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10 Behavioral Pitfalls: A Primer

Successful investing requires a rare ability to overcome one's own psychological weaknesses--but you have to identify them first.

Morningstar Editors 02.08.2013

Successful investing is hard, but it doesn't require genius. In fact, Warren Buffett asserted that it's not so much raw brain power you need, but temperament "to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing."

As much as anything else, successful investing requires something perhaps even more rare: the ability to identify and overcome one's own psychological weaknesses.

Over the past several decades, psychology has permeated our culture in many ways. In more recent times, its influences have taken hold in the field of behavioral finance, spawning an array of academic papers and learned tomes that attempt to explain why people make financial decisions that are contrary to their own interests.

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