- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (September 16, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743276698
- ISBN-13: 978-0743276696
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,395 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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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. It's tempting to blame your upbringing or your stingy boss, but the real culprit in your flawed relationship with money is your very own brain, argues finance writer Zweig. Combining concepts in neuroscience, economics and psychology, he explains how our biology drives us toward good or bad investment decision. Our brains are pretty self-deceptive, it turns out: we have difficulty admitting our lack of knowledge about finances; we overestimate our own wisdom and performance; and our preference for mistakes of action rather than inaction often leads us to irrational investment decisions. Most tellingly, humans believe we're smart enough to forecast the future even when we have been explicitly told that it is unpredictable. Among the book's fun facts: the MRI brain scan of a cocaine addict is virtually identical to that of someone who thinks he is about to make money. Backed by stellar research and written in an entertaining, informal style that makes a complex subject accessible to the layperson, Zweig makes clear how we can understand what our brains are doing and how to use that knowledge to get out of our own way and invest wisely. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Do you fret over the value of your investments on a daily basis? Do you buy stocks based on a "hunch" or a gut feeling? According to Zweig, the latest scientific evidence shows that this common behavior usually results in financial loss and is caused by the way our brain reacts when we think about money. According to recent research in the emerging science of "neuroeconomics," the pleasure center in the brain that is stimulated in anticipation of "the big payout" is the same area that is affected during sex or drug use and is responsible for the addiction to gambling. Our brains, which evolved more than 200,000 years ago to react quickly to patterns and minute changes in our environment, are not equipped to handle the randomness of the stock market; but nevertheless we attempt to create meaningful patterns where there are none and base our investment decisions on erroneous assumptions. The good news is that awareness of this phenomenon can make us better investors, and Zweig offers some simple tips to avoid the pitfalls, such as taking the long view and avoiding overtrading. Siegfried, David --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Your Money and your Brain was an interesting read. The author insinuated that we have two brains, the reflective and intuition which guides us to make decisions. We are too confident in our decision making and the fact is we don't know everything. Things should be thought out rather than instant instinct decisions.
Well written book and the price point was adequate. My only concern is how am I going implement the new found information to my brain and have both my brains retrained.
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.