behavioral finance

Definition

A theory stating that there are important psychological and behavioral variables involved in investing in the stock market that provide opportunities for smart investors to profit. For example, when a certain stock or sector becomes "hot" and prices increase substantially without a change in the company's fundamentals, behavioral finance theorists would attribute this to mass psychology. They therefore might short the stock in the long term, believing that eventually the psychological bubble will burst and they will profit.

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beginning market value (BMV) Efficient Market Theory