Daniel Crosby ('08)

Behavioral Finance

Daniel CrosbyDaniel Crosby, counseling psychology alumnus, has found his place in behavioral finance. He is coauthor of a New York Times best seller, has been named one of the “12 Thinkers to Watch” by Monster.com, labeled a “Financial Blogger You Should Be Reading” by AARP, and placed in the “Top 40 Under 40” by InvestmentNews.

Crosby has shared research, findings, and experiences in TEDx talks and dozens of industry conferences each year and has authored three books and coauthored a fourth. The book he coauthored with Charles Widger, Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management, is a New York Times best seller. His latest book, The Laws of Wealth: Psychology and the Secret to Investing Success, was recently named the best investment book of 2016 and is currently being translated into other languages.

“My professional success is partially a function of luck, but the part that is in my power owes to thinking expansively about what I could do with my degree,” Crosby said. “Far too often students fall into easy paths when considering how to market themselves and use their degree.”

Crosby earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2003 and then returned to BYU and earned a doctorate in counseling psychology in 2008 from the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education. He also studied at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in a postdoctoral internship.

Crosby’s professional career began as an organizational psychologist. In this role he primarily conducted preemployment psychological assessments of potential bankers. He administered half-day exams that included lengthy interviews, IQ tests, and assessments of the congruence between a candidate’s personality and the requirements of the job.

It was while he was working with bankers that he learned of a field called behavioral finance—the intersection of investment management and psychology. As the son of a financial advisor, he was intrigued with this field and set out to learn more about it. He immediately knew he had found his calling.

“I see financial markets as a giant inkblot test against which the collective fear, greed, and exuberance of the masses play out. Nothing could be more fascinating,” said Crosby.

Now well into his behavioral financial career, he is the founder and president of Nocturne Capital, where he does original research on stock market sentiment. He is not only a psychologist but also a behavioral finance expert and asset manager.

“Managing money is more about controlling personal biases and thinking critically than anything else,” said Crosby.

He discovered that the concepts he learned in the counseling psychology program are transferable to other fields. While in the program, he learned to let go of defensiveness, question his assumptions, and make hard choices—all of which are directly applicable to work he is engaged in today. He said, “I hope that I am proof that taking a nontraditional path can be rewarding.”

Crosby and his wife, Karina, live in Alpharetta, Georgia, with their three children.