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Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Psychological Edge Hardcover – January 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“David Dreman is known on Wall Street as a contrarian, a label that fails to appreciate his deep knowledge of the market and research into investor psychology. In Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Psychological Edge Dreman lays bare the deficiencies of the efficient market hypothesis, the investment rationale that states stock prices incorporate all known information. He also provides decades worth of data to show the woeful inaccuracy of analysts' forecasts. With the knowledge that the Street is marching to a flawed drumbeat, Dreman offers advice on how to react when markets misprice assets. Dreman has made a career of leaning heavily against the prevailing wind and for the most part, been highly successful. For those wary of following the herd, Dreman's thinking is revealing.” –Hebert Lash, Correspondent, Reuters

About the Author

David Dreman is the founder and chairman of Dreman Value Management L.L.C. in New York Red Bank, New Jersey, a firm which currently manages over 4 billion dollars of individual and institutional funds.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743297962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743297967
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By AdamSmythe on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a substantial, well-organized work by one the pioneers in what is today called behavioral finance/investing. As he has been doing since the late 1970s, author David Dreman states his case that the academically-popular Efficient Market Hypothesis (sometimes oversimplified as the "random walk theory") doesn't adequately recognize or account for the fact that psychology plays an important part in investment decisions. To help make his points, Dreman guides the reader through major investment bubbles and panics, starting back with Holland's tulip bubble in the 1630s and progressing through the more recent real estate bubble. (Some of the important aspects of volatile markets have remained quite similar over the centuries. The reason, according to Dreman, is that while the investing environment may have changed over the years, human psychology hasn't changed nearly as much.) Dreman makes his arguments, backs them up with lots of data and discussion, and offers his views on how to (1) make volatile investment environments seem less scary, and (2) take advantage of the opportunities that develop in volatile times. You don't need degrees in finance, business, economics or psychology to enjoy this book. It is written for the intelligent lay reader, and my guess is that most people with an interest in investing will find it very readable.

This is Dreman's fifth book on investing (see below), and given the similarity of titles I wondered just how different this book would be from the earlier versions. Here's a list of his works:

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51 of 60 people found the following review helpful By words on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was very disappointed with this book. I work professionally in the investment industry and have my whole life, and have read dozens of books about investing, but rarely has one let me down like this one. And the reason is very simple: Dreman seems to have forgotten who this book was written FOR. It is the reader who spends their money and their time on this book, and it is the reader who should be rewarded for this. Such is not the case. At least 80% of this book is dedicated to Dreman arguing with his nameless critics, or the "academics" and EMH proponents who just aren't smart enough to see things his way. Obviously, anyone reading a book like this is interested in investing strategies--in picking up insights that help them invest successfully and perhaps even beat the market. I really didn't need to spend several hundred pages hearing about why EMH hypothesis is wrong. Anyone who picks up this book probably feels this way already, and doesn't need more than a page or two of reminding. The subject is dealt with successfully (and briefly) in other investment books, by Klarman, Greenblatt, Greenwald, etc, but NONE of those authors wasted as much time as Dreman does on it. It seems that Dreman feels himself slighted by the academic community, and he uses this book to beat that point into the ground. If this had been titled "Why the Academics Are Wrong, in 500 Pages", I personally would have saved my money and my time. The publishers should be ashamed of themselves on this one. In the end, I learned nothing here, and felt cheated by the book. I have to give this one star, and feel compelled to warn other readers that there is very little of value in this book. I hope you will save your money.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Behavioral Investors on February 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read and enjoyed his 1997 "Contrarian Investment Strategies - The Next Generation", I was pleased to see this comprehensive updated edition by longtime contrarian value investor David Dreman. By and large the content of the book is entirely new; encompassing a brief discussion of research findings in behavioral finance and their relevance to value investing, a fairly devastating critique of the widely-used conventional concepts of risk and return embodied in the efficient market hypothesis (EMH), and a thorough (though not enitrely novel) review of the significant long-term outperformance of several basic value investing strategies.


Readers who have followed behavioral economics may find his descriptions occasionally a little stilted, but in general Dreman provides a useful summary of several basic findings on human behavioral biases and heuristics in financial decision-making, and how these create opportunities for value investors to outperform significantly over the long term. As I think most of its practitioners would agree, at its core behavioral investing is essentially value investing: an attempt to avoid and reverse the systematically poor performance of the majority of mainstream investors by avoiding biases through an explicit focus on objective measures of business value.

As a neurologist, I was particularly interested by Dreman's mention of the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in expectation and reward.
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