Emotional Investing and Steps to Avoid It

Emotional investing can be a major hurdle to achieving long-term investment goals and can be particularly risky for Nigerian investors, who may not have a lot of experience with investing. As an Investor, it’s essential to recognize the signs of emotional investing and take steps to avoid making investment decisions based on emotions.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to identify emotional investing and provide actionable steps to avoid it.

What is Emotional Investing?

Emotional investing refers to making investment decisions based on emotions rather than objective data. Emotional investors tend to make decisions based on emotions such as fear, greed, or panic, which can lead to poor decision-making and negatively impact investment performance.

Emotional investing can be particularly dangerous during times of market volatility when investors are more likely to make impulsive decisions based on emotions rather than sound investment principles. Foe example, buying because you feel it is good and selling because you think it is bad.


Signs of Emotional Investing

Here are some signs of emotional investing to look out for:

Reacting to Short-Term Market Fluctuations

One of the signs of emotional investing is reacting to short-term market fluctuations. Emotional investors may become overly focused on the daily or weekly performance of the market and make impulsive investment decisions based on short-term market movements. For example, they may sell their investments during a market downturn or buy investments during a market upswing.

Ignoring Fundamental Investment Principles

Another sign of emotional investing is ignoring fundamental investment principles. Emotional investors may overlook important investment factors such as risk tolerance, asset allocation, and diversification, and instead make investment decisions based on rumors or hype.

Focusing on a Single Investment

Emotional investors may also have a lack of diversification in their portfolio. They may become overly focused on a particular stock or sector, which can increase their risk if that stock or sector experiences a downturn. By diversifying their portfolio across different asset classes and sectors, investors can reduce their risk and potentially improve their investment performance over time.

Excessive Trading

Finally, emotional investors may engage in excessive trading, which can increase transaction costs and erode investment returns over time. When investors trade frequently, they may incur more fees and taxes, which can reduce the overall return on their investment.

Following the Crowd

Emotional investors may also follow the crowd and make investment decisions based on what others are doing. For example, if everyone is buying a particular stock, an emotional investor may feel compelled to buy it too, even if it doesn’t align with their long-term investment plan.



Steps to Avoid Emotional Investing

To avoid emotional investing, it’s important to recognize the signs of emotional investing and take steps to avoid making investment decisions based on emotions. Here are some actionable tips to help you avoid emotional investing:

Develop a Long-Term Investment Plan

One of the best ways to avoid emotional investing is to develop a long-term investment plan. This plan should take into account your goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. By creating a plan, you’ll be less likely to make impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations. Instead, you can focus on your long-term goals and stick to your investment plan even during times of market volatility.


Stick to Your Investment Plan

Once you have developed a long-term investment plan, it’s important to stick to it. During times of market volatility, it can be tempting to make impulsive decisions based on emotions. However, it’s important to remember that investing is a long-term game. If you’ve developed a solid investment plan based on your goals and risk tolerance, you should stick to it even during periods of market volatility.


Avoid Speculative Investments

Another way to avoid emotional investing is to avoid speculative investments. Speculative investments are investments that have a high risk of loss and are often based on rumors or hype. While these investments may have the potential for high returns, they are also very risky and can lead to significant losses if the investment does not perform as expected.


Monitor Your Emotions

It’s important to monitor your emotions when making investment decisions. Before making an investment decision, take a moment to assess whether you’re making the decision based on sound investment principles or emotions.  Remember, emotions can cloud your judgment, and making decisions based on them can result in poor investment choices. By monitoring your emotions and keeping them in check, you can make more rational and informed investment decisions that are in line with your financial goals.


Work with a Financial Advisor

Finally, working with a financial advisor can help you avoid emotional investing. A financial advisor can provide you with objective advice and help you make informed investment decisions. They can also help you develop a long-term investment plan that aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. When choosing a financial advisor, it’s important to look for someone who is reputable, experienced and has your best interests at heart.


Recognize Your Biases

Everyone has biases that can influence their investment decisions. These biases can include things like overconfidence, the tendency to follow the crowd or a preference for certain types of investments. It’s important to recognize your biases and try to make investment decisions based on facts and data rather than emotion.



Emotional investing can be a major obstacle to achieving your long-term investment goals. By taking the time to identify emotional investing, you can develop strategies to avoid it and make sound investment decisions based on facts and data. Remember to stay disciplined, remain focused on your long-term goals, and seek the advice of a professional if you need help managing your emotions when it comes to investing.

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