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The Behavioural Finance and Accounting Research Group (BFA) was founded in 2017 with the aim to encourage and attract research on cognitive and economic decision-making pertaining to financial markets and the preparation and interpretation of financial statements. The Group prides itself on collaborative research between academics and students across the globe. A key aspect of BFA is applying behaviour research to real world contexts by taking social and psychological theory on decision making and assessing its validity in organisational and individual financial decision making. 

The members of BFA welcome interest from academics who are wanting to pursue collaborative research or potential PhD candidates in the fields of Behavioural Finance or Behavioural Accounting. 


Below is a list of recent publications produced by BFA members:

  • Richards, D.W.; Willows, G.D. (2017). Who Trades Profusely? The Characteristics of Frequent Trading Individual Investors. Global Finance Journal. Forthcoming. Available at

Research has shown that investors trade too frequently, and that this overtrading lowers investment return. This paper examines the characteristics of investors who trade frequently. Multivariable regression analysis of over three years of trading data from 7200 UK investors enabled identification of numerous characteristics significantly and positively associated with frequent trading. These were male gender, younger age, use of stop losses and use of multiple mediums of trading, including the internet, the telephone and an advice team. In addition, the research revealed that trading frequency is positively skewed, in that a small proportion of investors are responsible for the majority of the trading with the highest cumulative value. The results are of practical value to policy makers that want to reduce investors' trading frequency because they outline that a small minority of investors need be targeted.

The disposition effect is an investment bias where investors hold stocks at a loss longer than stocks at a gain. This bias is associated with poorer investment performance and exhibited to a greater extent by investors with less experience and less sophistication. A method of managing susceptibility to the bias is through use of stop losses. Using the trading records of UK stock market individual investors from 2006 to 2009, this paper shows that stop losses used as part of investment decisions are an effective tool for inoculating against the disposition effect. We also show that investors who use stop losses have less experience and that, when not using stop losses, these investors are more reluctant to realise losses than other investors.

Current research projects

Below is a brief listing of current research projects being undertaken by BFA members:

  • Trading volatility on different days of the week and times of the day
  • Disposition effect amongst traders on the ALSI
  • Dual Process Theory and Emotion Regulation as predictors of the Disposition Effect
  • Diversification bias and concentration of risk by fund managers
  • A taxing incentive? A comparison of retirement saving using discretionary investment and Regulation 28 in a Life-Cycle model
  • The extent to which professional advice can reduce the disposition effect: An emerging market study
  • Share price reaction to financial and integrated reports
  • Determinants of retirement savings sufficiency



Dr Gizelle D. Willows

College of Accounting, The University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa -


Dr Daniel W. Richards

School of Accounting, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia -