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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Oct 1, 2020

What are the psychological conditions that allow investors to make rational decisions, and how do these processes of decision-making occur? These are the questions that our guest, Victor Ricciardi, is dedicated to answering and what he is here on the show today to talk about! Victor is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance at Washington and Lee University as well as the Coordinator of Behavioral and Experimental Research at the Social Science Research Network. He has an MBA in finance and an advanced professional certificate in economics from St. John's University and holds graduate certificates in personal financial planning and financial therapy from Kansas State University. Victor is the co-author of Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing, in which he and H. Kent Baker explore and unpack the exact topics we look at in this episode. In our conversation, we talk about the steps that investors can take in order to make better decisions, and for Victor, this means maintaining a balanced portfolio and recording the circumstances and conditions in which decisions are made. Victor's starting point for better investing is self-knowledge and understanding one's own psychology and risk tolerance. He also underlines becoming familiar with the environments that allow you to make the best decisions and refining this wisdom over time. We also dig into the topics of the subconscious, checking biases, and financial therapy, so make sure to join us to hear it all.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • The history of academic studies on investor behaviour. [0:02:11.2]
  • Victor's thoughts on the rational decisions investors should aim for. [0:04:50.5]
  • The idea of 'bounded rationality'; sufficing and the factors that influence decisions. [0:06:38.9]
  • Benefits and dangers of group investments — more or less rationality. [0:09:43.2]
  • Weighing the usefulness of heuristics in the investment process. [0:11:54.1]
  • The role of the subconscious in human decision-making. [0:13:33.8]
  • Victor's thoughts on sustained commitment to active investing, despite the evidence. [0:15:45.6]
  • The framing of information and the impact this has on investor behaviour. [0:19:09.5]
  • A five-factor model for personality; extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to intellect. [0:22:33.4]
  • Unpacking the emerging profession of financial therapy and Victor's thoughts on its benefits. [0:28:36.3]
  • The relationship between money and happiness; the importance of options. [0:31:42.7]
  • Methods for checking our biases; education, simplicity, rebalancing, and more! [0:33:44.3]
  • Prioritizing trust and ways to ensure that received advice is dependable. [0:35:38.2]
  • The effect of access to free information and weighing the helpfulness of the internet. [0:37:47.2]
  • The application of behavioural bias models to the real estate market. [0:39:38.6]
  • Victor's personal definition of success: Impacting students. [0:41:49.4]