Imagination and creativity help turn good ideas into winning strategies and great picks if they are calibrated to ensure favorable results. Imagination also can push investors toward unproductive decisions — ones that feel right while lowering performance. Known as Counterfactual Thinking, this type of deliberation can affect your interpretation of results and can shape the buys and sells you make.
Counterfactuals can elicit emotions like regret after making a decision. It is common to say, “if-only-I-had” when having to buy a stock at a higher price than what it was previously sold for. In order to reduce those feelings, investors must enact ineffective thinking.
This essay examines how Counterfactual Thinking can impact performance if investors aren’t focusing on the facts. It then provides guidance on how to apply self-awareness to your strategy to ensure that your decisions are factual.
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