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Moods and Markets: A New Way to Invest in Good Times and in Bad (Minyanville Media) [Kindle Edition]

Peter Atwater
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Leading consultant and Minyanville contributor Peter Atwater has helped institutional investors, corporations and policymakers map changing social moods to emerging market shifts, and use that knowledge to identify huge new market opportunities.  Now, Atwater shows you how to use the same powerful Horizon PreferenceTM approach to select your own high-performance investments.   Utilizing what is often in plain sight, but overlooked and underestimated, Horizon Preference helps you understand how we narrow our physical, time and relationship horizons to the "local" in bad times, and widen them to the "global" in better times – and then translate that knowledge into better investment decisions.  Atwater’s Moods and Markets offers powerful new insights into everything from market bubbles to the real challenges of making mergers work… why "farm to table" and "locavore" movements are booming now, and what’s likely to happen next… why Americans now want to rent homes even though it’s become far more affordable to buy them… why the "Arab Spring" is bullish, and higher education is in deep trouble… which businesses prosper in a downturn, which prosper most in an upturn – and why. This book will be an invaluable resource for every serious investor, trader, and money manager.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“Behavioral investing is the next frontier.”

–Joshua Steiner, Managing Director, Hedgeye Risk Management


“A thought-provoking piece that is a ‘must read’ for investors of all types.”

–Randy Johanneck, former Chief Risk Officer, J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management


“Moods and Markets gives you a great view into the window of investing psychology that few possess.”

–Branden Rife, Head of West Coast Trading, Concept Capital Markets


“An invaluable guide to what promises to be a very difficult and turbulent period ahead.”

–Sherle R. Schwenninger, Director, Economic Growth Program, New America Foundation


“This book resets your worldview.”

–Michael Powell, President and CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and former Chairman, FCC


“Behavioral finance meets industry practitioner.”

–Keith R. McCullough, Chief Executive Officer, Hedgeye Risk Management


“A very useful guide to investors who are looking for an edge to enhance their portfolio returns.”

–Smita Sadana, Founder, Sunrise Capital Management LLC


“This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’ as we prepare ourselves with a forward and proactive lens.”

–Todd Harrison, Founder and CEO, Minyanville Media, Inc.


“I can see Moods and Markets on the nightstands of big thinkers around the world.”

–Bernard Del Rey, CEO, Capital Position Ventures, and former Global Head of Marketing, Morgan Stanley Investment Management


“This book will challenge everything you thought you knew about investing. And you will be better for it.”

–Stephanie Pomboy, President, MacroMavens, LLC


“This book breaks new ground and offers a better chance of understanding the complex concept of mood.”

–Rob Roy, Chief Investment Officer, Cain Brothers Asset Management


Peter Atwater has used his exclusive “Horizon Preference” approach to help top asset managers, major endowments, and hedge funds map changes in social moods to shifts in the markets and to identify huge new market opportunities. Now, he shows serious investors how to use the same powerful techniques these top global investors already rely on.


Building on insights from Elliott Wave Theory and Robert Prechter’s work in socionomics, Moods and Markets shows how we naturally narrow our physical, time, and relationship horizons to the “local” in bad times and widen them to the “global” in better times. Atwater’s easy-to-understand framework helps investors quickly identify the direction of social mood and the markets using readily available, but frequently overlooked, clues from the world around us. To Atwater there is no coincidence to the Occupy Wall Street movement, The Hunger Games, Downton Abbey, farm-to-table dining, and the rise of Facebook with our volatile stock markets today. Moods and Markets explains why.


Through numerous recent real-life examples, readers will gain deeper insights into short- and long-term investment trends in virtually every key market sector. Along the way, Atwater helps you to identify the consistent mood-based characteristics of market turning points that don’t show up in conventional analysis–and that can disastrously impact your portfolio if you miss them.


Moods and Markets explains:

• The difference between mood and emotion–and why mood matters more

• How to use mood to identify significant market tops and bottoms

• How changing moods drive public sector decisions that impact your portfolio

• Today’s market mood and where we may be headed–and how to decide for yourself

About the Author

Peter Atwater is President of Financial Insyghts, a consulting firm providing advice to institutional investors, major corporations, and global policymakers on how social mood affects decision making, the economy, and the markets. A pioneer in securitization and a long-time financial services executive, through Moods and Markets, Peter brings his innovative social mood-based thinking to the world of investing. A regular contributor to Minyanville, Peter’s work on social mood and decision making has been featured in The Socionomist, Time Magazine, and The Financial Times.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5020 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (July 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J8RCTW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Book September 8, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of the greatest investors of all times was John Templeton who said to buy at the point of "maximum pessimism." I have been looking for books that explain how to do this, or at least make an attempt. This is such a book.

The author's way of assessing the degree of optimism or pessimism is a major topic, theme, and subject of this book called "Socionomics" which is defined on page 5, as "the study of how changes in social mood motivate and affect social actions and our behavior, not just in the financial markets, but across the economy, in politics and even in popular culture." The author gives specific suggestions how to monitor social mood, e.g. Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index or the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index, however the book states the problem with these are that they tend to be a lagging indicator.

As an important example of how mood can affect behavior the author states that mood can affect accounting practices with bull markets leading managers to apply optimistic/aggressive accounting rules generating higher levels or earnings with less scrutiny than with bear markets having the opposite affect.

A very interesting example of the author's thinking is chapter 5, "Is Higher Education a Bubble?" with the observation of excessive credit/debt (by students) in that sector. Since much of that sector is non-profit, I am not exactly sure how the investor would benefit from this bubble, and it may be too late to short the for profit eduction stocks. More comments on how to play this observation from an investment standpoint would seem in order. Perhaps from a practical standpoint, do not aspire to become a college professor. I still like the chapter because of the specific analysis on this sector.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another shot at "the mind of the market" August 20, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Every technical stock market analyst finds a plausible narrative in his charts. Peter Atwater's narrative is what he calls the "Horizon Preference" graph, a measure of confidence in one's ability to predict the future. That is what he means by "mood" in the title.

His starting proposition is that mood determines markets, rather than the more conventional view that markets determine mood. Certitude comes at the extremes: at the peak of a boom, everyone is certain he knows the future; at the depth of a trough, everyone is certain he cannot know the future. It is at these extremes that the market turns.

He puts forth a set of criteria to determine where we are on this graph. For booms, the markers are "Big Truths" ("houses are a risk-free investment;" "Western sovereign debt is the safest thing"); "Abdication of Risk Management" (relaxed lending criteria; inflated agency ratings); "Organizational Complexity" (mergers and acquisitions outside the core business); Architectural grandiosity ("McMansions", Citigroup Center); and Entry of Novices (the janitor trading derivatives). Troughs display the converse of the foregoing, with the added observation of "hoarding"--an attempt to hang onto the past--and "sacrificing" (ie, liquidating)--an attempt to create a new certainty for the future.

This approach gives Atwater "the ability to use real word indicators to see...what [is] happening technically in the market." He dismisses fundamental analysis as "missing the forest for the trees." His is, in other words, a market-timing strategy.

All of this is moderately interesting reading. But you have to believe in technical analysis to begin with if you are to really buy into it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Market Psychology 101 September 22, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is a good basic primer for new investors or traders explaining that it is the underlying mood of the market that determines the trend in prices not the fundamental company valuations. The author made some great points about how the price to earnings valuations contract and expand based on the prevailing mood surrounding the future not just factual growth prospects. He explained that at market tops the mood tends to be euphoric self assured certainty and at bottoms there is uncertainty about the future. He explains that magazine covers usually cover stories that are coming to an end with headlines that do a great job asking if bull markets will ever end close to the peaks and bears gracing their covers at market bottoms.

The problem is that this is not a book with an actionable plan to invest it is just a market psychology book. It just gives the reader signs to look for and it also makes some predictions that in my opinion have little chance of coming true, like single digit P/E ratios with the Federal Reserve quantitative easing interventions now a common place occurrence?

If you want to understand how investor mood drives the direction of stock prices then you will like this book, if you want a book about the nuts and bolts of making money in the stock market look elsewhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good information - a bit tedious to read November 7, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Okay, I was a bit torn on this review and frankly, it could have gone either way (up or down). As a college instructor and business writer, this is exactly the type of book I enjoy reading and enjoyable it was...sort of. The information is accessible, easy to read and substantial. Unlike some business books that scrimp on substance - this contains a lot of material.

Unfortunately, the author had a somewhat tedious writing style that interfered with the full enjoyment of the book itself. Honestly, I can't really put my finger one it because it wasn't difficult to read nor was it filled with is simply a personal preference.

So, aside from that, the book provides a short number of additional resources for those seeking more information as well as ample charts/graphs etc throughout. The information on social mood was superb as well as the background information and examples. The content felt fresh, relevant and up to date especially in regard to recent economic trends, "cooking the books" and other relevant topics of interest.

All in all, a good book and well worth the effort to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good deal
Published 5 months ago by Satisfied Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good for new investors ...
Published 5 months ago by Richard R Hutchinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional MUST READ
Wow!! This book is an enlightening read about the moods and emotions of the market and society as a whole which in the end is a large driving force in the markets. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ralph Taliercio
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas
This book poses some interesting ideas about why financials markets move up and down and how it is connected to the psychology of the general public. Read more
Published 9 months ago by bwilson
5.0 out of 5 stars good
It is very useful book. I learnd a lot of knowledge from this book. It is very nice. I love it.
Published 11 months ago by eric
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This was my first book on socionomics. It was an easy read with good examples. Will re-read the first few chapters just to engrain the core concepts. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Robert
3.0 out of 5 stars still reading...
Half way through. So good ideas to think about with the market. Just an extra reference. Will update when finish.
Published 17 months ago by ELBB
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative
Very informative and for the price can't complain. Got this ebook for free and I would say I will not pay RRP price for it.
Published 20 months ago by pnoybuyer
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting concept
I bought stocks and purchased options since 1987, but never paid any attention to the general mood of the market. What Mr Atwater explained here made sense. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea
This book is high quality. It presents the interesting idea that the moods of people affect the stock market, so watch moods to know how to invest. Read more
Published 20 months ago by D. Guilbeau
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More About the Author

Peter is the president of Financial Insyghts, a consulting firm that advises institutional investors, corporations and public policymakers on issues affecting the financial services industry and how social mood affects decision making and the markets.

After a successful career in financial services, including 13 years with JPMorgan and executive leadership roles at Bank One, Peter turned his attention to socionomics - how changes in social mood drive changes in our behavior. Today, through his firm, Financial Insyghts, he brings a practical understanding of the world of finance coupled with a keen awareness of human decision making.

Peter is the author of "Moods and Markets" (FTPress) which provides specific practical insights for investors on how changes in confidence drive the capital markets. Already, Peter's analysis has drawn significant media attention, including profiles by Gillian Tett in the Financial Times and Rana Foroohar in Time Magazine.


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