The fourth annual, San Francisco

 Behavioral Finance Symposium

  November 5, 2016

 Hosted by:
Golden Gate University



About the Symposium

   The San Francisco Behavioral Finance Symposium is a unique, full-day educational event conceived and produced by faculty members from Golden Gate University, UC Berkeley Extension, and University of San Francisco in partnership with professional organizations representing the financial community. It is graciously hosted by GGU at their downtown SF campus.

   The event represents an educational forum where financial professionals
, investors, industry experts, authors, researchers, students and teachers all come together to share and advance their knowledge of behavioral finance and to learn how principles of behavioral finance are being applied in the real world.
It is also seen as a way to showcase the body of expertise at Bay area universities and to foster more collaboration between academia and industry professionals.
To retain its objectivity, the event is  supported entirely by registration fees and non-profit organizations, and does not accept sponsorship from commercial interests.

   See details, prices, and the speaker list below.



Ludwig Chincarini, PhD, CFA
Professor, USF
Crowding as a Result of Commonality in Investment Strategies
Professor Chincarini will present material from his latest paper and his book The Crisis of Crowding. In particular, his latest research examines crowding due to the prevalence of similar investment models utilized by institutional money managers.
Stephen Duneier
CEO, Bija Advisors
Better Decisions, Better Results
For decades, an army of self-help gurus and fitness trainers, books and seminars, gyms and high tech equipment have been unleashed with the aim of making our society healthier and more fit, yet the trend continues unabated in the opposite direction. The same can be said for the returns of investment managers, in spite of the vast array of performance coaches, trading psychologists, experts, analysts, books, talks, and trading tools on offer. While decision makers are better informed than ever, the decision making process has yet to evolve. In his talk, Stephen will explain why intelligence, education, experience and success fail to grant us immunity from decision-related mistakes, and what marginal adjustments can be made to trigger an evolutionary leap forward.
David Freedman
Author and Journalist
Confronting the Growing Impact of Public Misinformation
The public tends to end up holding mistaken and even potentially self-damaging beliefs about finance, as well as about health, diet, parenting, education, and many other important domains. These beliefs typically directly contradict the reasoned advice of a strong consensus of highly credentialed experts armed with oceans of evidence. Why do most people find it so easy to flout solid expert opinion? Where do the dubious claims the public adopt come from, and why is it so hard to shake people of these beliefs? Are experts simply communicating poorly, or are there deeper problems with expertise? Most important, what can be done to get the public back on track?
Daniel Crosby, PhD
President, Nocturne Capital
What Freud can Teach Warren Buffett
Figures show that 83% of actively managed funds have under performed their passive counterparts over the past decade, but much of that under performance owes to the failure of fund managers to incorporate behavioral science into their discipline. In this engaging presentation, Dr. Daniel Crosby of Nocturne Capital will provide simple and actionable steps for blending behavioral finance and asset management.
Susan Menke, PhD
Abintra Research
Is Behavioral Finance Western-Centric? What does that mean for American investors?
Almost all of the research in behavioral finance has come from the western world, i.e. Europe and the U.S.  It would stand to reason then, that the psychological underpinnings of behavioral science may not be as applicable in countries with differing worldviews.  Those things that Americans both assume – and assume “away” – may be quite different in other parts of the globe. Knowing and accounting for these differences can be quite important to investment analysts and investors focused on the international arena.  For example:
  • How do people think about money and investing in other cultures?
  • How does that impact their investment decision making?
  • Do they think about “rationality” in the same way we do?
  • What tools do they use to make those decisions? For instance, are commonly used techniques for technical analysis of financial markets the same or different? What does that mean?
  • What tools can we use to assess and account for those differences?
  • How will these differences impact international fund managers and investors?
This presentation will draw from a number of different fields of study including economics, game theory, anthropology, international psychology and finance, to examine how a more international perspective can add greater depth to our understanding of investment behavior.
Thomas Oberlechner, PhD
Founder, FinPsy
Market Metaphors -- How the Unconscious Shapes Financial Decision-Making
In this presentation, Thomas will talk about findings of his own research with hundreds of traders at some of the world’s largest trading floors, and the powerful behavioral drivers of trading decisions. He will show how financial decisions and methods to predict markets are informed by implicit mental structures. These mental structures hold condensed psychological meanings of what financial markets are about. They usually operate below the threshold of conscious awareness.

At the center of these unconscious structures are metaphors that indicate underlying patterns of thinking and perceiving. Examples of market metaphors include the market as a war, as gambling, as a machine, and as a living being. Traders’ market metaphors correlate with the methods they use for financial predictions (for example, chartist forecasting approaches). Moreover, they correlate with how financial decisions are made, and the mechanisms used to generate trading profits.
Market metaphors provide deep insight into various “rationalities” of how market participants actually make decisions. Advanced psychometric methods can help determine individuals’ unconscious behavioral attitudes and perceptions. This opens the door to a new era in behavioral finance that systematically considers the behavioral differences between decision makers.

Richard Lehman
Adjunct Prof., UC Berkeley and GGU
Andrew Menaker, PhD

Behavioral Consultant

Dan Crosby, PhD

Susan Menke, PhD
Abintra Research

Rich Friesen
CEO, Mind Muscles

Wrestling With the Human Mind: Do We Fight, Flee, or Embrace our Behavioral Flaws? (Panel discussion)
Experts in cognitive science are frequently called upon by traders, institutional analysts, portfolio managers and a wide array of financial professionals to help them identify and respond to specific behavioral biases and related issues. What advice do they offer? How do experts assess behavioral problems, cognitive bias, and heuristics? What tools can investment professionals employ to respond to such inherent interference in their process? And, how can professionals achieve better performance through behavioral analysis?


Rick Lehman will explore these questions with the panelists as well as others submitted by the audience. This is your chance to tap into the intellect and experience of four experts whose sole occupation is helping financial professionals address such behavioral challenges.


Date:       Saturday, November 5th
Time:       8am - 3:30pm
Location: Golden Gate University
Mission St, San Francisco

 General Admission  $275
 Partner Admission*  $175
 Full-time GGU/UCB/USF students*
 $  25
(Includes breakfast and lunch)

*Registration code required. Partner organizations are listed here and schools include USF, UCB, and GGU. Contact your organization or e-mail us for the code to use when registering for partner or student admission. Student registrations are limited.

Approved CE credits: CIMA - 6; CMT - 5;
FPA - 7 ; CFA - 7
Corporate discounts are available for 5+ employees
 (contact us for details)

Click here to register

Hotel : A
group rate of $199+ is available at W Hotel at 181 Third Street in SF. Reserve online here, or call 415-777-5300. )


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