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Psychology of the Stock Market

Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I have the paperback version of this book. Though originally published in , it reads as a contemporary volume. Human DNA has not changed.

Accordingly fear, greed, hope and despair will always be key elements in everything that we do--to include our being market participants. There are so many quotable phrases in this book. Foundational to everything is this one from p. And I promise this You will not be disappointed by this book. In the great game that is trading, the game never really changes.


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  • Psychology of the Stock Market by G.C. Selden.
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New technology is introduced; new methodologies are dreamed up; new investment fads come and go. But the essentials of trading are the same now as they were generations ago. There is a class of books that brings home this timelessness. The oldest of the above is MacKay's book, published in The Psychology of the Stock Market, by G.

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Selden, is another addition to the "timeless classics" list. Though published in , Selden's book could have hit the shelves yesterday. This makes complete sense, as the main topic -- human psychology -- has not changed at all in the past century. Nonetheless it is eye-opening to realize, with fresh clarity, the degree to which human emotions and purely human thought processes still dominate the game.

12 TIP: Stock Market Psychology & Investing

But wait, the skeptics say. Surely the nature of trading is at least a little different than what was written of some 99 years ago? Surely the great masses of market participants have advanced at least modestly since then? Selden begins by observing that "Human impulses lead to speculative disasters. One question is, What effect do varying mental attitudes of the public have upon the course of prices? How is the character of the market influenced by psychological conditions?

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To what extent, and how, can he overcome the obstacles placed in his pathway by his own hopes and fears, his timidities and obstinacies? It will be necessary to take up first the subject of speculative psychology as a whole and later to attempt to draw conclusions both as to its effect upon the market and its influence upon the fortunes of the individual trader. Instead, the focus is entirely on the human element. To give an example, Selden clearly breaks down the "contest" between investors and speculators, and the characteristic influence of that battle in forming a market top: The real investor, looking chiefly to interest return, but by no means unwilling to make a profit by buying low and selling high, is ready, perhaps, to buy his favorite stock at a price which will yield him six per cent on his investment, or to sell at a price yielding only four per cent.

The speculator cares nothing about interest return. He wants to buy before prices go up and to sell short before they go down. He would as soon buy at the top of a big rise as at any other time, provided prices are going still higher. Thus the volumes of stocks to be carried or tossed from hand to hand by bullish speculators is constantly rolling up like a snowball. One the ordinary intermediate fluctuations, covering five to twenty dollars a share, these sales by investors are small compared with the speculative business These descriptions are so logical, and for swing traders so confirmed by present day experience, that you can feel their power in your gut the same place where trader's intuition resides.

In sum, Selden's book is masterful in the way it highlights, very simply and cleanly, the interplay of thoughts and emotions on both sides of the aisle as the market ramps up, tops out, comes crashing down, and then repeats the process ad infinitum. Just as the author predicted it would. In some ways, Psychology of the Stock Market is a far more valuable book today precisely because it was written so long ago.

The great yawning gap of technological distance and time leaves no temptation on the part of the reader to assign special conditions of modern technology or modern thinking to the psychological drivers being described. Instead, they can simply be taken as the unadorned influences they are.

When one can trace the contours very plainly of what was important in the first decade of the twentieth century, and see that the same factors still dominate in the twenty-first, it becomes far more readily apparent what is truly vital in terms of understanding markets versus what is not. There is a reason why books like this tend to last, while the vast majority of high-powered academic theories get scrapped. Being such a slender and easily digestible read - yet so packed with keen insight - I give Psychology of the Stock Market the highest honor I can think of: Assigning it to my exclusive circle of "must read" trading books, of which there can only be half a dozen or so.

Lefevre's Reminiscences and Schwager's original Market Wizards being two other examples. In terms of food for thought, knowledge imparted, and potential impact on the trader, The Psychology of the Stock Market punches far above its weight. If you haven't spent much time considering the "metacognitive" aspects of the trading game - thinking about what others tend to think and why - this is an excellent place to start. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.


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Since I am a new grader it was imperative to learn about the psychology of trading. A good overview including an interesting bibliography. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. At 49 pages, this might better be called a pamphlet than a book. It is a relaxed philosophical soliloquy -- not the tight or bulletized summary that I had hoped for. I can just imagine the author leisurely smoking his pipe as he pecked out this book on his Remington typewriter over a weekend. Someone thought enough of this cute little book to re-publish it after years.

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The Psychology of the Stock Market: An Undergraduate Course

Sign in here using your membership username and password. Subscribe to this journal. Vol 17, Issue 3, Annotated Bibliography on the Teaching of Psychology: Tips on citation download.

Personality correlates of stock market speculation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Oklahoma , Norman. Psyche, sex and stocks. The psychology of successful investing. An experiment in speculative behavior Bureau of Business Research Pamphlet. University of Oregon, School of Business Administration. Personality and precognition of stock market speculators. Psychology and the stock market.