Annoying Decision Fatigue

Recently, I was listening to a podcast on the subject of decision fatigue.  Decision fatigue is when one decision creates more decisions.  Many times the decision fatigue is created by too many choices. 

A good example of decision fatigue as provided in the discussion I listened to was a restaurant menu with too many choices.  All I could think of when hearing this was the Cheesecake Factory.  Cheesecake Factory’s menu is in the form of a book, since it has so many different choices.  If you don’t know what you want to eat before you sit down to eat at the Cheesecake Factory the menu can be overwhelming.

Cheesecake Factory or In and Out Decision Fatigue

The opposite of the Cheesecake Factory would be something such as In and Out Burger. In and Out Burger only gives the patron a few choices, so the ordering is quick, and the decisions are simple.  Both restaurant’s styles have survived for long periods of time, yet the simplicity of In and Out burger has kept it growing and at the forefront of it’s competition in a competitive business for years.

When it comes to investing too many decisions can be detrimental, and decision fatigue will create frustration.  Whereas those within investing that have figured out how to limit their decision choices may find the process more enjoyable.  It’s the getting to what matters the most for each investor that can take years to master.  Buffett and Munger come to mind as an example as they wait for an opportunity that they can hold forever.   They’ve narrowed their process down to a few characteristics that work for them.


There are a great many statistics that can be formulated when analyzing an investment of any type.  Financial metrics, ratios, business characteristics, personnel, locations, industries, and outside opinions can overwhelm an investor.  Being able to narrow your analytical choices to only a few, and remaining constant with those systematic choices can make the process and performance better much like In and Out Burger’s success.  There’s a lot to be said for simplicity and routine within investing as it minimizes decision fatigue.

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