From Publishers Weekly
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.)
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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
"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"
About the Author
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.