I AM RATHER AN EXPERT ON BAD CHOICES. I have made so many over the years, from unhealthy food choices to postponing exercise (today’s bad choice) and yes, even regrettable investment choices (sigh).
And then I have observed so many bad choices on the part of my seven teenagers. (Thankfully, now down to just one, but these days I get to watch my grandkids learn to navigate the world.) Teenagers have a remarkable ability to make the easy choice today and postpone the hard and difficult choice until tomorrow. And some of us grow up, having perfected that ability, making even more bad choices as adults.
I have interviewed hundreds of investors over the years, from small and starting out to having-arrived billionaires. I am always amazed by the mistakes they make and the inventive rational they use for having made them.
As a nation and a world, we have made numerous bad choices, taken the easy road, and ended up in the worst global economic crisis in 80 years. Now we are faced with a set of difficult choices as we work our way back to a new normal. History is replete with bad choices by both individuals and nations.
In the past few decades, a new science has emerged that has taken note of the fact that not only are we sometimes irrational, but we are predictably irrational. This new behavioral science has started looking at how we go about making decisions and is finding all sorts of interesting, if sometimes distressing, things about the human species.
It seems ...