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The herd mentality: How to avoid following the crowd in investing

January 06, 2023

The herd mentality in investing refers to the tendency for individuals to follow the crowd and make investment decisions based on what others are doing, rather than doing their own research and analysis. This can lead to poor investment choices and underperforming portfolios.

One reason the herd mentality is so prevalent in investing is because people often feel pressure to conform to societal norms and don't want to miss out on potential opportunities. In addition, the media can play a role in creating hype around certain investments, leading people to jump on the bandwagon without fully considering the risks.

However, it's important to remember that just because something is popular or widely held, doesn't necessarily mean it's a good investment. In fact, chasing after popular investments can often lead to buying at high prices and selling at low prices, resulting in poor returns.

So, how can you avoid falling victim to the herd mentality in investing? One key is to do your own research and analysis or hire someone to do this for you. Don't simply buy an investment because others are doing so. Instead, consider the fundamentals of the investment and whether it aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

It can also be helpful to seek out diverse sources of information and to be wary of media hype. Just because something is being talked about a lot doesn't mean it's a good investment.

Another way to avoid the herd mentality is to have a long-term perspective and not get caught up in short-term market fluctuations. In addition, diversifying and position sizing can help minimize any potential losses if you do decide to invest with the 'herd'. It's natural to get anxious when the market is down, but it's important to remember that the market has a history of bouncing back over time.

In summary, the herd mentality can be a dangerous trap in investing. By doing your own research, seeking out diverse sources of information, and having a long-term perspective, you can avoid following the crowd and make more informed investment decisions.