Jason Zweig: “The Devil’s Financial Dictionary and The Intelligent Investor” | Talks @Google

Published on Apr 5, 2016

Jason Zweig will discuss his latest book, The Devil’s Financial Dictionary, and how he went about distilling everything he had learned in almost three decades as an investing journalist into definitions of Wall Street terms that are, in many cases, only a few words long. Markets are driven much more by psychology and history than by economics. In writing The Devil’s Financial Dictionary, Zweig was guided largely by a saying of his father’s: “It’s remarkable how much you have to learn in order to realize how little you need to know.”

“This is the most amusing presentation of the principles of finance that I have ever seen.” —Robert J. Shiller, professor of finance, Yale University; Nobel laureate in economics; author of Irrational Exuberance

“Part social commentary, part instruction manual, Zweig’s book is must-reading for anyone who presumes or desires to understand the investment world…. Like the book in which they’re contained, each of Zweig’s entries is pointed, witty, and revealing of important and useful truths. The Devil himself, a.k.a., [Ambrose] Bierce, would be proud.” —TIME

About the Author
Jason Zweig writes a weekly column, “The Intelligent Investor,” for The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of The Devil’s Financial Dictionary, a satirical glossary of financial terms; Your Money and Your Brain, on the neuroscience and psychology of financial decision-making; and The Little Book of Safe Money, an investing guide. The editor of the revised edition of Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor and co-editor of Benjamin Graham: Building a Profession, Zweig also assisted the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman in writing his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. Before joining The Wall Street Journal, Zweig worked at Money, Forbes and TIME.

Jason Zweig The Devil's Financial Dictionary

0:01hello and welcome everyone our speaker for today is Jason’s white Jason writes
0:08a weekly column the intelligent investor for the wall street journal it’s a very
0:13very popular column is also going to be speaking about this book The Devil’s
0:20financial dictionary so I’m not gonna give a more on the subject of that book
0:25but it’s very interesting about you know if you look at the array of subjects
0:30that Jason has written about for the last thirty years he’s written a little
0:37book of safe money and investing guide is also assisted the Nobel prize-winning
0:42psychologist Daniel Kahneman in writing his book Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel
0:49Kahneman for those of you that know give a fantastic talk at Google some time ago
0:52and Jason frequently speaks to see FAA’s investors students journalists so in
1:02talking to him before the talk I was asking him he you know when did you get
1:06your CFA and said I don’t have said you know you have a CFP now at least tell me
1:14you have an MBA said no and I found a pretty interesting and I guess you know
1:22he might talk more about you know why or why not
1:25that is a good or bad thing jason is guided light largely by a saying of his
1:31father’s it’s remarkable how much you have to learn in order to realize how
1:36little you need to know it also brings to mind what einstein said which is when
1:43he mentioned education is what remains after one has forgotten what one learned
1:49in school so without further ado ladies and gentlemen please join me in
1:54welcoming Jason strike
1:57and it’s my pleasure to be here like everyone writes and research is for a
2:10has been an enormous help to me or the year turnabout is fair play all try to
2:15give you some useful ideas today and of course for the folks who might be tuning
2:20in later on you to welcome to all of you and thanks to everybody for coming today
2:26so I’m going to talk about my new book The Devil’s financial dictionary but
2:32also talk a little bit at the end of my role in that inning Benjamin Graham book
2:38the intelligent investor and as many of you know gramm was probably the greatest
2:44investment advisor of the 20th century the founder of the modern discipline
2:51security now is Warren Buffett’s keep her and it was certainly one of the
2:57great honors I’ve had in my career
2:59involved in editing his book intelligent investor’s so this is the devil’s
3:07financial dictionary and it was inspired very directly by the devil’s dictionary
3:15by Ambrose beers and thank you Google Books if we have anybody from Google
3:21Books in this this is the title page
3:25the book first appeared in its final form over a century ago and many people
3:35would regard it as one of the funniest books ever written in the
3:39English language I’m among them and this is yours was born in 1842 you believed
3:48to have died in 1914 although no one really knows for sure is believed to
3:55have died when we re of human folly he walked across the border into the
4:03Mexican Revolution hoping that he would be shot and no one really knows what
4:09happened to her after that but he did not suffer fools gladly and here are a
4:16few examples of definitions from the original devil’s dictionary this is
4:20probably his best-known definition those of you who are married perhaps you
4:26sympathize with this love now temporary insanity curable by marriage another
4:33favorite of mine once you are in love you should remember this callous
4:38attitude to unduly concerned about the preservation of with of that which can
4:43be lost only if it is not worth keeping
4:47here’s one of his few financial definitions it’s quite good
4:51finance now the art or science of managing revenues and resources for the
4:57best advantage of the manager
4:59and I’ve including this one it gives you a sense of how dark beers’s view of the
5:08world was I don’t really endorse his pessimism you can buy your own
5:13conclusions about his personality but I put it up because those of you who by
5:20the Devils financial dictionary will encounter some definitions that I’ve
5:27written that also feature these little icon on flights of fancy in which an
5:34imaginary character explains helps us understand the definition and in this
5:41case yours is giving us two lines of poetry from a non-existent medieval
5:51English poet named Ibori the bald but in any case so why did I want to write this
5:59book will be familiar with the 19th century British SAS and historian Thomas
6:09Carlyle who is today perhaps best known for saying that economics is the dismal
6:18science which is a little quip that he made in an article he wrote actually in
6:251840 and what I would argue after almost thirty years of writing about investing
6:33is that if economics is the dismal science and investment is the abysmal
6:40art it is rendered boring and overly complicated a few words I heard over the
6:51years about various investing books are some of these I’m sure anyone in this
6:57room who was read a book on investing my
7:00adjectives of your own you would tend to apply but it’s never really been

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