Ability to Pass Up Investments is Key

26 Nov

As Warren Buffett has said, the ability to say “No” is one of the most important powers an investor has. Knowing when to turn down an investment can be more important as when to say yes. Another way I’ve heard Buffett look at it is to imagine as an investor that you’ve got a 20-slot punch card that represents your lifetime of investment decisions to be made. Looking at it from this perspective, it’s likely each investment decision will be made more carefully.

Another crucial part of making good investment decisions is being aware of your own biases. These biases are well-documented in behavioral finance: overconfidence, hindsight bias, overreaction, belief perseverance, and regret avoidance, for example. Knowing where you decisions are coming from helps to determine whether your choices are truly objective and rational, not overly influenced by your own biases.

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