The purpose of this seminar is to give you a good understanding of the psychological factors that affect investment decision making of investors and to discuss how these factors affect financial markets and how they can be successfully integrated into the investment management process.
We start with the important discussion about efficient vs. inefficient markets, reflecting upon the views of the two Nobel laureates, Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller. We the take a closer look at behavioral finance and its applications. We explain what behavioral finance is and, using examples from financial crises, we discuss how investor psychology may lead to a "herd" behavior that exacerbates swings, bubbles and crashes in financial markets. We also discuss how behavioral finance can help the investment manager in creating a successful relationship with the client.
We then explore in-depth the various themes of behavioural finance. The first theme is frame dependence. We here explain how loss aversion can result in investors' willingness to hold on to deteriorating investment positions and we evaluate the impacts that the emotional frames of "self-control", "regret minimization", and "money illusion" have on investor behaviour. The second theme is heuristic-driven biases. We explain how biases such as "representativeness", "overconfidence", "anchoring-and-adjustment", "availability bias" and "aversion to ambiguity" can impact long-term and short term forecasts and lead to inconsistent investment decisions and outright investment mistakes.
Further, we evaluate the impact that representativeness, conservatism, frame dependence, and overconfidence may have on security pricing and discuss the implications for market efficiency.
The main part of the course is focused on how to apply behavioural finance in an investment setting. We introduce the so-called "new paradigm" of practical application of behavioural finance and explain how behavioural finance theory is used in investor profiling. We also introduce the concept of "goals-based investing", and we explain how portfolios can be structured as layered pyramids and how such structures address needs associated with security, potential, and aspiration. We evaluate the effects of regret and self-attribution bias on the relationship that investors form with their investment managers, and we evaluate the impact of excessive optimism and overconfidence on investors' decisions regarding portfolio construction. We also explain and demonstrate how an investor's "lifestyle objectives" can be translated into a quantitative risk budget and how an optimal portfolio can be constructed under this constraint. Finally, we discuss how biases and frame dependence may also affect investments decisions of institutional investors.