Art of Contrary Thinking

Submitted by Book Library on 29 March, 2010 - 19:21

"When everybody thinks alike, every one is likely to be wrong. The ten words quoted above are, according to Humphrey B. Neill, a potent factor behind the economic booms and busts that blight our civilization. "The Mississippi Bubble," Holland’s incredible "Tulip mania," and the New York stock market crash in 1929 are historic examples of disasters magnified and hastened by the pressure of mass opinion. In exactly the opposite direction, in the years immediately following the close of World War II, ominous popular forecasts of business recession turned out to be wrong. What actually happened was-a business boom, not a business bust!

The reason is no mystery to anyone versed in the contrary way of thought-the practical application of the Neill Theory of Contrary Opinion. Today, this Theory-which began as one man's quest for a way to solve the puzzles of economic trends-has expanded enormously in both scope and significance. In The Art of Contrary Thinking you will find the answer to a question increasingly asked by persons of affairs and influence: Contrary Opinion-what is it? . . . What will it do for me?

Positive Review of Book

Often, less experienced investors overlook the big picture topics such as macroeconomics and behavioral finance and focus on the investment book of the month which is invariably trash. This book was originally written many decades ago and the fact that it is still selling is a testament to its quality.

When you look at al of the current investment books out in print, how many do you think will still be selling 40 years from now? Of course, back then, the publishing world was selective. Today, it focuses on publishing books about investing by big name preachers and sports legends or psychopaths with useless TV shows because they know people will buy them.

If you cannot appreciate this book then you have a very long way to go towards becoming a good investor. And if you are a good investor, this book is just another step towards your progression into a great investor.

Negative Review of Book

Another abysmal reprint of mind numbing market lore from days gone by. Not worth the time to open. Read Gustave le Bon and learn something useful. Line the birdcage with this.

Author Biography

Years of observation and analysis of economic trends from the vantage point of Wall Street did not rub his Vermont heritage out of his face, or speech, or heart. Since 1828, generations of Neills have occupied their homestead in Saxtons River, Vermont. A book-lined room off the kitchen of the venerable house served Humphrey Neill as his editorial workshop, while the former harness room in the big barn housed his research library and his newspaper and bulletin files. From these sanctums he wrote his well-known Letters of Contrary Opinion.

After a decade of apprenticeship with such organizations as the Brookmire Economic Service, Humphrey Neill established himself as a business writer whose lively, human approach to a "dusty" facts-and-figures science brought him nationwide attention. His many published books include Tape Reading and Market Tactics (1931), Understanding American Business (1939), and The Inside Story of the Stock Exchange (1950).

Throughout his active business life Humphrey B. Neill observed, researched, and recorded data from which he developed the theory of Contrary Opinion.

Table of Contents

  • The art of contrary thinking
  • Before you begin
  1. Section 1-1t pays to be contrary
  2. Section 2-essays pertaining to the theory of contrary opinion and the art of con
  • Trary thinking
  • Waves of mass sentiment
  • The investor’s dilemma
  • Habit
  • The psychology of inflation
  • Imitation of the minority
  • For your notebook
  • One being contrary to the gregarious option
  • The theory of contrary option is a Way of thinking
  • Thinking by accident
  • Put the cart before the horse
  • Law of universal inequality
  • Propaganda
  • Realism: the contrary challenge of the new year
  • How economists sometime make their pre-dictions go wrong
  • Ask what’s right?-instead of always what’s wrong?
  • Mass psychology and the campaigns
  • Social psychology

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