Season 3 Episode 23:
The best and worst of times to be an investor with Joe Wiggins

Our viewpoint

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This week we’re joined by investment author and Director of Liquid Markets at St James Place, Joe Wiggins. Joe is a former fund manager who has written extensively on many of the prevalent and underappreciated behavioural risks in investing.

We discuss some of Joe’s recent work including why investors should ignore macro forecast, why setting beliefs out is one of the more useful things an investor can do, and how improvements in cost, transparency and choice can seem good but come with underappreciated behavioural costs.

Links mentioned:

We discuss:

  • Reflections on why it’s both the best and worst time to be an investor 
  • One of Joe’s recent blogs was on investment beliefs, we reflect on why they are so important? And what do we often get wrong about them? 
  • Why investors would be well advised to steer clear of macro forecasts 
  • In what ways is the investment industry helpfully/unhelpfully set up to navigate common behavioural bias pitfalls 
  • It's often easy to lay out the problems and challenges of psychological biases but much harder to lay out solutions, we discuss what Joe has seen work? 
  • If there is an ideal “behavioural investment” product, and if so what would it look like? 
  • Joe recently wrote about complexity, why is complexity so common in the investment industry and why is it so sticky? 
  • What Joe is most looking out for over the next 12 months? 

What's one thing to take away

Think more about behaviour – the decisions we make and why we make them matter more than anything else. Being a good decision maker is hard. Stimulus and stories can influence us to make bad choices. A big part of being a successful investor is how you deal with those behavioural issues.

The most underappreciated thing about investing?

Doing nothing is incredibly powerful, not lazy or negligent. Far too much value is placed on activity and the industry perpetuates that.


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