Saving for retirement: overcoming optimism bias and decision fatigue
Do you overestimate the probability of your success? Chances are yes, because of what’s termed...
Do you ever get to the end of a day and find you can’t decide what to have for dinner? It could be because your brain is just too tried – you have ‘decision fatigue’. On average, we make 35,000 decisions each day. Assuming you spend 7 hours sleeping, that’s roughly 2,000 decisions per hour. Decision fatigue describes how our decision-making gets worse throughout the day, as we make additional choices, and our cognitive abilities get worn out. Eventually, the brain looks for shortcuts to overcome decision fatigue, leading to poor decision-making – like ordering takeout when you have a fridge full of food. So apart from overspending on takeaways, what impact does decision fatigue have on our finances?
“I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” — Barack Obama, former US president
It goes without saying that deferring financial decisions is not the best way to build a secure financial future. Ultimately, the later you make a decision, the more time your debt has to grow and the less time your investments have to increase in value. But it’s human instinct to avoid what can be deemed as too big or complicated decisions. So, in the interest of making life easier for us all, here are four funds that do the decision-making for you.
Who says you have to choose? Marlborough Multi-Cap Growth takes an unconstrained approach, investing in small, medium and large UK companies. The fund currently leans toward medium-sized firms with 42%* of the portfolio in this area of the market, followed by 20%* in small caps, 18%* large caps and just under 14%* in mega caps.
Latin America? Europe? Asia? Murray International Investment Trust invests in them all. With the ability to hold equities, as well as some bonds, manager Bruce Stout can invest anywhere in the world – and in any sector – making this a genuinely international portfolio. Within equities he currently has almost 29%* in Asia, 26%* in North America, 17%* in Europe, 12%* in Latin America and emerging markets and 5%* in the UK. Bond investments are from such places as South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico and the Dominican Republic*.
Sanlam Enterprise is a long/short fund meaning it can make money when share prices rise and when they fall. The managers use a wide range of trusted sources to identify investment themes and stock ideas. Their shorts are genuine sources of ideas and not simply used to ‘hedge their bets’. This is reasonably rare and obviously a huge plus for this fund.
With inflation proving sticky and interest rates possibly rising, equities seem the clear winner as we head into 2022. But with some stock markets at record highs, there are also question marks as to whether their good fortunes can continue. Instead of choosing between the two, you could look for a multi-asset fund that invests in both – as well as other assets. One example is the Liontrust Sustainable Future Managed fund, which invests across a broad range of asset classes in companies with a sustainable edge. Actively monitoring and rebalancing the fund daily is a crucial part of the process.
*Source: fund factsheet, 30 September 2021