Don’t trust your gut when investing, says survey

By The IJ Staff | June 23 2017 09:45AM

Photo: Freepik

When it comes to investing, following your gut feeling is the wrong approach, according to the findings of a survey of Canadian investors conducted by Hennick Wealth Management.

The survey results, which were released this week, found that 69.2 per cent of men with a high income ($100K - $149K) regretted making an investment decision based on emotion or a gut instinct. The survey found almost twice as many men (13.7 per cent) bought stocks based on a hunch or gut feeling than women (7.5 per cent) across Canada.

Be careful of your friend’s advice

The survey findings also indicated that investors should be careful about trusting a friend’s advice when it comes to investing decisions – this is especially true for men. Significantly more men (34.2 per cent) would buy a stock based on the recommendation of a friend (dependent on how knowledgeable they are) compared with women (27.8 per cent).

"Men seem particularly influenced by 'insider advice' from other males when investing. I hear a lot of 'Warren from the baseball team says it's a sure thing because he knows a guy' sort of reasoning, but it never seems to be based on fact or research. Women just don't think that way about investments – which is wise," says investment advisor Adam Hennick of Hennick Wealth Management.

Higher earners more susceptible

The survey found that investors with higher incomes tend to make more emotional investments and are more likely to take advice from a friend. "If you do take investment advice from a friend, try to do it from your friends that have been successful in investing. This seems obvious, but sometimes our desire to act on a hot tip can overwhelm our logic. Ask yourself, is this a person who's actually done financially well in investing, or someone who just talks a good game," advises Hennick.

The survey also found it is usually younger generations that buy stocks based on hunches, or emotions. Seventy-five per cent of respondents 55 and over said they would not buy a stock based on a hunch, whereas 32.6 per cent of respondents aged 18-34 said they have purchased stocks this way fairly often or frequently.

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