The truth is we only see the “tip of the iceberg” with regard to what is happening within a company, an industry, and the economy And we are usually only average or mediocre investors at best Especially if we decide to become traders! Are you an excellent, good, average, fair, or poor driver? The “Lake Woebegone” Effect.

7 Common Investor Weaknesses
(continued) Selling your winners too soon and hanging on to your losers (a.k.a. loss aversion) As humans, we hate to admit we made a mistake, so we stubbornly hold onto our losers, hoping that they will at least get back to where we bought in The reality is that our memories are wired to forget unpleasant experiences Sell our losers and we will quickly forget about them Hang onto them and we will always be reminded of our stupidity In contrast, hanging onto the winners is what makes an investor rich. So hang onto your winners!

8 Fundamental Analysis Fundamental Analysis – (review)
The in-depth study of the financial condition and operating results of a firm A method of evaluating securities by attempting to measure the intrinsic value of a particular stock. Fundamental analysts study everything from the overall economy and industry conditions, to the financial condition and management of companies Simply put, the value of a stock is influenced by the performance of the company that issued the stock. The valuation models from Chapter 6 that we covered have all used fundamental analysis.

9 Fundamental Analysis Some of the Fundamentals – (review)
(continued) Some of the Fundamentals – (review) The competitive position of the company Do not forget to research their competitors! Its composition and growth in sales and earnings Profit margins and the dynamics of company earnings The composition and liquidity of corporate resources What assets are available The company’s capital structure How much debt, how much equity a.k.a. the “capitalization” of a company But there are many investors who don’t follow the Fundamentals.

10 Technical Analysis Technical Analysis
The study of the various forces at work in the marketplace and their effect on stock prices Those who adhere to technical analysis believe that they can predict the future price of a stock by analyzing the behavior of the stock price’s history and/or the overall stock market Or any one or many of dozens of so-called “Technical Indicators” Simply put, the future price of a stock is influenced by factors other than the company’s fundamental future outlook.

11 Technical Analysis Argument in favor of Technical Analysis: Rebuttal:
(continued) Argument in favor of Technical Analysis: Stock prices do tend to move in tandem to the stock market as a whole When the market is rising, most stocks rise with it “A rising tide lifts all boats” When the market is falling, most stocks are brought down with it Rebuttal: But that is just supply and demand at work When stocks are in favor, prices rise When stocks become out of favor, prices fall Repeat after me: “There has never been a reliable methodology for predicting the short-term behavior of the stock market.”

12 Tools of Technical Analysis
Market Prices Momentum buying “The Trend is Your Friend” Support level versus Resistance level Support level – price or level below which a stock or the market as a whole is unlikely to fall Resistance level – price or level above which a stock or the market as a whole is unlikely to rise Psychological barriers Dow 16,000, S&P 1,800, $100 for a stock, etc. Moving average An average price or index level, calculated using a fixed number of previous days’ prices or levels 50-day, 200-day, etc. moving average Examples: His top 10 trading rules are at 1609.cfm

13 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) A technical trader follows the 50-day & 200-day moving averages If the 50-day crosses the 200-day from above, it is a bearish signal If the 50-day crosses the 200-day from below, it is a bullish signal

14 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) The Dow Theory One of the more historically popular price movement technical theories Uses both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (a.k.a. the Dow) and the Dow Jones Transports Average The Dow theory tries to identify three forces: a primary direction or trend, a secondary reaction or trend, and daily fluctuations By watching the changes in the primary and secondary directions of the indexes, you are supposed to be able to determine the overall direction of the market

15 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) The primary direction is either bullish or bearish, and reflects the long-run direction of the market. Secondary trends, temporary departures Corrections, reversions to the primary direction

16 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) Relative Strength Measure of the performance of one investment relative to another or to the market as a whole Recall The Value Line’s Relative Strength indicator Market Volume Heavy volume versus low volume Heavy volume with prices rising is (supposed to be) good Low volume with prices falling is (supposed to be) good Heavy volume with prices falling is (supposed to be) bad Low volume with prices rising is (supposed to be) bad

17 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) Breadth of the Market The Advance/Decline Ratio How many stocks went up, how many went down When the mood of investors is bullish, the advance/decline ratio should rise Advancing issues will outnumber declining issues When the mood of investors is bearish, the advance/decline ratio should fall Declining issues will outnumber advancing issues The “Tick” The trade-by-trade direction of the market Up Tick, Down Tick Opening Tick, Closing Tick Bullish Tick, Bearish Tick

18 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) Short Interest The number of stocks sold short in the market at any given time The more stocks are sold short, the more investors believe the market will fall For some reason, short investors are somehow considered more “sophisticated” and are therefore supposed to know when the market will fall But when large numbers of investors sell short, eventually they must buy the shares back This creates a pent up demand for stocks A large amount of short interest is like a compressed spring. Eventually, there will be a “short squeeze” and prices will rise.

19 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) Odd-lot Trading Theory based on the idea that small investors tend to buy and sell in odd lots Recall: An odd lot is less than 100 shares “The best thing to do is the opposite of what small investors are doing” If old-lot trading rises, it supposedly means that more and more small investors are entering the market Small investors are supposedly notorious for getting into the market at the top of a bull market The research and data behind this theory are very suspect. Plus technology has made odd-lot trading commonplace.

20 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) Contrarian Opinion The theory that if people are very optimistic, that is a predictor of falling prices for the market, and… If people are very pessimistic, that is a predictor of rising prices Therefore, we all should be as bearish as possible and that will make the market rise, right?! We covered Contrarian Strategy already in Investment Strategies Buy when others are selling Sell when others are buying The problem is the market historically has gone up three times more than it goes down

21 Tools of Technical Analysis
(continued) Charting The activity of charting price behavior and other market information and then using the patterns these charts form to make investment decisions Hi-lo-close charts & candlestick charts Bar charts adapted to stocks and other investments Chart formations Resistance and support levels – Breakout! Head and shoulders Triangles Flag and pennant Cup and saucer

22 Charting Examples Open-High-Low-Close Chart

23 Charting Examples Candlestick Chart

24 Charting Examples Candlestick Chart Formations

25 Charting Examples Head-and-Shoulders Chart

26 Charting Examples Assorted Charts Good Luck!

27 You, Too, Can Be a Technical Analyst!
“The market’s rise after a period of reaccumulation is a bullish sign. Nevertheless, fulcrum characteristics are not yet clearly present and a resistance area exists 40 points higher in the Dow, so it is clearly premature to say the next leg of the bull market is up. If, in the coming weeks, a test of the lows holds and the market breaks out of its flag, a further rise would be indicated. Should the lows be violated, a continuation of the intermediate term downward trend is called for. In view of the current situation, it is a distinct possibility that traders will sit in the wings awaiting a clearer delineation of the trend and the market will move in a narrow trading range.” I think it means, “If the market does not go up or down, it will remain unchanged.” Translation? A Random Walk Down Wall Street

28 Careers in Stocks Registered Representative
a.k.a. Stockbroker, Financial Representative, Account Executive, Financial Planner Background check No shenanigans with other peoples’ money Must take Series 7 and Series 66 Series 7 is difficult, 6 hours, 2 months of studying Series 66 is much easier, 2 to 4 weeks study Must be sponsored by a brokerage firm Some brokerages exist simply to sponsor people Expect to pay a fee to them for the privilege of being sponsored Many brokerages now sponsoring new recruits!

29 CHAPTER 8 – REVIEW Behavioral Finance and the Psychology of Investing
Chapter Sections: Introduction to Behavioral Finance Prospect Theory Overconfidence Misperceiving Randomness and Overreacting to Chance Events Sentiment-Based Risks and Limits to Arbitrage Technical Analysis Next week: Chapter 9, Bonds – a.k.a. Fixed-Income Investments

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