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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (November 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071741658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071741651
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

More 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 focuses on behavioral finance. He attempts to understand how investors and managers make financial decisions and how these decisions are reflected in financial markets. Meir's book, "What Investors Really Want," has just been published by McGraw-Hill. The book's subtitles are "Know What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Better Financial Decisions," and "Learn the lessons of behavioral finance."
The questions he addresses include: What are the cognitive errors and emotions that influence investors? What are investor aspirations? How can financial advisors and plan sponsors help investors? What is the nature of risk and regret? How do investors form portfolios? How successful are tactical asset allocation and strategic asset allocation? What determines stock returns? What are the effects of sentiment? How successful are socially responsible investors?
Meir's research has been published in the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Financial Analysts Journal, the Journal of Portfolio Management, and many other journals. The research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Research Foundation of the CFA Institute, and the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA). Meir is a member of the Editorial Board of the Financial Analysts Journal, the Advisory Board of the Journal of Portfolio Management, the Journal of Wealth Management and the Journal of Investment Consulting, an Associate Editor of the Journal of Financial Research, the Journal of Behavioral Finance, and the Journal of Investment Management and a recipient of a Batterymarch Fellowship, a William F. Sharpe Best Paper Award, a Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Outstanding Article Award, a Davis Ethics Award, a Moskowitz Prize for best paper on socially responsible investing, two Baker IMCA Awards, and three Graham and Dodd Awards. Meir consults with many investment companies and presents his work to academics and professionals in many forums in the U.S. and abroad.
Meir received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and his B.A. and M.B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Customer Reviews

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It was also a very entertaining read and one of the few books I just couldn't put down.
Allan S. Roth
This is a must read for anyone investing money in the stock market and should be the foundation for anyone getting into investing for the first time.
Sheldon McFarland
For a deeper understanding of the behavior and the science and how they can work together for successful investing, read Meir's book.
Cheree Ray Clark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sanjiv Das on November 13, 2010
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By An Educated Investor on December 31, 2010
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anirban on November 27, 2010
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cheree Ray Clark on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love Meir's work in the area of Behavioral Finance.
As an advisor of over 25 years, I cringe when I hear the question, "do you have any hot tips about where to put my money?" His title "What Investors Really Want" says it all. It is my job to help them explore what it is they really want, and Meir's book will greatly add to the strong foundation that has already been laid by his teaching.
As Meir shows, there is academic proof that there is a better way, and that it is our emotional investing that gets us in trouble.
As Meir states often, "investors are not rational, they are normal."
For a deeper understanding of the behavior and the science and how they can work together for successful investing, read Meir's book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Allan S. Roth on November 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Meir Statman's book, What Investors Really Want, does a great job of describing what motivates us in investing. Sure we are motivated by financial gain but, because we want more, we act in ways that reduce these gains.

Investors want to feel good and safe to maximize their emotional well being. Our desire for that feel good feeling drives us to buy stocks in up markets, only to panic in down markets and sell in an effort to feel safe. We also feel good thinking we are smarter than the person on the other side of any trade.

Beyond emotional well being, investors want to express their values, tastes and status. Hedge funds, for example, signify that one is a sophisticated investor and member of an exclusive club.

This is truly one of the great books on behavioral finance. If you want to learn more about your behavioral traits, this is a must read. It had me thinking the whole way through, and I could identify in many of the irrational ways I want to react. It was also a very entertaining read and one of the few books I just couldn't put down.

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