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Your Money and Your Brain

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,138 ratings  ·  95 reviews
What happens inside our brains when we think about money? Quite a lot, actually, and some of it isn't good for our financial health. In Your Money and Your Brain, Jason Zweig explains why smart people make stupid financial decisions -- and what they can do to avoid these mistakes. Zweig, a veteran financial journalist, draws on the latest research in neuroeconomics, a fasc ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Simon & Schuster (first published August 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,138 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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4.5 stars. A fascinating survey of how the most primitive recesses of our brains drive so many of our investment decisions. This book explores why (for instance), despite the fact that everyone knows we should "buy low and sell high," so few people are actually able to stick to that rule. When stocks collapse 25% in one day, most people panic and sell their stocks rather than buying MORE stocks (which are ON SALE!) the next day. On the other hand, when the stock market soars to new heights, most ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Must read for every investor.

Chapter One: Neuroeconomics
“One of the themes of this book is that our investing brains often drive us to do things that make no logical sense- make perfect emotional sense.” 3
“The investing brain is far from the consistent, efficient, logical device that we like to pretend it is. Even Nobel Prize winners fail to behave as their own economic theories say they should.”5
“And it’s not as if emotion is the enemy and reason is the ally of good financial decisions. People
May 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
This behavioral finance book came recommended to me and I’m glad it did.

The book, in a very non-technical language, touches on how the body reacts physically and mentally to the changing stock market. The author explains how the brain works when faced with pleasant events (stocks going up) and unpleasant events (stocks going down) and when faced with peer pressure or an important decision. After the explanation, the book tells you simple techniques to avoid or circumvent these issues as well as
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The investor's chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself.” Many of the readers are probably familiar with this profound quote from Benjamin Graham in the Intelligent Investor. In Your Money & Your Brain, Jason Zweig presents many of the reasons to why the sentence by Benjamin Graham is true. The book is aimed at helping the reader to profit for the long term both in terms of wealth and also living a more meaningful life by understanding the psychological reasons for our ...more
Benedict Gnaniah
I went to the library, just wanted to return an scram. While on the counter this book seemed to plead with me, well literally, to take me home. I said okay let me try you, I like this neuro science trip anyway.. Page 5 actually stopped me on my tracks the author quotes Psychologies Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University " Financial decision making is not necessarily about money, its also about intangible motives like avoiding regret or achieving pride" . I loved this .. think I will be able to ...more
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
The emotional response of the reflexive brain overwhelms the analytical powers of the reflective brain. One can avert portfolio paralysis by investing gradually and automatically over time with a $-cost averaging plan.

"Found money" can do funny things to your head.
May 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: money
How the brain reacts to stimulus as it relates to gains, gambles, losses, framing, etc. Has helped me obsess less about the stock market.
Akhil Jain
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My fav quotes (not a review):
-Page 5 |
"My intention was to minimize my future regret. So I split my contributions 50/50 between bonds and equities."
-Page 5 |
"An expert in linear programming, he knew that “I should have computed the historical co-variances of the asset classes and drawn an efficient frontier. Instead, I visualized my grief if the stock market went way up and I wasn’t in it—or if it went way down and I was completely in it. My intention was to minimize my future regret. So I spl
May 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had pretty high expectations for this book and ultimately those expectations were not met. It's a fine read and it contains plenty of useful information and tips. However it also contains a lot of lackluster analysis in my opinion (and at least one instance of downright invalid analysis, which lessened the level of trust I had for Zweig's other claims).

Zweig brings forth a ton of interesting studies relating to psychology and/or finances, he's definitely done his homework in that regard. But h
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stopped
It probably isn't fair to rate it without reading the entire book, but I couldn't get 20 pages in before my brain shut down. Why did I decide to read a 200+ page book about neuroeconomics and money? I already understand the fallibility of using instinct/intuition for complex decisions like investing.

The book follows the common, serialized format of sharing stories about tests and experiments to prove a point. It adds in quiz questions and thought experiments to further solidify the point which s
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A deep look into the field of neuroeconomics, which studies the way our brains react to thinking about finances and investing.  This book references loads of great research on the emotions involved with investing and the specific parts of the brain that are involved with financial decisions.  It also details the differences between our reflexive and reflective thinking and describes how we as humans are wired to live for today instead of saving for tomorrow.  There are several great investing ti ...more
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-finance
Amidst the current electronic vehicle and technology hype in the stock market, I experienced emotional turmoil. Envy, fear of missing out, greed, panic buying, panic selling, and then remorse and regret. While money should secure our safety and home, it became the source of sleepless nights and anxiety. Reading and understanding herding and irrational investing fallacies through books is enlightening. However, having to experience such fallacies is emotionally devastating.

Zweig's book helped me
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started re-reading this book in the wake of the recent bitcoin / crypto / blockchain speculation that has ensured in the last couple of months, to get a better grip on FOMO mania. As the editor of the revised edition of Benjamin Graham's "Intelligent Investor", Mr. Zweig is most certainly qualified to write on this topic. From evolutionary psychology to behavioral economics, this is a great primer on how and why your brain works to make you feel the way you do. The lessons here are much more tha ...more
Adam Holmes
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok

Perhaps it’s my own expectations that left me feeling disappointed as I expected this book to be about investing and the psychological strategies therein. All tolled, the connection between investing strategy and what is discussed in the book could be presented in less than four pages. There is absolutely nothing here regarding the strategy of investing that I haven’t heard before.

I wasn’t entirely disinterested since reading about psychology is never totally boring. After all, I d
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
In this book you will find a lot of experiments done with people about how they react to certain content related tests. Then after these experiments, the author will describe how we people make faults during this experiments. He also writes about mistakes we make in daily life related to the topics discussed. During the reading you will find interesting and fun facts that you might never have imagined. And after all at the end of each chapter, there is a summary about how you can implement real ...more
Malin Friess
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
You are in Detroit, start driving South. What country will you hit first? Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras or Canada. OK you have your answer...are you 50% certain, 75% certain, or 99% certain you are correct?

Most people got the answer wrong and are overly confident with their choice (the answer is Canada--as you cross the bridge you will enter Windsor, Canada to the south from it)..such as most people are wrong with investing and also over confident and downplay the
Ryan Hansen
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot. It gives a lot of anecdotes and examples to illustrate the points that Zweig makes in his text. The only thing that I did not love about it is that it focused a lot on selecting single stocks, including buying and selling. He does talk some about long term investing. I do not trade in single stocks, but did find a lot of value, insight and inspiration in this book. Definitely gave me some things to think about and was well worth the time and effort it took to read it.
Glad I was able to wrap this book up! The book is pretty dense with examples and reference to the brain. I liked the overall philosophy of the book, but found myself frequently thinking....well this doesn't really apply to me. For example I don't buy individual fund/stock and I play a long term game, so all the parts about timing and regret are generally interesting and useful, but not in the specific ways the author references. I was pleasantly surprised by the last chapter (Happiness) and it r ...more
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Basically we all have a hard time saving money because the idea of hitting it big releases more dopamine than saving and earning interest. Interestingly, losing money is interpreted as more painful than winning the same amount. Also, humans do a really shit job of assessing risk/reward. In the end we can’t take it with us into the next life so stop stressing, mkay? (I’m paraphrasing but this was the gist of the last chapter).

Fairly dry but with interesting tidbits and studies cited. It’s worth
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
Written in 2007, the ideas in this book have been eclipsed in part by the works of others, most notably Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel-Prize winning psychologist upon whose research (with Amos Tversky), much of Behavioral Economics is based.

Zweig delves much deeper into the science of the brain (as the title implies) than other authors. Given the tricks our brains play on us, it doesn't hurt to learn these lessons over and over.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It discusses some of the mental gymnastics that our brains go through when we are making decisions involving money. And it answers the question why we are most often our own worst enemies when it comes to investing. I re-read the last chapter on happiness at least once because it seemed so relevant in today's context. I also thoroughly enjoyed the discussions of the experiments and shared a few with friends. They found them as enjoyable as I did. ...more
Alex Watt
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book exceeded my expectations for a book on investing. It's even more about psychology, as the title suggests. Lots of good advice for how to invest well when so many things, including our brains, are stacked against us. The last chapter is the best--if you can only read one, it's worth reading. ...more
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Take Thinking Fast, thinking slow and make it directly relevant to investing in stock market and what will come out is your money and your brain. means that if you have read the book previously, a lot of repetition but interesting contextualisation, if you haven't read it previously, then really recommend ...more
Shashank Saurabh
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A great read or rather listen given that I tried the audiobook version on this one. This book talks on the subject of how our brain reacts w.r.t the money and how does our emotions and biases come into play when we think about money. The book is written in a very non technical language and is an insightful and easy read.
Highly recommended.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This book had some good points on how our brain reacts to money and why we make some of the decisions we do. Gets repetitive with the examples and dialogue. Good ending on happiness and appendix on dos and don'ts of investing ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting read about the way we think we understand things when it comes to money versus on what is actually happening in our brain from neuronal and psychological perspective. It's also interesting the way the author link our biases when it comes to investing. ...more
Yulian Bodescu
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read on how you're literally programmed to be a bad investor. Definitely learned some things about myself and how easily I can be pulled into destructive behavior (in terms of investment). A must-read for any new investor! ...more
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Even after having read all of the finance classics, this was still a great read. Had some really good advice regarding both finance and ways that your brain works, in general. This should be one of the first books every beginning investor should pick up.
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020

This is two of my favorite topics, neurology and economics. This book goes chapter by chapter going through most of our biases and does a great job teaching us how to be aware of our biases and The best tips to overcome our biases during a market swing.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book on psychology of investment,a must Read for all investors especially beginners. Could be a bit more direct by avoiding the scientific studies and just go straight to results otherwise great Read!
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Jason Zweig is an investing and personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

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