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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Nearly a Third of Investors Cop to Trading While Drunk: Survey

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What You Need to Know

  • More than half of Gen Zers in a MagnifyMoney survey admitted to buying or selling investments while intoxicated.
  • Two-thirds of survey respondents said they regretted an impulsive or emotionally charged investing decision.
  • Nearly a third said they had cried over investing.

Driving while drunk is a crime. What about investing while drunk?

This question is not as ridiculous as it may sound. Thirty-two percent of investors in a new survey from MagnifyMoney acknowledged that they have bought or sold an investment while intoxicated, including 59% of Gen Zers.

The finding emerged from MagnifyMoney’s research into whether investors allow emotions to influence their portfolios. It commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey in June among 1,116 U.S. consumers with an investment account, ranging in age from 18 to 75.

Two-thirds of survey respondents said they regretted an impulsive or emotionally charged investing decision. Gen Zers and millennials were more likely than their older counterparts to say they had made such a decision.

Emotional Investing

The survey found that investors who manage their own portfolios are likelier to make — and regret — impulsive investing decisions than those who let a financial advisor manage their portfolios. 

Seventy-one percent of respondents who make their own investments said they have made a regrettable decision, compared with 59% of those who take a more hands-off approach.

Fifty percent of consumers who manage their portfolios generally said they find it harder it keep emotions out of investing than the 45% who rely on a financial advisor. They also reported higher rates of lost sleep and regrettable decisions than those who work with an advisor.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed that their portfolio performs better when they can compartmentalize their emotions, but 47% said it was hard to keep their emotions out of investing decisions.

Thirty-seven percent of investors reported that they had lost sleep worrying about the stock market, and 30% have cried over investing — mainly for losing money in the market, feeling overwhelmed and selling too early.

A financial advisor may not always help in these situations, as 30% of both investors who use an advisor and those who self-manage reported crying over investments, with 43% doing so after losing money in the stock market.

Even so, a financial professional may help less-experienced traders avoid or at least predict such losses, MoneyMarket said.

A positive finding that emerged from the survey results was that 44% of investors said they felt excited about investing. Here are other emotions they experienced about investing: 

  • Stress: 41%
  • Relieved: 24%
  • Fearful: 20%
  • Angry: 17%
  • Depressed: 16
  • None of these: 17%

(Photo: Shutterstock)


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