Foreword Chapter 1
A love of anecdotes How we choose information on fallacious criteria
1. Why do you think you have to invest in the stock market when prices have skyrocketed?
2. Why do you buy stocks when the market has gone up and bonds when it has gone down?
3. Why are you sure that everyone agrees with your view that the market is going to go up?
4. Why does Google's success make you want to invest in high-tech?
The availability heuristic
5. Why has your stock portfolio only gained 5% this year when you are sure it has earned twice as much?
The confirmation bias
6. Why is it that on moving to the boonies you rent an overly expensive apartment?
Points of reference
Hopeless at math!
How silly mathematical errors enter our financial decisions
7. Why do you play black at roulette when red has just come up four times in a row?
The gambler's fallacy
8. Why do you trust the mutual fund that had the best performance last year?
Belief in the "hot hand"
9. Why do young savers become rich seniors?
The under-estimation of compound interest
10. Why does inflation encourage selling the house and renting instead?
The money illusion
All the eggs in a broken basket
How our view of risk leads us to poorly diversify investments
11. Why do you refuse to put foreign stocks in your portfolio?
12. Why do young people buy Levi stock and older folk buy Hermès?
The bias of familiarity
13. Why is 90% of your portfolio in French stocks?
14. Why have you bought stock in that high-flying company in your area?
15. Why do you own stocks in the company where you work?
16. Why does the industrial waste collection sector not attract investors?
For me, it's different!
How optimism and overconfidence encourage taking excessive risk
17. Why do you look more closely at the potential for growth than at the potential for loss in an investment?
Bias of optimism
18. Why do you think that you know precisely when the stock market will crash?
19. Why, after a set-back, do you always consider mutual fund managers to be hapless?
20. Why do you place more orders when the market is soaring?
The self-attribution bias
21. Why do you take more risk after raking in unexpected gains?
The "house money" effect
22. Why do you place so many orders on the Exchange each year?
23. Why do you earn less on the market when you place orders on the Internet?
Illusion of control on the Internet
Never regret anything
How the loss and regret aversions inhibit our behaviour
24. Why do you try to sell your house at an unrealistic price when real estate goes down?
25. Why do you keep your losing securities longer than those that are earning?
The deposition effect
26. Why do you sell all your losing stocks on the same day?
27. Why do you re-invest in your losing stocks?
The committed expenditure effect
28. Why do you never buy back securities on which you have lost money?
The "snake bite" effect
29. Why do you not like to sell stocks which have just gone down?
30. Why do you change nothing in the portfolio that your grandmother has left you?
Status quo bias
31. Why do you keep stocks that you would not buy in your portfolio?
The endowment effect
When Mars and Venus decide to invest
How men and women consider risk and confidence differently in their financial decisions
32. Why does Mars invest more than Venus?
Gender differences and attitude toward risk
33. Why does Mars prefer stocks and Venus bonds?
Gender differences and investment choices
34. Why does Mars change his portfolio more often than Venus?
Gender differences and confidence
35. Why do Venus and Mars draw closer with time?
Gender differences and experience in financial markets
Investing by the Sun
How climate and the calendar influence our investing mood
36. Why do the markets go up when it is nice out?
The Sun effect
37. Why do you have to look up before buying stocks?
The lunar effect
38. Why do markets decline on Monday?
39. Why do you too buy stocks just before Christmas?
The holiday effect
Inborn or acquired?
How our financial behaviour depends on education and personal characteristics.
40. Why are those that do their Christmas shopping at the last minute poorer than others?
Individual preferences and investing behaviour
41. Why would it be a good thing if your children were trained in the handling of their piggy banks?
Financial education at school
42. Why would you gain if you took financial training in your company?
Financial education of adults
Not sillier than your neighbour
How social relationships affect our financial decisions
43. Why does going to church encourage the buying of shares?
44. Why does your colleague become your top financial advisor in matters of saving for retirement?
45. Why do investment clubs favour consensual investments?
46. Why do investment clubs take more risks than individual investors?
Polarization toward risk
Packaging counts too
How the presentation of financial products changes our choices
47. Why does the distribution in your portfolio depend on the funds offered to you?
48. Why do you never choose the safest or the most risky mutual funds?
Aversion to extremes
49. Why does your financial advisor offer you only a portion of his assortment of investments?
The difficulty of choosing
50. Why does automatic enrolment increase participation of employees in retirement savings plans?
51. Why is it necessary to ask an exorbitant price when you sell your home?
52. Why does checking the performance of your investments everyday encourage the buying of bonds?
Myopic loss aversion
Real estate: more than an investment
How purchasing real estate affects life beyond financial performance
53. Do home owners change residence more often than renters?
Property and mobility
54. Are property owners employed at a higher rate than renters?
Home ownership and employment
55. Do owners live more happily than renters?
Ownership and psychological well-being
56. Are owners in better shape than renters?
Ownership and physical health
57. Are children of owners more successful than those of renters?
Homeownership and the behaviour of children