Trading Psychology | Regret Aversion Bias – Would You Rather Be Right, or Avoid Being Wrong?

People exhibiting regret aversion avoid taking decisive actions because they fear that, in hindsight, whatever course they select will prove less than optimal. Basically, this bias seeks to forestall the pain of regret associated with poor decision-making. It is a cognitive phenomenon that often arises in traders, causing them to hold onto losing positions for too long in order to avoid admitting errors and realizing losses.

 

Regret Aversion Bias - Would You Rather Be Right, or Avoid Being Wrong?

Regret Aversion Bias – Would You Rather Be Right, or Avoid Being Wrong?

 

Regret aversion also makes people unduly apprehensive about taking positions after a string of losses, as they feel instinctively driven to conserve, to retreat, and to lick their wounds. This might cause them to hesitate most at moments that actually merit aggressive behaviour.

This can also affect a person’s response to winning positions. For example, traders might be unwillingly to sell an in-the-money position despite negative signals, choosing to cling on to it because they fear that the stock might continue to soar even higher once they sell it.

People who are regret-averse try to avoid distress arising from two types of mistakes, (i) errors of commission and (ii) errors of omission. The former occurs when we take misguided actions, while the latter arises from misguided inaction, that is, opportunities overlooked or foregone.

The other danger comes from “herding behaviour” where traders simply try to follow the crowd, since following the mass consensus diffuses responsibility and hence the potential for future regret.

What is the best solution for this?

“I visualized my grief if the stock market went way up and I wasn’t in it – or if it went way down and I was completely in it. My intention was to minimize my future regret, so I split my retirement plan contributions 50/50 between bonds and equities.” – Harry Markowitz, father of Modern Portfolio Theory

 

Cheers
Spencer
https://www.facebook.com/iamrecneps
https://www.instagram.com/iamrecneps

Free Download: Trading Foundation Workshop

Get instant access to this exclusive 2-hour online video tutorial series:
If you are new to trading or are struggling to get consistent results, this workshop will show you how any trader can make consistent & stress-free monthly profits on any market (stocks, forex, Bitcoin, etc), with just 15 minutes a day.

Spencer Li is a trader, investor & entrepreneur who achieved financial freedom at 27 (2013), having to date accumulated a diversified portfolio of properties, stocks, REITs, and 10+ businesses across different industries. As a professional trader, he has over 10 years of market experience, and has been featured on more than 20 occasions in the media.

Join our new FREE facebook discussion group!

Join our community of 7,000+ traders in this fast-growing facebook group on stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies. Receive free education and signals, and take the chance to ask us any questions!

2 replies

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] to Bitcoin to “get it” while others follow the lead of trendsetters or finally succumb to their regret-aversion bias. Either way, these waves of adopters have a destabilizing effect on the exchange rate: speculators […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply