The Problem with Confirmation Bias

Eagle Wealth Management |

Have you ever thought about how you make the choices that shape your life?  Whether it’s a new home purchase, a career change, or shift in financial priorities — it matters how we get to the final results.  Humans make decisions first and then do their research, and that's backward. 

Here’s a common thought process that doesn’t always serve us. 

  1. Have an idea.
  2. “Somebody Smart” questions the idea.
  3. Call a friend.
  4. A friend tells us it’s a good idea.
  5. “See, it’s a great idea!”
  6. Carry out the great idea.
  7. The great idea often turns out to be a bad idea.
  8. Oh well, it was fun anyway.
  9. “Somebody Smart” rolls their eyes.
  10. Aaaand… repeat.

Academics have a name for this behavior: it’s called Confirmation Bias.  You’ve probably heard of it.  It’s the process of making a decision before we do our research. Not only do we put the cart before the horse, but when we actually get around to doing our “research,” it just consists of gathering evidence that supports what we’ve already decided and dismisses anything we don't agree with.

We all do this.  And it’s an incredibly difficult habit to break.  But that’s not to say impossible.

There is one way we’ve found to circumvent this behavior.  Let’s call it the Confirmation Bias Prevention Program.  Here’s how it works.

  1. Find someone who disagrees with a decision you’re about to make.
  2. Ask them why they disagree with you.
  3. Carefully listen to what they have to say.  Listen, as Stephen R. Covey says, “with the goal to understand, not to be understood.”
  4. Continue listening until you can honestly say, “I now understand why you believe that.”

That’s it, it’s that simple.  This doesn’t guarantee you won’t do the thing you want to do… but that’s not the point.  The point is to carefully and thoughtfully analyze the pros and cons of a decision so you can make it in an unbiased way.  The Confirmation Bias Prevention Program is a great step in that direction.

If you’re facing some big decisions remember to use your Eagle Wealth team as a sounding board.  We’re here to help offer new perspectives and creative solutions, or just help you talk about what it is you really want. 

Happy Monday,

Your Eagle Wealth Team


Eagle Wealth Pole Peddle Paddle Team Reunites


Our team has been dusting off their running shoes, bicycles, skis, and kayaks — so that must mean it’s Pole Peddle Paddle season!  Last year we had such a blast competing together and made so many memories.  We were proud to finish 5th overall in the business division and we’re looking forward to beating our time this year.    

This multisport 6-leg relay race attracts thousands of participants and stretches from the slopes of Mt. Bachelor to the Old Mill District.  The event is the biggest fundraiser for Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation (MBSEF).  Every year MBSEF supports over 600 young athletes in achieving their individual athletic, academic, and personal goals. 

Keep a lookout for our Eagle Wealth team members at the following race legs.

  • Downhill ski – Hung Quan
  • Skate ski – Mat Hunnicutt
  • Bike – Matt Hobson
  • Run – Ian Laimbeer
  • Paddle – Brody Faltermeyer
  • Sprint – Chad Staskal

This year the race finishes at the west side event grass area in the Old Mill District, across the footbridge from the shops. There will be food vendors, music, and booths for spectators of the PPP participants. If you’re there, come cheer us on and say hello after the race (text us at 541-330-0220 and we’ll send you our location)!



The Week on Wall Street

A Friday rebound, triggered by a big tech company’s earnings beat and a strong jobs report, shaved much of the week’s accumulated losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.24%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.80%. The Nasdaq Composite Index was flat (+0.07%) for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.62%.1,2,3

Stocks See-Saw

Renewed regional bank concerns weighed on investor sentiment last week, despite the rescue of a troubled bank before the start of the trading week.

But worries were not isolated to regional banks. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen commented that the federal government may hit its debt ceiling earlier than expected, heightened investor jitters over a potential technical default. The stock market also slipped in the wake of the latest rate hike decision by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Solid earnings from one mega-cap tech firm and a strong employment report steadied investors, resulting in a Friday bounce that ended a volatile week on a positive note. 

Fed Hikes Rates

Amid concerns in the regional bank sector and tightening credit conditions, the Fed elected to increase interest rates by 0.25%, citing elevated inflation and robust job gains. Investors were more focused, however, on what the Fed signaled about its plans since the expected rate hike.

The Fed indicated it may pause further rate hikes, suggesting that future decisions will be based on economic data and prevailing financial conditions. Following the announcement, interest rate traders assigned an 89% probability that rates would remain unchanged following the next meeting of the FOMC in June.4, 5



Wednesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Thursday:  Producer Price Index (PPI). Jobless Claims.
Friday:  Consumer Sentiment.


Source: Econoday, May 5, 2023
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.


Monday:  PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL), Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (SWKS), KKR & Co., Inc. (KKR)
Tuesday:  Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD)
Wednesday:  Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

Source: Zacks, May 5, 2023
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

Disclosures and Footnotes

Any companies mentioned are for informational purposes only, and this should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of their securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance.

1. The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2023
2. The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2023
4. The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2023.
5., May 3, 2023

Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

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Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2022 FMG Suite.