The amount of money traded in financial markets is astronomical, with billions of dollars worth of shares being bought and sold every day. You may think that everyone in the business knows what they are doing and relies on complex economic data. That’s simply not the case. Many people do know how to trade expertly, but a vast proportion of investors often rely on a psychological phenomenon known as herd mentality.
What is Herd Mentality?
Herd mentality is a commonly known phenomenon, which is sometimes referred to as groupthink. It can appear in a range of fields and happens when a vast amount of people start believing the same thing. This is prevalent in financial markets, especially in the internet age which allows people to share their opinions with millions via platforms like Twitter.
Herd mentality is often spurred on by other psychological factors such as confirmation bias. This is where investors look for information that confirms their beliefs and ignore anything that doesn’t align. People who buy and sell shares also often fixate on certain reference points, such as a recent market high. A prime example of this can be seen with Bitcoin, where the massive peaks and troughs are often dictated by herd mentality and the shared belief that it will hit the same highs as 2021.
Herd mentality often drives financial markets and leads to bear and bull runs. A lot of the time, these drops and rises in share price have nothing to do with how a stock is performing in the real world and are simply based on millions of people following the herd.
Real Examples of Herd Behavior
There have been plenty of instances of herd behavior in action in the financial markets over the years, and these highlight the effect it can have. One of the best examples ever was the Dot-Com bubble in the late 1990s. There was a huge amount of investment into internet-related companies, regardless of whether they had sustainable business models.
Another example was the housing bubble of the mid-2000s. People started to believe that home prices would never fall and there was a speculative frenzy. When the bubble burst, it triggered a global financial crisis.
What Can Investors Learn?
Herd mentality can often push investors into making decisions that are based on emotion rather than rational analysis. That’s why it’s important for people to do their own trading without believing everything the market says. By looking at instruments like ES futures, users can see detailed graphs and predictions about the way key markets like the S&P 500 are heading.
The stories of herd mentality in action in the financial markets provide more support for why more people should be using artificial intelligence tools for investing. AI can take all the emotion out of investing, and it makes more rational decisions than the herd in most circumstances.
If you’re someone who wants to get into trading, it’s crucial to understand the psychology behind it. If you can step away emotionally, it may help you make better decisions