In a 2006 study entitled "Behaving Badly," researcher James Montier found that 74% of the 300 professional fund managers surveyed believed that they had delivered above-average job performance. Of the remaining 26% surveyed, the majority viewed themselves as average. Incredibly, almost 100% of the survey group believed that their job performance was average or better. Clearly, only 50% of the sample can be above average, suggesting the irrationally high level of overconfidence these fund managers exhibited.
As you can imagine, overconfidence (i.e., overestimating or exaggerating one’s ability to successfully perform a particular task) is not a trait that applies only to fund managers. Consider the number of times that you’ve participated in a competition or contest with the attitude that you have what it takes to win—regardless of the number of competitors or the fact that there can only be one winner.
Keep in mind that there’s a fine line between confidence and overconfidence.
In terms of investing, overconfidence can be detrimental to your stock-picking ability in the long run. In a 1998 study entitled "Volume, Volatility, Price, and Profit When All Traders Are Above Average," researcher Terrance Odean found that overconfident investors generally conduct more trades than their less-confident counterparts.
Odean found that overconfident investors/traders tend to believe they are better than others at choosing the best stocks and best times to enter/exit a position. Unfortunately, Odean also found that traders that conducted the most trades tended, on average, to receive significantly lower yields than the market.
Keep in mind that professional fund managers, who have access to the best investment/industry reports and computational models in the business, can still struggle at achieving market-beating returns. The best fund managers know that each investment day presents a new set of challenges and that investment techniques constantly need refining. Just about every overconfident investor is only a trade away from a very humbling wake-up call.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.
AMG Distributors, Inc., is a member of FINRA/SIPC.
Overreaction occurs when one reacts to a piece of news in a way that is greater than the actual impact of the news.Read More
Prospect theory refers to an idea created by Drs. Kahneman and Tversky, which essentially determined that people do not associate equal levels of joy and pain with the same effect. The average individuals tend to be more loss sensitive (in the sense that they will feel more pain experiencing a loss compared to the amount of joy felt from receiving an equal amount of gain).Read More
The market goes up. The market goes down. Volatility, sometimes extreme, is a fact of life. Successful investors understand this and know how to prepare and act accordingly.Read More
You are now leaving the AMG Funds web site: The link you have selected is located on another web site. Please click OK below to leave the AMG Funds site and proceed to the selected site. AMG Funds does not endorse this web site, its sponsor, or any of the policies, activities, products or services offered on the site, or by any advertiser on the site. AMG Funds has no control of the content or data shown on this site, and while AMG Funds has no reason to doubt the reliability of the data shown, its accuracy is not guaranteed. Furthermore, AMG Funds takes no responsibility for the accuracy or factual correctness of any information posted to third party web sites.
Thank you for your interest in AMG Funds.OK