Moods and Markets: A New Way to Invest in Good Times and in Bad


“Behavioral investing is the next frontier.”

–Joshua Steiner, Managing Director, Hedgeye Risk Management

“A thought-provoking piece that is a ‘must read’ for investors of all types.”

–Randy Johanneck, former Chief Risk Officer, J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management

“Moods and Markets gives you a great view into the window of investing psychology that few possess.”

–Branden Rife, Head of West Coast Trading, ...

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Moods and Markets: A New Way to Invest in Good Times and in Bad

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“Behavioral investing is the next frontier.”

–Joshua Steiner, Managing Director, Hedgeye Risk Management

“A thought-provoking piece that is a ‘must read’ for investors of all types.”

–Randy Johanneck, former Chief Risk Officer, J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management

“Moods and Markets gives you a great view into the window of investing psychology that few possess.”

–Branden Rife, Head of West Coast Trading, Concept Capital Markets

“An invaluable guide to what promises to be a very difficult and turbulent period ahead.”

–Sherle R. Schwenninger, Director, Economic Growth Program, New America Foundation

“This book resets your worldview.”

–Michael Powell, President and CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and former Chairman, FCC

“Behavioral finance meets industry practitioner.”

–Keith R. McCullough, Chief Executive Officer, Hedgeye Risk Management

“A very useful guide to investors who are looking for an edge to enhance their portfolio returns.”

–Smita Sadana, Founder, Sunrise Capital Management LLC

“This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’ as we prepare ourselves with a forward and proactive lens.”

–Todd Harrison, Founder and CEO, Minyanville Media, Inc.

“I can see Moods and Markets on the nightstands of big thinkers around the world.”

–Bernard Del Rey, CEO, Capital Position Ventures, and former Global Head of Marketing, Morgan Stanley Investment Management

“This book will challenge everything you thought you knew about investing. And you will be better for it.”

–Stephanie Pomboy, President, MacroMavens, LLC

“This book breaks new ground and offers a better chance of understanding the complex concept of mood.”

–Rob Roy, Chief Investment Officer, Cain Brothers Asset Management

Peter Atwater has used his exclusive “Horizon Preference” approach to help top asset managers, major endowments, and hedge funds map changes in social moods to shifts in the markets and to identify huge new market opportunities. Now, he shows serious investors how to use the same powerful techniques these top global investors already rely on.

Building on insights from Elliott Wave Theory and Robert Prechter’s work in socionomics, Moods and Markets shows how we naturally narrow our physical, time, and relationship horizons to the “local” in bad times and widen them to the “global” in better times. Atwater’s easy-to-understand framework helps investors quickly identify the direction of social mood and the markets using readily available, but frequently overlooked, clues from the world around us. To Atwater there is no coincidence to the Occupy Wall Street movement, The Hunger Games, Downton Abbey, farm-to-table dining, and the rise of Facebook with our volatile stock markets today. Moods and Markets explains why.

Through numerous recent real-life examples, readers will gain deeper insights into short- and long-term investment trends in virtually every key market sector. Along the way, Atwater helps you to identify the consistent mood-based characteristics of market turning points that don’t show up in conventional analysis–and that can disastrously impact your portfolio if you miss them.

Moods and Markets explains:

• The difference between mood and emotion–and why mood matters more

• How to use mood to identify significant market tops and bottoms

• How changing moods drive public sector decisions that impact your portfolio

• Today’s market mood and where we may be headed–and how to decide for yourself

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132947213
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 7/27/2012
  • Series: Minyanville Media Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,192,681
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Atwater is President of Financial Insyghts, a consulting firm providing advice to institutional investors, major corporations, and global policymakers on how social mood affects decision making, the economy, and the markets. A pioneer in securitization and a long-time financial services executive, through Moods and Markets, Peter brings his innovative social mood-based thinking to the world of investing. A regular contributor to Minyanville, Peter’s work on social mood and decision making has been featured in The Socionomist, Time Magazine, and The Financial Times.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Understanding Social Mood 11

Mood Defined 12

Mood Versus Emotion 14

Confidence and Our Perceptions of Certainty 15

The Continuum of Social Mood 20

Individual Versus Social Mood 24

Measuring Mood 25

Social Mood and the Media 28

Mood Groups 31

Final Thoughts 32

Chapter 2 Horizon Preference: How Mood Affects Our Decision Making 33

The Horizon Preference Continuum 35

Logical Decision Making in Periods of Rising Social Mood 39

Logical Decision Making in Periods of Falling Social Mood 45

Opportunities During Declining Social Mood 50

Final Thoughts 52

Chapter 3 Market Peaks and All the Red Flags They Wave 55

The Concept Stock Bubble 56

Big Truths 58

Abdication of Risk Management 59

Organizational Complexity 61

Novice and Naïve Entrants 62

Credit, Architecture, and Other Signs of the Top 63

Why Investment Peaks Are Different 68

After the Peak 70

Final Thoughts 71

Chapter 4 A Social Mood Journey Back Through the Housing Bubble 73

Modern Housing Finance 75

A Big Truth 78

Abdication of Risk Management 78

Organizational Complexity 80

Novice and Naïve Entrants 82

Excessive Credit and Architecture 83

Final Thoughts 84

Chapter 5 Is Higher Education a Bubble? 85

A Big Truth 85

Abdication of Risk Management 88

Organizational Complexity 91

Naïve and Novice Participants 91

Excessive Credit 92

Architecture 93

Final Thoughts 95

Chapter 6 Signs of a Bottom in Social Mood 99

Extreme “Me, Here, Now” Behaviors 100

Hoarding Behaviors 101

Acts of Sacrifice 104

Event Versus Cycle Lows 108

The Market Low of 2002 109

The Market Low of March 2009 110

The Market Bottom of 1932 112

Seeing Major Market Bottoms in Real Time 113

Social Mood and Invention 115

Final Thoughts 120

Chapter 7 Cooking the Books: Corporate Earnings and Social Mood 121

Mood-Driven Accounting Principles 122

Mood-Driven Management Judgment 125

Mood-Driven “One Time” Charges 130

Final Thoughts 133

Chapter 8 Social Mood and the Markets Today: So Where Are We? 135

Modern Day Extremes in Social Mood 139

Communication and Transportation Innovations and Peaks in Social Mood 141

2000 to 2012: Deteriorating Mood 142

Plotting Social Mood 145

A Long-Term Perspective on Social Mood and Stock Multiples 148

Social Mood and the Evolution of Major Corporations 150

Peak Social Mood and Sovereign Debt 154

Final Thoughts 156

Chapter 9 Using Horizon Preference No Matter Your Long-Term View 159

Final Thoughts 166

Chapter 10 Final Thoughts 169

Bibliography 171

Index 175

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