Investing is like steering a ship through both calm and stormy seas. When we talk about permanent loss in a well-diversified portfolio, we’re essentially discussing the impact of our human decisions on our financial journey. Instead of seeing it as a big problem, let’s break down how our actions, both smart and not-so-smart, can lead to losses even in a well-diversified plan.

Human Achievements We Don't Want                                        

Picture your investments as a team of superheroes, each with a unique role. This team is your well-diversified portfolio, carefully put together by you. However, the decisions you make, based on your emotions, overconfidence, and sometimes just not knowing enough, can lead to losses.


One major culprit is emotions. When the financial world gets a bit crazy, feelings like fear or greed can make us act impulsively. We might sell investments when we shouldn’t or hold onto ones that are losing value. These emotional reactions, guided by human feelings, contribute to permanent losses.

Human Achievements We Don't Want

Overconfidence is another sneaky villain. We might think we’re invincible because our investments are spread out. But this confidence can make us less cautious, leading to unexpected losses.

Trying to time the market is yet another challenge. Predicting the perfect time to buy or sell is like trying to predict the weather – it’s tough. Following trends or reacting to short-term changes, driven by human instincts, can result in permanent losses.

Then there’s the need to keep learning. The financial world is complex, and not fully understanding it can lead to mistakes. It’s up to us to stay informed and adapt to the ever-changing market.

So, permanent loss in a well-diversified portfolio isn’t a flaw in the plan itself. It’s more about how our human decisions, influenced by emotions, overconfidence, and the complexities of finance, can sometimes lead to losses.


In simpler terms, it’s like being the captain of a ship. Sometimes, even with the best crew and plans, the sea gets rough, and we must navigate carefully. By understanding how our decisions impact our financial journey, we can steer towards smoother waters and continue working towards our goals. It’s all about learning, adapting, and making our financial adventure less stormy.


Dirk Groeneveld, Certified Financial Plannert. 

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