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Trading on Sentiment: The Power of Minds Over Markets


Praise for Trading on Sentiment

"Trading on Sentiment will undoubtedly be seen in time as a seminal work.”
--Brenda Jubin,

"In markets, as in poker, if you don't have an edge, you shouldn't play. There are 3 sources of edge in markets: information, analysis, and human behavior. The first two are hard to obtain and harder to maintain as the world is constantly changing. Human nature, the cycles of fear and greed, are unchanging and are the most fertile ground of sustainable competitive advantage. Until now, there has been no comprehensive guide to this almost inexhaustible source of potential profits. Dr. Richard Peterson is one of the world's experts on human behavior in capital markets and he has written by far the best book to appear on the subject. This marvelous book should be read by every serious investor. It will pay dividends for years to come."
--Bill Miller, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of LMM LLC

"Finally a book on behavioral finance by a market practitioner who can also be your professor. Peterson's Trading on Sentiment is a pioneering work that will help you not only contextualize your emotions, but also profit from them."
--Keith R. McCullough, Chief Executive Officer, Hedgeye Risk Management

"Trading on Sentiment is more than a book about trading and more than a book about sentiment. It is a book that informs us about how to gauge changes in the emotional temperatures of financial market participants. Richard Peterson is a true visionary who early on developed techniques that would convert big financial data into information and trading heuristics upon which active investors can, well, act. As always, the usual caveat applies that financial markets are risky, complex, nonlinear neighborhoods to visit, especially when the academic literature has yet to converge on a consensus view of how to measure the risk associated with expected return."
--Hersh Shefrin, Mario Belotti Professor, Santa Clara University, and author of Behavioral Risk Management

Praise for Inside the Investor's Brain (Wiley, 2007)

"Richard Peterson has distilled his own first-hand experience as a psychiatrist in Silicon Valley and has used his knowledge of behavioral finance to describe the emotional qualities necessary to be a good investor. Not only is this a fascinating book for everyone, it may also be the most profitable book you ever read."
--George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001

"Exceptionally well-written, it will likely prove to be a seminal text on the influence of the human brain on investment behavior. And neurofinance, as that field is known, may provide the next great edge for savvy investors. Inside the Investor's Brain, written by an experienced but surprisingly young author (he's 35), is outstanding. Peterson and his first book have much to offer investors and the institutions in which they work."
--Dr. David L. Nathan, Barron's, September 2007

"Highly recommended."
--Kiplinger's Best Investing Reads of 2007

RICHARD L. PETERSON is CEO of MarketPsych and a behavioral finance expert, investment adviser, psychiatrist, and consultant to the financial industry. His two previous books, Inside the Investor's Brain and MarketPsych, were named top financial books of the year by Kiplinger.

About the Author xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xxiii

PART ONE Foundations

CHAPTER 1 Perception and the Brain 3

CHAPTER 2 Mind and Emotion 19

CHAPTER 3 Information Processing 30

CHAPTER 4 Sentimental Markets 47

CHAPTER 5 Finding Signal in the Noise 61

PART TWO Short-term Patterns

CHAPTER 6 Information Impact 81

CHAPTER 7 Daily Reversals 99

CHAPTER 8 Weekly Deceptions 106

CHAPTER 9 The Only Thing to Fear 115

CHAPTER 10 Buy on the Rumor 127

PART THREE Long-term Patterns

CHAPTER 11 Trends and Price Momentum 139

CHAPTER 12 Value Investing 151

CHAPTER 13 Anger and Mistrust 159

CHAPTER 14 The Psychology of Leadership 171

CHAPTER 15 Navigating Uncertainty 184

PART FOUR Complex Patterns and Unique Assets

CHAPTER 16 Optionality 197

CHAPTER 17 Blowing Bubbles 205

CHAPTER 18 Timing Bubble Tops 218

CHAPTER 19 Commodity Sentiment Analysis 232

CHAPTER 20 Currency Characteristics 243

CHAPTER 21 Economic Indicators 254

CHAPTER 22 Sentiment Regimes 269

PART FIVE Managing the Mind

CHAPTER 23 Mental Hygiene 283

Postscript 295

Appendix A Understanding the Thomson Reuters MarketPsych Indices 297

Appendix B Methods for Modeling Economic Activity 316

Glossary 323

Index 331