Even the best Wall Street investors make mistakes. No matter how savvy or experienced, all financial practitioners eventually let bias, overconfidence, and emotion cloud their judgment and misguide their actions. Yet most financial decision-making models fail to factor in these fundamentals of human nature. In Beyond Greed and Fear, the most authoritative guide to what really influences the decision-making process, Hersh Shefrin uses the latest psychological research to help us understand the human behavior that guides stock selection, financial services, and corporate financial strategy. Shefrin argues that financial practitioners must acknowledge and understand behavioral finance--the application of psychology to financial behavior--in order to avoid many of the investment pitfalls caused by human error. Through colorful, often humorous real-world examples, Shefrin points out the common but costly mistakes that money managers, security analysts, financial planners, investment bankers, and corporate leaders make, so that readers gain valuable insights into their own financial decisions and those of their employees, asset managers, and advisors. According to Shefrin, the financial community ignores the psychology of investing at its own peril. Beyond Greed and Fear illuminates behavioral finance for today's investor. It will help practitioners to recognize--and avoid--bias and errors in their decisions, and to modify and improve their overall investment strategies.
Psychology rules the stock market, according to Hersh Shefrin. In Beyond Greed and Fear, Shefrin shows how bias, perception, and other aspects of psychology often rattle investors and move stocks. From the individual who keeps losers too long to overconfident money managers who mistakenly think they can predict financial trends, human nature foils investment returns. "Behavioral finance is everywhere that people make financial decisions. Psychology is hard to escape; it touches every corner of the financial landscape, and it's important. Financial practitioners need to understand the impact that psychology has on them and those around them. Practitioners ignore psychology at their peril," writes Shefrin, a finance professor at Santa Clara University. An academic volume geared toward financial professionals, the book details an emerging field known as behavioral finance, in which psychology is believed to be at least as important as market fundamentals, such as earnings and balance sheets. Shefrin describes how investors are motivated by fear, hope, overconfidence, and the need for short-term gratification. The book gives plenty of examples of investment mistakes, and analyzes them from a behavioral-finance perspective. While Beyond Greed and Fear targets professionals, individual investors will benefit from this look at an important mover of markets. --Dan Ring