The finance literature is awash with papers bordering on the classical assumption that investors are rational in their decision-making, and hence, would always take decisions rationally given the right information, thus making the stock market efficient. This assumption has, however, been found to be at least inadequate given the fact that investors are complex psychological beings full of emotions. This paper aims to investigate the psychological factors that tend to influence the decisions of investors.Design/methodology/approachThe study used a questionnaire to survey a total of 350 investors holding stocks of listed banks on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).FindingsThe study found the existence of various behavioural biases among the investors surveyed. The most dominant factor or bias found to be influencing investment decisions of respondents was herding with nearly 62% weight. Again, biases such as regret aversion and gambler’s fallacy were also found to strongly influence the decisions of investors, along with mental accounting, overconfidence and anchoring.Practical implicationsThe presence of these behavioural biases, therefore suggests that investors do not always take rational decisions, and hence, making the stock market efficient and that as psychological beings, their investment decisions are impacted strongly by their psychology.Originality/valueThe study used a questionnaire to survey a total of 350 investors holding stocks of listed banks on the GSE with a special focus on overconfidence, anchoring, herding, gambler’s fallacy, mental accounting and regret aversion as the variables of interest, the first of its kind in Ghana.
Qualitative Research in Financial Markets – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 27, 2021
Keywords: Ghana; Decision-making; Investment; Behavioural factors