There is this idea that there is such a thing as a conservative, moderate and adventurous investor.
This may be true to a certain extent, but is it the whole story? Last week, I was watching a program whilst on a plane.
The producers stopped couples in the street in Las Vegas. They asked one person to strike a confident power pose.
The other person needed to pose in a negative way, a bit like this:
They made the people hold those poses for 2-3 minutes. Then they asked each person, if they wanted to gamble in Las Vegas or not.
The people in the high-power poses, were much more likely to want to gamble, even if the were “risk-adverse” by nature.
Some people might say, investing isn’t the same as gambling, and that is absolutely correct.
However, various other studies have shown that investors are more likely to invest in more aggressive portfolios, after listening to techno music.
They are less likely to invest in the first place, if they watch negative news and documentaries.
They are more likely to assume that “this time is different” for markets, and they will no longer keep hitting all-time highs, like they have eventually done for over 100 years in the US and elsewhere.
It seems that people’s attitudes to risk aren’t fixed after all.