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Beat the Crowd: How You Can Out-Invest the Herd by Thinking Differently

Book Description

Train your brain to be a real contrarian and outsmart the crowd

Beat the Crowd is the real contrarian's guide to investing, with comprehensive explanations of how a true contrarian investor thinks and acts - and why it works more often than not. Bestselling author Ken Fisher breaks down the myths and cuts through the noise to present a clear, unvarnished view of timeless market realities, and the ways in which a contrarian approach to investing will outsmart the herd. In true Ken Fisher style, the book explains why the crowd often goes astray—and how you can stay on track.

Contrarians understand how headlines really affect the market and which noise and fads they should tune out. Beat the Crowd is a primer to the contrarian strategy, teaching readers simple tricks to think differently and get it right more often than not.

  • Discover the limits of forecasting and how far ahead you should look

  • Learn why political controversy matter less the louder it gets

  • Resurrect long-forgotten, timeless tricks and truths in markets

  • Find out how the contrarian approach makes you right more often than wrong

  • A successful investment strategy requires information, preparation, a little bit of brainpower, and a larger bit of luck. Pursuit of the mythical perfect strategy frequently lands folks in a cacophony of talking heads and twenty-four hour noise, but Beat the Crowd cuts through the mental clutter and collects the pristine pieces of actual value into a tactical approach based on going against the grain.

    Table of Contents

    1. Preface
    2. Chapter 1: Your Brain-Training Guide
      1. Wall Street’s Contrarian Contradiction
      2. The Curmudgeon’s Conundrum
      3. There Is Always a But
      4. Why Most Investors Are Mostly Wrong Most of the Time
      5. The First Rule of True Contrarianism
      6. The All-Seeing Market
      7. Different, Not Opposite
      8. The Right Frame of Mind
      9. Check Your Ego
    3. Chapter 2: For Whom the Bell Curve Tolls
      1. Wall Street’s Useless/Useful Fascination With Calendars
      2. Professional Groupthink
      3. How the Contrarian Uses Professional Forecasts
      4. Even the Best Fall Sometimes . . .
      5. How to Beat the Street
      6. Notes
    4. Chapter 3: Dracula and the Four Horsemen of the Media Apocalypse
      1. The Media’s Flawed Financial Eyesight
      2. Dracula Around the Corner
      3. Looking for Growth in All the Wrong Places
      4. The Magic Indicator
      5. War—What Is It Good For?
      6. Don’t Be a Cow, Be a Contrarian
      7. Notes
    5. Chapter 4: Not in the Next 30 Months
      1. Baby Boomer Bomb?
      2. What About Social Security and Medicare?
      3. But What if the “Lost Generation” Stays Lost?
      4. What About Debt?
      5. But What if Debt Causes Runaway Inflation?
      6. But What if America Stops Innovating?
      7. But What About Global Warming?
      8. What About Income Inequality?
      9. What if the Dollar Loses Its Place as the World’s Reserve Currency?
      10. What the Markets Know
      11. Notes
    6. Chapter 5: Take a Safari With Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau
      1. How the Elephant Got Its Tusks
      2. Dumbo, Gross Margins and Other High-Flying Elephants
      3. When Good News Dresses Up as Bad News
      4. The Yield Curve Curveball
      5. When Elephants Attack
      6. A Brief History of Tragedy
      7. When Textbooks Lie
      8. It Can’t Be an Elephant If …
      9. Notes
    7. Chapter 6: The Chapter You’ll Love to Hate
      1. Step 1: Ditch Your Biases
      2. My Guy Is Best, Your Guy Is Worst and Other Unhelpful Opinions
      3. A Magical Elephant Named Gridlock
      4. (Not) Just a Bill Sittin’ on Capitol Hill
      5. That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen
      6. What’s Worse Than a Politician?
      7. Why the Government Already Made the Next Crisis Worse
      8. Notes
    8. Chapter 7: Put Those Textbooks Away
      1. Don’t Toss Your Textbooks—But Know Their Limitations!
      2. The First Commandment: P/Es Aren’t Predictive
      3. The CAPEd Crusader Is No Superhero
      4. Small Beats All?
      5. Fancy Formulas and Other Academic Kryptonite
      6. Theory Isn’t Reality
      7. If Not School, Where?
      8. Notes
    9. Chapter 8: Throw Away This Book!
      1. Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Pop Star Economists
      2. Classics Are Classic for a Reason
      3. Philosophy and Econ 101
      4. How to Learn From the Legends
      5. Those Who Forget History . . .
      6. Classics in the Twenty-First Century
      7. Notes
    10. Chapter 9: When Miley Cyrus Meets Ben Graham: Misadventures in Behavioral Finance
      1. Where It All Began
      2. The Beginnings of Behavioral Finance’s Drift
      3. When Academics Met Capitalism and Marketing
      4. Behavioral Finance and Tactical Positioning
      5. Recency Bias and Sentiment
      6. How to Gain a Tactical Advantage With Behavioral Finance
      7. A Section for Stock Pickers
      8. Know When to Say When
      9. Getting Back to Self-Control
      10. Notes
    11. Chapter 10: The Negative Myopic Media
      1. How to Use the News
      2. What the Media Always Misses
      3. In Technology (and Capitalism) We Trust
      4. Parting Thoughts
      5. Notes
    12. Index
    13. EULA