How Your Biases Impact Your Financial Decisions

“I think unconscious bias is one of the hardest things to get at” ― Ruth Bader Ginsburg

3 min read

Behavioural Economics - Biased Financial Decisions - Biases - Bias

How Your Biases Impact Your Financial Decisions

“I think unconscious bias is one of the hardest things to get at” ― Ruth Bader Ginsburg

3 min read

Behavioural economics explores the complexities behind our financial choices. Rooted in psychology and economics, it reveals how human emotions, biases, and cognitive limitations influence our financial decisions. Behavioural economics challenges the traditional economic belief that individuals always act rationally in their best interests. Instead, it acknowledges the influence of human psychology, social factors, and the environment on decision-making. 

Concepts like loss aversion, where individuals tend to feel the pain of loss stronger than the pleasure of gains, and mental accounting, where money is mentally compartmentalised based on its source or intended use, play pivotal roles in shaping our financial behaviour. If you can recognise these patterns, you are able to gain a deeper understanding of how they can impact your finances. So, read on to find out how you can minimise the impact of your own unconscious biases, or contact Patterson Mills for professional guidance.

Emotions and Investment Choices

Behavioural economics highlights the impact of emotions on investment decisions. Fear and greed often drive market sentiment, leading to impulsive actions.

During market fluctuations, investors might succumb to panic selling or irrational exuberance, deviating from a well-thought-out investment strategy. Recognising these emotional triggers enables you to maintain discipline and avoid making hasty decisions that could harm your portfolios.

Additionally, understanding behavioural biases like the herd mentality, where individuals follow the crowd rather than making independent decisions, is crucial. In investing, this can lead to asset bubbles or market inefficiencies. Being aware of this tendency allows investors to remain steadfast in their investment approach, making decisions based on rational analysis rather than following the crowd.

Overcoming Cognitive Biases

Behavioural economics sheds light on various cognitive biases affecting financial decisions. For instance, the framing effect illustrates how the presentation of information influences decisions. Individuals often react differently to the same information depending on whether it is presented positively or negatively.

Understanding this bias helps in making decisions based on objective facts rather than the way information is presented.

Moreover, understanding and overcoming biases like confirmation bias, where individuals seek information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs, is crucial. By acknowledging these biases, you can implement strategies to counteract their influence. This might involve seeking diverse perspectives or conducting thorough research before making financial decisions, ultimately leading to more rational and sound choices.

Educating for Better Decision-Making

Behavioural economics, as well as Patterson Mills, advocates for enhanced financial literacy and education. Educating individuals about behavioural biases equips them with the tools to make more informed financial choices. By understanding common biases like anchoring, where individuals rely heavily on the first piece of information they receive, you can learn to critically evaluate information and avoid making decisions based on arbitrary references.

Furthermore, integrating behavioural economics into financial education can foster better decision-making skills. Teaching yourself to recognise and address biases empowers you to approach financial decisions more objectively. This approach can have far-reaching implications, cultivating a financially savvy society capable of making sounder choices in complex economic landscapes.

The Power of Behavioural Economics

The aim of this article is to equip you with the tools you need to spot your own unconscious biases. Behavioural economics shines a light on the intricate interplay between human behaviour and financial decisions, and it is a complex area whilst being even more difficult to remove your own biases completely.

Patterson Mills is here to ensure you are able to  acknowledge when you may be influenced by an unconscious bias, whilst ensuring you have the tools to make more rational, informed, and goal-oriented choices, thereby steering you towards enhanced financial success.

All you need to do to benefit from the professional and trusted guidance at Patterson Mills is get in touch today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting, you will be pleased that you did. Send us an e-mail to or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all information within this article has been prepared for informational purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.