Contrarian Investment Strategies - The Classic Edition

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9780684813509: Contrarian Investment Strategies - The Classic Edition

David Dreman's name is synonymous with the term "contrarian investing," and his contrarian strategies have been proven winners year after year. His techniques have spawned countless imitators, most of whom pay lip service to the buzzword "contrarian," but few can match his performance. His Kemper-Dreman High Return Fund has been the leader since its inception in 1988 -- the number one equity-income fund among all 208 ranked by Lipper Analytical Services, Inc. Dreman is also one of a handful of money managers whose clients have beaten the runaway market over the past five, ten, and fifteen years.
Now, as the longest bull market in the history of the stock market winds down, there is increasing volatility and a great deal of uncertainty. This is the climate that tests the mettle of the pros, the worries of the average investor, and the success of David Dreman's brilliant new strategies for the next millennium.
Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation shows investors how to outperform professional money managers and profit from potential Wall Street panics -- all in Dreman's trademark style, which The New York Times calls "witty and clear as a silver bell." Dreman reveals a proven, systematic, and safe way to beat the market by buying stocks of good companies when they are currently out of favor. At the heart of his book is a fundamental psychological insight: investors overreact. Dreman demonstrates how investors consistently overvalue the so-called "best" stocks and undervalue the so-called "worst" stocks, and how earnings and other surprises affect the best and worst stocks in opposite ways. Since surprises are a way of life in the market, Dreman shows you how to profit from these surprises with his ingenious new techniques, most of which have been developed in the nineties. You'll learn:

  • Why contrarian stocks offer extra protection in bear markets, as well as delivering superior returns when the bull roars.
  • Why a high dividend yield is just as important for the aggressive investor as it is for "widows and orphans."
  • Why owning Treasury bills and government bonds -- the "safest investments" for centuries -- is like being fully margined at the top of the 1929 market.
  • Why Initial Public Offerings are a guaranteed loser's game.
  • Why you should avoid Nasdaq ("the market of the next hundred years") like the plague.
  • Why crisis, panic, and even market downturns are the contrarian investor's best friend.
  • Why the chances of hitting a home run using the Street's best research are worse than being the big winner in the New York State Lottery.

Based on cutting-edge research and irrefutable statistics, David Dreman's revolutionary techniques will benefit professionals and laymen alike.

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Review:

All stock-market investors embrace the motto "Buy low, sell high." Few act accordingly, however, for to do so would require that we go against the crowd, buying stocks that are out of favor and selling Wall Street's darlings. Powerful psychological forces prevent us from pursuing a contrarian investment strategy, although it consistently beats the market, according to David Dreman, a seasoned money manager and long-time columnist for Forbes magazine. One of the Street's best-known and most articulate contrarians, Dreman has updated his 1982 investment classic, Contrarian Investment Strategies, using recent research on investor psychology. His revised book combines proven techniques for selecting undervalued stocks with fresh insights on how to defy, and thereby profit from, the popular fears or enthusiasms of the moment.

Dreman pays only cursory attention to a company's business fundamentals in deciding whether to invest in it. Instead he looks for stocks trading at below-market multiples of per-share earnings, cash flow, book value, or dividend yield. Historically, Dreman claims, stocks that are cheap by any of these measures have tended to outperform the market average, although this is disputed by those who believe the stock market is efficient and therefore impossible to beat except by accident. Dreman devotes many pages to debunking their research. He offers a new refinement of his low-price strategy, which involves picking the cheapest stocks within industries, to create a diversified, contrarian portfolio.

Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation is full of practical and provocative advice, but some of its most interesting passages delve into the abstruse findings of cognitive psychology. This research has proven that we are woefully inadequate as intuitive statisticians. Interpreting data to make predictions about the probability of future events, we consistently make the same mistakes. For example, we exaggerate the likelihood that current trends will continue, even when they are historically exceptional. (Logic dictates that trends are more likely to regress toward the mean.) This fallacy explains why most Wall Street insiders were gloomiest about stocks in 1981, after six years of falling prices, just before the beginning of the greatest bull market ever. Is today's widespread optimism among investors a reason for caution? Dreman thinks so.

It seems our brains are hard-wired to underperform the market. That's why few investors can keep to a contrarian approach. Dreman recommends buying stocks when prices fall, the worse the panic the better. But that requires overriding powerful instincts.

Besides reflecting Dreman's wide reading in finance, psychology, and history, his book also displays his sometimes windy and self-important writing style. At 464 pages, the book is not a quick read. But its intellectual depth and thoroughly tested advice make many other investment books look paltry and superficial by comparison. Serious, independent investors will find it rewarding. --Barry Mitzman

From the Publisher:

Praise for Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation

"A generation of academic research has rested on two basic premises -- that markets are perfectly efficient and investors are rational. Only now are the Ivory Towers waking to what holders of dog-eared copies of David Dreman's original "Contrarian Investment Strategy" have long known: Both premises are wrong. Securities, at times, can be priced very inappropriately, and investors' actions, at almost all times, are based on powerful psychological forces, not on cold, calculated thought. Rather than assume a neat, reasoned world that doesn't actually exist, "Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation" deals with today's market realities. Not surprisingly, Dreman's conclusions are often at odds with conventional wisdom... Skip the academics and just read Dreman." -- Don Phillips, President and CEO, Morningstar, Inc., April 20, 1998

"David Dreman has written one of those rare original books on the market that appears every generation or so. Powerful, profound, extremely well documented, it provides totally new strategies for investing in the 1990's and beyond." -- Marshall Loeb, Former Editor, Fortune and Money magazines, February, 1998

"Lots of people call themselves contrarians. David Dreman is the real thing. This seminal work puts you far ahead of conventional wisdom, offering dynamic new money making strategies for both the average and the professional investor alike. A classic -- lucid, witty and entertaining. Must reading for anyone interested in beating the market." -- Martin Edelston Editor, Boardroom Reports and Bottom Line, March, 1998

"Most people like to think of themselves as contrarians... But few have earned true contrary credentials, with a contrary point of view and a winning record. Dreman is one of the few. Dreman's true contrarian colors come into play when he discusses the stock market's irrationality. In particular, his discussions of the efficient market theory and modern portfolio theory ... are wonderfully scathing. Dreman's conclusion: Independent thought and research beats most popular market theories." -- John Waggoner, USA Today, December 21, 1998

"There are relatively few good money managers or good writers on investments. David Dreman is both. In "Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation," Dreman's focus on the understanding of risk should free investors from the mathematical traps of so-called 'risk' measurement. In plain language, Dreman explains that the real risk is investments that underperform for your needs and expectations. This is a great book for all investors, laymen and professionals alike." -- A. Michael Lipper, President, Lipper Analytical Services, February 10, 1998

"Dreman's erudition will appeal to any student of history or popular culture... Above all, [his] book peddles common-sense advice from a veteran who's given investing topics decades worth of thought." -- Adam Lashinsky, Chicago Tribune, May 25, 1998

"Last week, I was as eager to listen to David Dreman when he visited to talk about his new book -- "Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation" -- as I was after reading "Psychology and the Stock Market" 20 years ago. Dreman is the Maharaja of the Multiples... If you want a reality foundation for investing, get yourself a copy." -- Scott Burns, Dallas Morning News, May 26, 1998

"A frequently asked question has been what books would you include in an investment library...[W]e named ... David Dreman's new book, "Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation"... And it's bound to capture attention and arouse controversy... The thrust of his book [is that] common [psychological] mistakes open up opportunities for others to use disciplined value strategies." -- Eric T. Miller, Chief Investment Officer, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, excerpted from Portfolio Manager's Weekly, May 6 and May 13, 1998

"Contrarian Investment Strategies" provides a treasure trove of useful research findings. In his eagerness to give something back to his profession, David Dreman is an excellent role model... This book is clearly a labor of love by a man dedicated to discerning the truth amid a morass of emotionalism and cognitive error." -- Martin Fridson, Financial Analysts Journal, November/December, 1998

"I have just got into David Dreman's "Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation," and I am going to take the unusual step of putting in a good word for an investment book before finishing it. Canadian-born Dreman is both a money manager who has beaten the market benchmarks and a stimulating independent thinker. This time he adds some timely input on investment psychology." -- Patrick Bloomfield, The Financial Post, May 6, 1998 and May 16, 1998

"Overcoming psychological barriers is the hardest challenge when buying out-of-favour stocks. For inspiration the best book I have read is "Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation" by David Dreman. Dreman's funds have an excellent long-term record on Wall Street and his ideas can be adapted here." -- Edmond Jackson, The Sunday Telegraph, January 31, 1999

"Loaded with solid advice for the average investor. How can you not like a man who dislikes forecasters, market timers, small cap stocks, complex risk analysis, bonds, bank savings, annuities and selling when the stock market declines. Is this guy tapping my phone?" -- Cliff Pletschet, Oakland Tribune, July 12, 1998

"Dreman's latest book, "Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation," expands on his three decades of scrutiny of market trends. Aimed at individual investors and money managers alike, [it] is smart [and] well grounded in history." -- John T. Ward, the Newark Star-Ledger, August 31, 1998

"David Dreman writes great books... "Contrarian Investment Strategies" is loaded with great stuff." -- Eric Hanson, President, Hanson Investment Management Inc., The Hanson Newsletter, June, 1998

"Frequently described as the dean of Wall Street's contrarians, Dreman has managed to stay ahead of the market by straying from the investment herd. He shares [with the reader] a disciplined strategy ... along with an assessment of investor psychology to make decisions." -- Michael Liedtke, Contra Costa Times, May 22, 1998

"Finally an investment book that's not filled with fluff, meaningless data, and boring anecdotes. "Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation" is a Gem... Backed by well-researched data, [he] discredits traditional investment theory, including market timing, with the same tenacity that The Amazing Randy debunks the paranormal. Mr. Dreman's thesis is backed up with loads of data yet he makes the book an easy read by wrapping it with entertaining analogies and anecdotes from his illustrious career." -- David Goldman, The Laughing Stock Broker.com, June 18, 1998

"Dreman details the ins, outs, ups and downs of contrarian investing. Undoubtedly, Dreman is the man to do it. Shrewd investors, he asserts, can surpass professional money managers... [His] theories rightly give one pause before jumping on the more popular bandwagons in today's markets." -- Mary Scott, Research, June, 1998

"Dreman shows you how to make psychology -- both yours and the market's -- work for you, not against you." -- James W. Michaels, Editor, Forbes Magazine, February 2, 1998

"Highly recommended for business collections in both public and academic libraries. [Dreman] emphasizes the importance of investor psychology [investor decisions] which he terms "the necessary link required to activate contrarian strategies." -- Lucy T. Heckman, Library Journal, May, 1998

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