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The Sceptical Investor

How contrarians bet against the market and win - and you can too

By John Stepek
Cover of The Sceptical Investor (Paperback) by John Stepek Cover of The Sceptical Investor (Mobile Phone) Cover of The Sceptical Investor (Tablet)

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About the Author

John Stepek

John Stepek has been writing about business, economics and investment for more than 20 years.

He is the executive editor of MoneyWeek, Britain’s bestselling weekly investment magazine. Since 2005, he has been the main author on its investment newsletter, Money Morning, which goes out by email to more than 85,000 readers each day. MoneyWeek is well-known for its contrarian investment views - ... Read more on John Stepek

Contents Listing

Chapter 1: What is Contrarian Investing?
Chapter 2: Why Sceptical Investing Works
Chapter 3: Why Should I be a Sceptical Investor?
Chapter 4: Your Big Advantage Over the Professionals
Chapter 5: You Versus the Crowd
Chapter 6: Beating Your Brain - Process Versus Outcome
Chapter 7: How to Use the Media
Chapter 8: The Incredible Power of Incentives
Chapter 9: The Importance of Intellectual Humility
Chapter 10: How to Spot Bubbles and What to Do About Them
Chapter 11: Finding the World's Cheapest Markets
Chapter 12: The Dangerous Temptation of Making Better Forecasts
Chapter 13: Buying Companies for Less Than They're Worth
Chapter 14: Turnaround Situations, Falling Knives and Profit Warnings
Chapter 15: Finding a Contrarian Fund Manager
Chapter 1: What is Contrarian Investing?
Chapter 2: Why Sceptical Investing Works
Chapter 3: Why Should I be a Sceptical Investor?
Chapter 4: Your Big Advantage Over the Professionals
Chapter 5: You Versus the Crowd
Chapter 6: Beating Your Brain - Process Versus Outcome
Chapter 7: How to Use the Media
Chapter 8: The Incredible Power of Incentives
Chapter 9: The Importance of Intellectual H ...

Jacket Text

Everyone wants to be a contrarian investor.

From the hedge funds who bet against the US housing market in the run up to 2008, to George Soros’s billion-dollar bet against the Bank of England in 1992, some of the most famous and most profitable trades in history have been contrarian calls.

And with the relentless growth of passive investing - investors blindly following the market - the opportunities for a smart investor to profit by betting against the crowd should be greater than ever.

Yet being a contrarian is hard work.

It takes patience, the conviction to stand by an unpopular viewpoint, and the mental toughness to endure being 'wrong' for prolonged periods of time. Standing out from the crowd goes against our every natural instinct.

Which is, of course, why it works.

So how do you go about it? There is no single, mechanical investment approach that marks an investor out as a contrarian. Instead, you need to adopt a sceptical mindset: a flexible mode of thinking that allows you to stand back and spot when the market’s view of the world is badly out of touch with reality - and the best way to profit when reality eventually reasserts itself.

In The Sceptical Investor, John Stepek, executive editor of MoneyWeek, pulls together the latest research on behavioural finance, and examples from well-known contrarian investors, to offer practical techniques to help you to spot opportunities in common investment situations, from turnaround plays to bubbles and busts, that others in the market miss.

It won't make you popular and it won't make you famous. But it will make you money.

Professional Reviews

“Packed with practical behavioural advice ... I recommend it without reservation.” Tim Price, bestselling author of Investing Through the Looking Glass

"John has been writing about investing, and meeting with the key characters in the investment world, for over 15 years. You'll want to read what he has to say very carefully - and make sure that anyone managing your money reads it too." Merryn Somerset Webb

John is one of Britain’s foremost financial writers and in this entertaining book he wants you to know why an understanding of human behaviour is an important part of any investment process. Knowing when to resist the siren voice of the crowd is one of the great challenges of investing. The book is packed with information about why the most comfortable investments are rarely the most profitable. Alaisdair McKinnon; Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Manager - The Scottish Investment Trust PLC

"Highly recommended." Paul Summers, The Motley Fool


Media Coverage

MarketWrap with Moe Ansari

Nationwide radio show. Moe begins each Market Wrap broadcast with an analysis of the day’s news from Wall Street and around the world, along with their implications for the financial markets. ...

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Buillon Vault

Snipped from The Sceptical Investor...

My BOOK, The Sceptical Investor, is now out, writes John Stepek, executive editor of MoneyWeek, in his free daily investment email Money Morning.

It's all ...

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The Vox Markets Podcast

John Stepek, Executive Editor of Moneyweek Magazine and author Sceptical Investor - How contrarians bet against the market and win - and you can too. (Interview starts at 32 minutes 56 seconds)

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Master Investor

Richard Gill, CFA, reviews The Sceptical Investor, a "comprehensive manifesto" for contrarian investing, written by MoneyWeek executive editor John Stepek.

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Think Trading

Most books on investing have a positive title, like “How to win at investing” or something similar,
but Stepek has chosen as a main title one that is fitting to his cautious and thoughtful ...

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The Motley Fool

Stock-picking requires time and a willingness to thoroughly research companies before buying them. Even Warren Buffett — generally regarded as the best stock-picker that’s ever lived — believes ...

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Seeking Alpha

John Stepek, executive editor of the UK's best-selling financial magazine MoneyWeek, has written an astute book for retail investors. The Sceptical Investor: How Contrarians Bet Against the Market ...

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Informed Choice Radio

It seems that all investors want to be contrarian investors.

My guest today explains that being a contrarian is hard work. It requires a lot of patience, both in terms of waiting for opportunities ...

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