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What Investors Really Want: Know What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Smarter Financial Decisions Hardcover – November 16, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Meir Statman is the Glenn Klimek Professor of Finance at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, and Visiting Professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. His research on behavioral finance has been supported by the National Science Foundation, CFA Institute, and Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) and has been published in the Journal of Finance, Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Portfolio Management, and many other publications. A recipient of two IMCA Journal Awards, the Moskowitz Prize for Best Paper on Socially Responsible Investing, and three Graham and Dodd Awards, Statman consults with many investment companies and presents his work to academics and professionals in the U.S. and abroad.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (November 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071741658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071741651
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A terrific book by one of the founders of the field of behavioral finance! I have read many of Meir's research articles, and I thought that "What Investors Really Want" (WIRW) would be a presentation for the masses of the ideas and history of behavioral finance. But it is much more. There is a perspective here that transcends the academic research in the area, and provides a fresh, humorous, and engaging view of how our portfolios are more than just utilitarian objects, but that they have vast expressive and emotional roles in our lives. So this book is not just about investing and behavior, but about how the biases we portray in investing also pervade many other aspects of our lives. We may be better at managing biases in other areas of life, and may be worse at it with our portfolios. Or vice-versa, and Meir's research-driven portrayal of how our portfolios satisfy our many needs is a splendid primer on life! Far from being only a book for the masses, WIRW is thoroughly referenced, and I am sure that PhD students looking for a comprehensive reading on Behavioral Finance will get a deeply informed perspective. I found the bibliography in the book to be the most detailed one for the field---it is an added bonus. Most of all, I could not stop smiling as Meir poked fun at me (and all of us of the homo-miseconomicus tribe) as he explains what we really want as opposed to what we think we want.
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Format: Hardcover
Prof. Statman's book seamlessly combines investing, finance, behavioral and real life lessons, and the book is both educational and entertaining to read. It reminds us that investing is more than money and we should expect the benefits to be more than financial (utilitarian). It dispels some old illusions such as "we should use reason, not emotions, when we make investment decisions." He indicates that even though emotions complement reason more often than they interfere with it, the interaction between emotions and reason is mostly beneficial.

It is also sobering to know that being a retail trader is like playing tennis against an unknown professional player who holds both superior knowledge and better equipment/techniques.

Prof. Statman's research on the key role of financial advisors is very enlightening. Financial advisors main job is to manage investors financial well-being rather than manage just their investments.

Prof. Statman's research also shows why so many retail and institutional investors share the same cognitive errors that cause them to make poor investment decisions. His research strongly encourages investors to invest in well diversified portfolios and keep emotions at bay by not hanging onto losers due to emotional attachment. He says that wanting to get even (get our money back) has probably caused more destruction on investment portfolios than anything else. Reluctance to realize losses is also great news for managers of terrible mutual funds.

And he tells us about cognitive impairments among older people and the problems associated with such mental decline. This is very important to be aware of and be prepared for regardless of your age.

In summary, this book is multi-dimensional and extremely well researched and well written. Investing your money and your time in this book should pay handsome dividends in your life.
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Format: Hardcover
I could not stop until I had finished this book cover to cover.
This is a must read for any newbie planning to invest some hard earned cash into stocks. In fact, I would go so far as to say that a lay person should NOT play in stocks without understanding some of the `behavioral' aspects of investing that the author talks about.
My only regret..why didn't I come across this book in 2007, before the markets tanked!!
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Format: Hardcover
Those deconstructing the Great Recession from the standpoint of "how did we get here?" in service of the aim of avoiding a repeat have astutely honed in on the role of flawed decision-making on the part of consumers in at least partially causing the crisis.

From buying too much house, too soon, with too little down and on screwy loan terms, to floating an unaffordable household lifestyle on credit cards, poor decision-making can -- and indeed has -- made and broken our household finances and our national economy.

As with weight loss, I've found that with personal finances, people tend to know what they should be doing, but often find their decisions and actions to be in opposition with these shoulds.

In an effort to both illuminate why people do the financial things they do -- especially the "bad" things -- and help us all make better financial decisions going forward, behavioral economist and finance professor Meir Statman has written "What Investors Really Want: Discover What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Smarter Financial Decisions."

In doing so, Statman has crafted an intelligent, nuanced, educational and possibly life-changing book for those who considers themselves a student of personal finance or, well, themselves and why they do the things they do.

These insights are particularly tailored in this book to understanding our behavior in the realm of money matters, but they certainly hold promise for human behavior in the financially tangential areas of our lives, ranging from how we interact with our families to how we care for ourselves (or fail to do so, as the case may be).
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