Behavioural finance: Thinking process versus outcome

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Investment decisions are often driven by either thinking about the process or focusing on the outcome. Behavioural finance plays a crucial role in understanding how these different approaches impact our financial choices and the risks associated with them.

  • Table of contents
  1. Thinking process in behavioural investment
  2. Outcome-focused investment
  3. Finding balance for a better investment experience
  4. FAQ

Thinking process in behavioural investment

When it comes to behavioural investment risk, the thinking process plays a significant role. Investors who focus on the thinking process prioritize the method of making financial decisions over the immediate outcome. Here's why this approach is essential:

  • Understanding your investment: It involves analyzing the fundamentals of the assets you're investing in, such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. This understanding can help you make informed choices.
  • Risk Assessment: Investors who emphasize the thinking process take the time to assess the risks associated with their investments. They consider factors like market conditions, economic trends, and the potential for gains or losses. This approach helps in managing financial risk in behavioral investment.
  • Long-term perspective: A focus on the thinking process often involves a long-term perspective. Instead of trying to make quick gains, investors take a patient approach. They understand that market fluctuations are part of the journey and that a long-term view can help mitigate short-term losses.
  • Emotion control: Emotions like fear and greed can cloud judgment. A thinking process-centered approach encourages emotional control. Investors are less likely to panic when markets are down or become overly exuberant during a bull market.

Outcome-focused investment

Some investors are primarily concerned with the outcome. They are more interested in the immediate results and gains. This approach can be associated with a higher level of financial risk in behavioral investment. Here's why:

  • Short-term gains: Outcome-focused investors are often looking for quick profits. While this approach can yield gains, it's also riskier as it might lead to impulsive decisions that don't consider the long-term consequences.
  • Market timing: Investors who focus on outcomes may attempt to time the market, buying when they think prices are low and selling when they believe prices are high. Market timing is difficult and can result in losses.
  • Herd Mentality: Following the crowd can be a common trait among outcome-focused investors. They might invest in assets simply because others are doing the same. This herd mentality can lead to bubbles and crashes, increasing the financial risk in behavioral investment.

Finding balance for a better investment experience

In the world of behavioral finance, finding a balance between the thinking process and outcome-focused investment is the key to a better investment experience. Here's how to strike that balance:

  • Set clear goals: Start by defining your financial goals. Knowing what you want to achieve with your investments can help you balance the thinking process and outcome focus. Short-term goals may require more outcome-oriented approaches, while long-term goals often benefit from a thinking process-centered strategy.
  • Diversification: A well-diversified portfolio can reduce the risk associated with outcome-focused investing. Diversification spreads your investments across different assets, reducing the impact of any single asset's performance on your overall portfolio.
  • Continuous learning: Investors should continually educate themselves about financial markets and investment strategies. This helps in developing a more nuanced thinking process and making informed decisions.
  • Emotion management: Controlling emotions is essential in both thinking process and outcome-focused investment. Techniques like setting stop-loss orders and having a clear investment plan can help in managing emotional responses to market fluctuations.

In conclusion, the thinking process versus outcome debate in behavioral finance is about striking a balance. A thoughtful, informed approach often helps in managing financial risk in behavioral investment, especially over the long term. However, it's essential to remember that short-term outcomes matter as well. By combining the best of both approaches, investors can make more well-rounded decisions that align with their financial goals and risk tolerance.


What is risk profiling, and why is it important in investing?
Risk profiling is an assessment of an individual's willingness and capacity to take on financial risk. It's crucial for matching investments with an individual's risk tolerance and financial goals.

How can I determine my risk profile?
Risk profiling typically involves answering questions about your investment goals, time horizon, financial situation, and risk tolerance. Many financial institutions and advisors provide risk assessment tools to assist in this process.

Can my risk profile change over time, and should I adjust my investments accordingly?
Yes, your risk profile can evolve with changing life circumstances. It's essential to periodically reassess your risk profile and adjust your investments to align with your current risk tolerance and financial goals.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
This document should not be treated as endorsement of the views/opinions or as investment advice. This document should not be construed as a research report or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. This document is for information purpose only and should not be construed as a promise on minimum returns or safeguard of capital. This document alone is not sufficient and should not be used for the development or implementation of an investment strategy. The recipient should note and understand that the information provided above may not contain all the material aspects relevant for making an investment decision. Investors are advised to consult their own investment advisor before making any investment decision in light of their risk appetite, investment goals, and horizon. This information is subject to change without any prior notice.