People tend to be penny wise and pound foolish and cry over spilt milk, even though we are taught to do neither. Focusing on the present at the expense of the future and basing decisions on lost value are two mistakes common to decision-making that are particularly costly in the world of finance. People are also tempted to throw good money after bad. Behavioral finance is the field that sheds light on how people make decisions and make predictable mistakes due to
mental and emotional characteristics. It also provides insights into how markets operate. Having a better understanding of both can mitigate mistakes.
Behavioral Finance: What Everyone Needs to Know (R) provides an overview of common shortcuts and mistakes people make in managing their finances that can affect their wealth. An extensive discussion sets forth the cognitive biases or errors in thinking that occur when people are collecting, processing, and interpreting information. Emotional biases that can create distortions in cognition and decision-making are also covered, as are the influence of social factors, from culture to the
behavior of one's peers. These effects vary during one's life, reflecting differences in cognitive ability due to age, experience, and gender effects. Of great importance is framing, how the presentation of a choice affects people's forecasts about the stock market, claiming social security benefits, savings
behavior, mortgage choice, charitable contributions, and more.
Throughout the authors combine discussions of concepts, insights from research, and examples from recent events. Among the questions to be addressed are: How did the financial crisis of 2007-2008 spur understanding human behavior? What are market anomalies and how do they relate to behavioral biases? What role does overconfidence play in financial decision- making? And how does getting older affect risk tolerance?