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Irrational Exuberance

Written by: Robert J. Shiller
Narrated by: Robert J. Shiller
Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this bold and potentially urgent volume, Robert J. Shiller, a respected expert on market volatility, offers an unconventional interpretation of recent U.S. stock market highs and shows that Alan Greenspan's term "irrational exuberance" is a good description of the mood behind the market. He warns that poorer performance may be in the offing and tells us how we - as a society and individually - can respond.

Shiller credits an unprecedented confluence of events with driving stocks to uncharted heights. He analyzes the structural and psychological factors that explain why the Dow Jones Industrial Average tripled between 1994 and 1999, a level of growth not reflected in any other sector of the economy. In contrast to many analysts, Shiller stresses circumstances that alter investors' perceptions of the market. These include the entry of the Internet into American homes, the misimpression that the aging of the baby-boom generation builds long-term protection into the market, and herd behavior, such as day-trading. He also examines cultural factors, including sports-style media coverage of the Dow's ups and downs and "new era" thinking about the economy. He considers - and challenges - efforts to rationalize exuberance that are based on either efficient-markets theory, narrowly construed, or the claim that investors have only recently learned the true value of the market.

Irrational Exuberance is a must-listen for individual investors as well as investment professionals, pension-plan sponsors, and endowment managers everywhere. It will be studied by policy makers and anyone from Wall Street to Main Street who doesn't want to be caught sitting on the speculative bubble if (or when) it bursts.

Hear an exclusive interview with Robert J. Shiller.

©2000 Robert J. Shiller
(P)2000 Random House, Inc

What the critics say

  • Nominee for Audio Publishers Association 2001 Audie Award, Business Information

"No one has explored the strange behavior of the American investor in the 1990s with more authority¿" The New York Times

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars

Irrational herd behaviour of investors

Well laid out historical data with it's analysis. An intelligent read to understand the repetitive irrational pschology of investment community at large.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Insightful perspective by respectable author

I was starting to doubt about the efficient market theory and wanted to have an educated opinion beyond blogs and successful investors (I don't have an education in finance).

With this book, I got more than what I was looking for! To me, Shiller providing us with the other side of the picture deserves 4 stars by itself.

The book is interesting but it is not much more than a list of proofs/theories that investors are irrational and the market might not be well priced. It can be a bit boring at times.

The book is accessible but it is a bit dry. You must be familiar with P/E ratio and basic stock market principles.



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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Timothy
  • 2004-09-23

Very academic, but thorough and informative

This audiobook is not for the faint of heart!

This is an academic overiew of behavioral finance. Not as thorough as a textbook, but it has the same flavor. With the acadmic perspective without the thoroughnes of an academic text, it reads like a litnay of hypothesis about the 'irrationality' of the stock market interspersed with anecdotal statistics and historical examples.

The book has a very one-sided view of the central controversy in the economics of Finance, which is the rationlity of the financial markets. His strong endorsement of behavorial finance and emphatic rejection of Efficient Market Theory detract from the power of some of the hypothesis he puts forward.

Because it is abridged, I cannot say if the book lost much in the abridgement. Being read by the author (a Yale economics professor), I would hope that this version keeps the essence of the unabridged text.

If you can survive what seems, at times, an interminable academic lecture, this book does offer lots of facts and insights useful to understanding how the financial markets funtion.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • chris m.
  • 2005-04-18

in plain english

great explanation of "what happened" during the bubble years and a must hear for anyone that invests.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ramesh
  • 2005-02-28

A good introduction to Market behaviour

I listened to the book twice, only to digest the material once again.
It was very captivating to see how complex things are and how people
try to explain in very simplistic terms. I wish I had listened to
this book even earlier as it is a necessary book (in my opinion) to
one's own understanding of investing and its rewards.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip S.
  • 2018-12-06

Great insights

Professor Shiller provides insights that are as applicable today as they were 18 years ago. While a brilliant mind, he is not the most engaging with his reading performance.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-09-07

A new perspective

the author presents great data supports his conclusions. most of his claims are well informed and makes for an interesting book.

could have used a better narrator

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  • Cameron Hetzler
  • 2018-08-16

Outstanding!

Very good for the layman with even minimal background in economics. Dr. Shiller is really good at interweaving many different fields into economics.

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  • PL
  • 2018-07-30

Interesting but not completely accurate

I was following along with his book from Amazon and it tracks more or less to the book. His concepts are interesting and thought provoking, but they present a doomsday-only scenario of equity investments with little balance in his position. Little effort was put into tax efficiency (there was one tiny mention) as one of the attributes that make stocks attractive. There was a problem at the end of section 4 of 5 with the audio breaking up badly. This went away with the beginning of section 5. The book / audio version are in severe need of updating. The CAPE measurement, although useful does not seem to be tracking very well and needs updating.

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  • cifey
  • 2018-04-26

Wholistic view of the stock markets role in societ

Schiller expressed an interesting and wholistic if somewhat pesimistic view of the role of the stock market in society, And how it might be reshaped for more social benefit.

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  • Christopher Peddle
  • 2018-02-08

Everyone should read/listen

The sound quality deteriorated at one point though its difficult to say whether it was a problem my end or the recording.
The content is very relevant at the moment with the cryptocurrency exuberance

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ivan G Cortes
  • 2018-02-06

Excellent Book

This book is great to understand the stock market. I love how the writer explain everything!