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Why Chasing Investment Returns Is a Harmful Investor Behavior

October 31, 2023

The temptation of big returns can be seductive in the world of investment. A practice that might have negative effects is the pursuit of the hottest investments or an attempt to time the market to maximize rewards. This approach goes against the fundamentals of wise investing because it is frequently motivated by emotions and short-term thinking. In this article, we examine the reasons why chasing investing returns is viewed negatively by investors and the dangers it may pose.


  1. Emotional decision-making

The pursuit of investment gains is frequently based on emotional judgments. Investors may experience FOMO when they observe a specific asset class, industry, or stock soaring in value. Investors may be motivated by the thrill of rapid profits, which may cause them to act impulsively without doing adequate research or taking long-term objectives into account.

Investors may overlook essential elements like risk tolerance, time horizon, and diversification because of their emotions, which can impair judgment. As a result, individuals can end up making investments in assets that aren't consistent with their entire financial plan, putting themselves at risk of suffering sizable losses.


  1. Herding behavior

Chasing investing returns frequently results in herding behavior, or the propensity of investors to invest in the same assets that other investors are. Although this type of activity could result in short-term profits, it might lead to a market environment that is unstable and unsustainable. The valuations of the first well-liked assets may crash when the crowd abruptly switches its focus elsewhere, leaving latecomers with losses.

Market volatility is made worse by herding behavior, which can also result in bubbles and crashes. Instead of simply following the herd, rational investment requires a balanced strategy that takes market fundamentals into account.


  1. Market timing illusion

Even seasoned specialists find it difficult to try and time the market by buying cheap and selling high. Trying to time the market is a common strategy for chasing gains, but it is risky. Even the most seasoned professionals fail to predict short-term market volatility consistently, which is a requirement for successful market timing.

Market timing-based investors run the risk of purchasing high and selling low, which leads to losses rather than gains. The unpredictability of markets emphasizes the significance of a long-term investment plan that takes market changes into consideration without attempting to foresee or chase them.


  1. Insufficient diversification

An excessive concentration of investments in a particular asset class or sector that is currently performing well can result from chasing investing returns. While this might provide investors with large returns in the short term, the risk is elevated. The entire investment portfolio could endure large losses if that specific asset or industry undergoes a slump.

Spreading investments over a variety of asset classes is known as diversification, and it is a fundamental element of risk management in the investment world. By padding the portfolio with assets that might be performing well, it helps to lessen the effects of bad performance in one area.


  1. Ignoring foundational principles

Investing is not a game of chance; it is based on fundamental study, analysis, and in-depth knowledge of the assets you are purchasing. Investors that are chasing returns may ignore the core principles of their investments. By evaluating aspects such as a company's financial stability, management caliber, market trends, and more general economic indicators, investors can make informed selections.

Investors run the risk of purchasing assets that may lack the stability or growth potential necessary to maintain long-term gains if they choose to ignore these fundamentals.

While chasing investment returns may provide a short-term rush, it goes against smart investing principles. The risks of pursuing returns include, but are not limited to, herding behavior, inaccurate market timing, lack of diversification, and disregard for investing fundamentals.

Building a well-structured, diversified portfolio that is in line with your financial objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon is the key to successful investment. It requires perseverance, self-control, and a commitment to the long haul rather than the pursuit of immediate advantages. Investors are best served by taking a planned and knowledgeable approach to their investing choices, eventually aiming for sustained, consistent, and responsible wealth building, rather than chasing profits. Keep in mind that investing is a journey, and the way to reaching your financial objectives is to travel with careful thought and sound judgment.


Disclosure: This article is used strictly as informative and educational purposes. All illustrations and hypotheticals are not meant to be the reasoning behind any individual planning, investment, or tax decision. All Investment choices should be made based on consulting with a Financial Advisor for a personalized assessment. Tax decisions should be made in accordance with your tax professional, seek legal advice from a licensed attorney.

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