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Investing and the Irrational Mind: Rethink Risk, Outwit Optimism, and Seize Opportunities Others Miss (Business Books) Hardcover – 1 May 2011

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4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews from

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About the Author

Robert Koppel is a former member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a hedge fund partner, and president of his own division at Rand Financial. The author of numerous books on the psychology of trading, Koppel was the senior business writer for His work has appeared in the national financial press and been featured on CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Traders 3 Oct. 2011
By Brian Latta - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased Investing and the Irrational Mind after reading Robert Koppel's The Tao of Trading and The Intuitive Trader. Robert once again found the illusive "missing link" for traders and pin-pointed resolution for the damning internal influences the un-initiated trader faces.
The results from the interviews with top traders and the compelling evidence from clinical research shifts focus for traders from "systems only" (external programs) to balance (detailed trading method AND experienced adaptability - left brain/right brain stasis).
As a full time trader and a trading coach, most of my instruction time with clients lies not in better application of "system", but in how each trader processes information - usually with unintended results and the illusion of control from "having purchased someone else's system".
In my experience from reading every book I can find written about trading psychology, Robert has hands down provided concise research and practical application from top traders to prove without doubt that the biggest obstacle traders face is themselves.
And in conclusion Robert details the steps traders can follow to turn their destructive behavioral patterns into life-long positive assets that extend well beyond their original intent (improve trading results).
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read with useful insights 10 May 2016
By Doug Dittrich - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am constantly reading about markets and investing. This book explores the forces driving markets. The market is people and better understanding of our own behaviors helps us better understand other's behaviors as well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 4 Mar. 2013
By Steve Wilkinson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent work. Addresses issues that affect new and old traders each and every day. Provides ideas to start correcting issues that prevent moving on in the business of investing.
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A general commentary on trading,... nothing profound. 6 Jun. 2011
By J. F. Olsen - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read many books on trading and have traded for 15 yrs, so I am not new to this arena.
This book I would classify as a 'running commentary' on the topic.
I did not discover anything profound, new...or captivating.

Mark Douglas' book,... TITZ, one of the best books out there on trading psychology,
and his work was summarily dismissed by this author.
That pretty well sums it up!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great research on the research 8 May 2011
By Jim Estill - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One of the phrases I use in business is "fail often, fail fast, fail cheap". Koppel starts the book by saying that successful investors have wins and they have losses.

I like reading about how we think and how the brain works. Many investment mistakes are illogical but people make them all the time. Koppel cites Arily's Predictably Irrational book and builds on it.

Koppel has researched all the research on mistakes investors make. Early on, he quotes Baruch:

"Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your own failings, passions and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see."

And Baruch's rules for successful investing:

1 - don't speculate unless you do it full time (I violate that one or perhaps I don't since I do not like to think that I speculate)

2 - resist "information" or tips

3 - Before purchasing a security, know everything you can about the company.

4 - never attempt to buy at the bottom and sell at the top.

5 - Take your losses quickly

6 - don't buy too many securities. Focus on a few and watch them.

7 - reappraise strategy periodically.

8 - never invest all your funds - keep some liquid

9 - don't try to be a jack of all investments - stick to a field you know (I notice I tend to make money in technology and lose money in other areas)

I liked all the studies Koppel cites. It is a well researched book.

He points out the "self serving bias". We tend to attribute our success to us and our failures to external events. I call this the "be careful when you start thinking you are smart" syndrome.

Good book - makes me re-think some of my investment strategy.
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