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The Art of Contrary Thinking Paperback – January 1, 1954
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About the Author
After a decade of apprenticeship with such organizations as the Brookmire Economic Service, Humphrey Neill established himself as a business writer whose lively, human approach to a "dusty" facts-and-figures science brought him nationwide attention. His many published books include Tape Reading and Market Tactics (1931), Understanding American Business (1939), and The Inside Story of the Stock Exchange (1950).
Throughout his active business life Humphrey B. Neill observed, researched, and recorded data from which he developed the theory of Contrary Opinion.
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Neill also cites past writers who analyzed the behavior of man, and how he gets caught up in the "herd". While sometimes getting off the subject, Mr. Neill lays out a clear framwork of how one assesses what the "popular" opinion is, and how to teach yourself not to get caught up in the herd and to think independantly.
A highly recommended book for those who wish to understand how contrary minds think, or for those who need a "refresher" (getting your mind out of a rut according to Neill).
When you look at al of the current investment books out in print, how many do you think will still be selling 40 years from now? Of course, back then, the publishing world was selective. Today, it focuses on publishing books about investing by big name preachers and sports legends or psychopaths with useless TV shows because they know people will buy them.
If you cannot appreciate this book then you have a very long way to go towards becoming a good investor. And if you are a good investor, this book is just another step towards your progression into a great investor.
But the genius of this book lies within the valuable insights and nuggets of wisdom spread out randomly within. That said, some essays are of questionable relevance or downright archaic. But many are golden and relate to all generations. If you have ever REALLY put some skin-in-the-game, you'll relate to his views on patience, risk, and learning to think from both sides of the coin. Find these easter eggs and you will become a better investor.
The book is inexpensive and a must-buy for anyone seeking to invest their own money.
However, this is not your typical book as it really is not a book at all but a collection of prior essays by the author. Mr. Neill published the "Neill's Letters of Contrary Opinion" beginning in 1947 until his death in 1977. Many of these letters/essays later became the book which was originally published in 1954, though updated in later editions. As such, since this is a compilation of letters/essays there is some overlap in the essays as they are written in different years. The author also published another book on technical analysis called "Tape Reading" which confuses some folks as this book has very little to do with technical analysis, if any. The main theme is stated very clearly in the first few pages as "Human behavior is fully as important as, if not more important than, statistical behavior." So on my second reading reflection, this book really is about historical market behavior with many references to other books which would now be classified under the Behavioral Finance heading.
As Warren Buffett's sidekick Charlie Munger is want to say, and to paraphrase, "if you want to be a good investor you must read extensively and know your history." This book is as much about history as it is about the observations of human nature and crowd psychology. All told, The Art of Contrary Thinking may not have made me any money, but it kept me from losing a significant amount over the years. So with that background, this book comes highly recommended for any investment library shelf.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic for all of you economists and a hard to find book. Thanks for a smooth transaction.Published 2 months ago by Eddie
As a thinker owning a Mensa card I admire and appreciate contrary consideration of ideas, attitudes, notions and policies.Published 3 months ago by Robert L Bennett
Don't invest or work in the investment biz unless you read this book, and carry it with you everywhere!!Published 9 months ago by Mark
This book will have you looking at things in a completely different way. After reading it, you wont always assume something just happened. You will wonder why it happened. Read morePublished 18 months ago by David M. Baldwin
This is a really good read illustrating the madness of crowds and the virtues of contrarian thinking. Read morePublished on January 25, 2014 by Marc
An excellent and easily readable book on contrary thinking and how to train yourself to think in a contrary manner. Read morePublished on April 21, 2012 by Kindle Customer
This book is a great work in so many ways. Neill lays out a formula for thinking, decision-making, understanding demographic reaction, leveraging value, and predicting the future... Read morePublished on February 26, 2012 by David Mackley