- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (September 16, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780743276696
- ISBN-13: 978-0743276696
- ASIN: 0743276698
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 92 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich Reprint Edition
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"This short and entertaining book packs a vast amount of serious information about your brain, about your mind, and about your money. You will learn a lot when you read it for the first time and you will probably want to read it again to learn some more."
-- Daniel Kahneman, professor of psychology, Princeton University, and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics
"Jason Zweig is one of the world's experts on the investing process. He has written the best book yet on the emerging science of neuroeconomics. Buy it, read it, and become a more thoughtful, and a better, investor."
-- Bill Miller, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Legg Mason Capital Management
"Jason Zweig has written a pioneering work. His findings challenge many of our conventional beliefs about investor behavior. Zweig goes an important step further by laying down a series of rules that, if followed, will prevent the reader from making many of the emotional decisions that have cost investors dearly over time. Your Money and Your Brain is a book that stands head and shoulders above the conventional pablum served up in most stock market books."
-- David Dreman, author of Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation
"As advertised, this book is about your brain, but yours is not the only brain in this book. Lucky for you, that other brain is Jason Zweig's, and what a brilliant, fascinating, illuminating, powerful, and unique device that is. Listen to Zweig carefully. I have read a zillion books on investing, and none of them comes close to what he has so generously bestowed upon us here."
-- Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk
"Jason Zweig knows your financial demons, where they live, why they're making you poor, and how you can beat them. You owe it to yourself, your future, and your heirs to read Your Money and Your Brain."
-- William Bernstein, associate clinical professor of neurology, Oregon Health and Science University; cofounder, Efficient Frontier Advisors; and author of The Four Pillars of Investing
About the Author
Jason Zweig is a senior writer for Money magazine and has been a guest columnist for Time and cnn.com. He is also the editor of the revised edition of Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor, the classic text that Warren Buffett has described as "by far the best book about investing ever written." Before joining Money, Zweig was the mutual funds editor at Forbes.
In 2001 Zweig was named "best financial columnist for a national publication" by Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement in Investor Education award from the Mutual Fund Education Alliance. He serves on the editorial boards of Financial History magazine and The Journal of Behavioral Finance.
Visit the author at www.jasonzweig.com.
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The interesting thing is that the interplay between the emotional side of the brain and money (or the perceived value of something in relation to money, a stock for instance) is actually an old subject. The "Fool and His Money" has been widely commented on by an assortment of people diverse enough to include Penn & Teller, Harry Houdini and Anton Lavey as well as Warren Buffett, Ben Graham and the other financial types that you would expect to see at the table for this topic.
The difference is that now it has a name that gives it more credibility as a specialized field within both psychology and economics. The subject is old, but it's serious study is quite new. Most of what you will read and hear in Neuroeconomics represents recent work. This book is an excellent place to start. Interviews with this author and related videos on Neuroeconomics can be found on YouTube. This book and those vids will give a sound introduction to this subject.
Zweig demonstrates how humans have relied on our reflective systems as though our instincts were built for the problems we face today; however, the reality is that our instincts were built for survival purposes. Instincts have served us well for millions of years, yet the modern world renders survival intuition meaningless, and a reliance on these instincts for investment is not only irrational, but dangerous. Our tendency to search for patterns causes us to assume order where it doesn't exist, and as a result our instincts cause us to jump to unhelpful conclusions.
There may be a large difference in the knowledge base between the average investor and the manger of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, but there is little to no difference in nature of irrational thinking. Zweig clearly illustrates why the playing field for poor thinking is level no matter what your status, and learning to defend against hasty and imprudent decisions cannot be overstated. Put best in his own words, Zweig states, "Over the years, I've grown convinced that there are only three kinds of investors: those who think they are geniuses, those who think they are idiots, and those who aren't sure. As a general rule, the ones who aren't sure are the only ones who are right."
This book is fully enlightening and will leave you with an improved awareness of the proper rationale for making money. Zweig has an exceptional grasp of the human intellect as well as a strong ability to present the material coherently and effectively. The result is a masterpiece that any investor should read.
Jason Zweig does an excellent job at summarizing the research about what happens inside our heads when we think about our different relationships (feelings, greed, confidence, risk, fear, surprise, regret, and happiness - each with their own chapter) with money and investing. Our brains have spent more time evolving in hunter gatherer and agrarian settings than they have in the modern technological age. That hard wiring inside our heads affects our thinking and reactions - often without us even realizing it has happened.
Among the observations in the book: Our expectations are more intense that the experience. Most of us don't understand our own behavior. And much more.
The work may disappoint some in that there are few suggestions about how to use this kind of new found knowledge when designing an investment allocation. In my opinion, this is not a major weakness with his work. There has to be research with modern medical machinery on the phenomenon before application can follow. This is not to say that works applying this research are not out there, only to say that the purpose of Zweig's work was to review the research to date on the inner workings of the brain, period. The first step in recognizing what we do is to recognize how our brains actually think: when and where the thinking, or reacting, processes occur.
A companion book to this one would be Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely which researches our behavior through experiments on people, how we act and react to different situations related to money, rather than the mechanics and chemistry of inside the brain when confronted with those situations.
Ariely's work also does not include how to design a portfolio allocation. Neither of these works intended to. They intended to describe our behaviors. Knowing how and why we behave the way we do is just as important, maybe more so, as portfolio design. In fact, my observation is that people are often in more of a hurry to design the perfect portfolio, as an end in itself, than understand the what-and-why of the portfolio and their relationship with it and investing.
A fascinating field of study, which is just beginning to be able to explore the inner workings of our minds through modern non-invasive methods, to tell us why we behave the way we do with money - we're only human.