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Pop Finance: Investment Clubs & the New Investor Populism

Pop Finance: Investment Clubs & the New Investor Populism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Superb, remarkably timely, and an extraordinary contribution to several fields. A wonderful study of how groups do and don't work, and a unique examination of how people really think about investments. Prepare to be surprised! Harrington's book is a classic. It will have a major academic impact; it will also get, and deserve to get, a large general readership."--Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard University

"A brilliant idea here: to study investment clubs up close, to observe the transmission of ideas and values at an investor's social nexus. The book provides deep insights into the mind of the market."--Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance and Animal Spirits

"A fascinating study of group decision making in investment clubs. Harrington's insights on the role of gender make important contributions not only to behavioral finance but also to the value of diversity in organizations of all types."--Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street

"Although investment clubs in the United States hold hundreds of billions in assets, they have been marginalized by students of the market. Brooke Harrington brings this important corner of the informal economy out of the shadows. Her extensive data and firsthand experience illuminate puzzles such as why mixed-gender clubs perform better than single-sex, how such clubs may contribute to 'socially responsible investing,' and how a close look at these informal decisions helps clarify the nature and limits of market rationality. A major--and elegantly written--contribution to the sociology and economics of markets."--Mark Granovetter, Stanford University

"This is an engaging book on an interesting and important topic. In examining investment clubs, Harrington contributes to our understanding of the growth of individual investors, which is significant in its own right, while contributing to the sociology of financial markets more generally."--David Stark, Columbia University

"This book constitutes the first major study of an important empirical phenomenon in the United States, namely investment clubs. Harrington skillfully introduces the insights of behavioral finance into economic and organizational sociology. She also pioneers the introduction of social psychology into economic sociology. Harrington adds substantively to the growing literature on amateur investors."--Richard Swedberg, coeditor of The Economic Sociology of Capitalism

Synopsis:

During the 1990s, the United States underwent a dramatic transformation: investing in stocks, once the province of a privileged elite, became a mass activity involving more than half of Americans. Pop Finance follows the trajectory of this new market populism via the rise of investment clubs, through which millions of people across the socioeconomic spectrum became investors for the first time. As sociologist Brooke Harrington shows, these new investors pour billions of dollars annually into the U.S. stock market and hold significant positions in some of the nation's largest firms. Drawing upon Harrington's long-term observation of investment clubs, along with in-depth interviews and extensive survey data, Pop Finance is the first book to examine the origins and impact of this mass engagement in investing.

One of Harrington's most intriguing findings is that gender-based differences in investing can create a "diversity premium"--groups of men and women together are more profitable than single-sex groups. In examining the sources of this effect, she delves into the interpersonal dynamics that distinguish effective decision-making groups from their dysfunctional counterparts.

In addition, Harrington shows that most Americans approach investing not only to make a profit but also to make a statement. In effect, portfolios have become like consumer products, serving both utilitarian and social ends. This ties into the growth of socially responsible investing and shareholder activism--matters relevant not only to social scientists but also to corporate leaders, policymakers, and the millions of Americans planning for retirement.

About the Author

Brooke Harrington is the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

SECTION ONE: Investment Clubs and the "Ownership Society" 1

Chapter 1: Stock Market Populism--Investment Clubs and Economic History 11

Chapter 2: Investment Clubs as Markets in Microcosm 37

SECTION TWO: Cash and Social Currency: Performance in Investment Clubs 73

Chapter 3: Group Composition and the Business Case for Diversity 83

Chapter 4: Getting Ahead versus Getting Along--Decision Making in Investment Clubs 113

SECTION THREE: Aftermath and Implications 143

Chapter 5: Reflections on Investing in the 1990s 149

Chapter 6: Implications and Conclusions 175

Notes 199

References 215

Index 231

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691128320
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Author:
Harrington, Brooke
Subject:
Investments
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Investments & Securities - Stocks
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Finance
Subject:
Investment clubs -- United States.
Subject:
Investments -- Social aspects -- United States.
Subject:
General-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
April 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 halftones. 1 line illus. 23 tables.
Pages:
264
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects


Business » Investing
Business » Investing » Stocks
Business » Nonprofit
Business » Personal Finance
History and Social Science » Economics » General

Pop Finance: Investment Clubs & the New Investor Populism
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$ In Stock
Product details 264 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691128320 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

During the 1990s, the United States underwent a dramatic transformation: investing in stocks, once the province of a privileged elite, became a mass activity involving more than half of Americans. Pop Finance follows the trajectory of this new market populism via the rise of investment clubs, through which millions of people across the socioeconomic spectrum became investors for the first time. As sociologist Brooke Harrington shows, these new investors pour billions of dollars annually into the U.S. stock market and hold significant positions in some of the nation's largest firms. Drawing upon Harrington's long-term observation of investment clubs, along with in-depth interviews and extensive survey data, Pop Finance is the first book to examine the origins and impact of this mass engagement in investing.

One of Harrington's most intriguing findings is that gender-based differences in investing can create a "diversity premium"--groups of men and women together are more profitable than single-sex groups. In examining the sources of this effect, she delves into the interpersonal dynamics that distinguish effective decision-making groups from their dysfunctional counterparts.

In addition, Harrington shows that most Americans approach investing not only to make a profit but also to make a statement. In effect, portfolios have become like consumer products, serving both utilitarian and social ends. This ties into the growth of socially responsible investing and shareholder activism--matters relevant not only to social scientists but also to corporate leaders, policymakers, and the millions of Americans planning for retirement.

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