This book promises to use the new behavioural economics to help you understand the stock market and protect yourself from your own worst enemy: your "lizard" brain. It is entertaining. It does have useful information. It is certainly better than 90% of the "investing" books that are out there. But ultimately I was left unsatisfied. I guess I hoped for too much. For me the book did reference some research, but it was more fluff than hard core information. I'm willing to accept that the book has to be written this way to be popular and to sell. My tastes are too far away from "normal" to be a guide to marketability. The fact that this book is in its second printing says that it is a success in a conventional publishing sense.
I would put this in the top 20% of books I've read on markets and economics. He does cite the interesting research. My taste favours those who are researchers (e.g., I preferred Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational as a very readable discussion of research topics in behavioural economics).
One thing I did like about the book was his honesty. Most finance books are focused only on greed is good. Burnham does acknowledge other values if only in passing:
There are, of course, a number of important caveats to this productivity argument that goes beyond the scope of this book. First, average economic wealth may mean very little if it comes in a world that is environmentally damaged. Second, the distribution of wealth may be more important than its total. Third, and most fundamentally, there is scant evidence that increases in wealth make people happier. In fact, studies from around the world suggest that while most of us believe money will make us happier, wealth does not cause happiness. All of these are important topics, but not for this book, which is dedicated to the mission of helping investors make money.There is a lot of wisdom here. Unfortunately it is only mentioned and put outside the scope of the book. But at least he had the audacity to make these statements which make most stock market players go apoplectic. Burnham points out that there is life outside money making!
By and large I recommend Terry Burnham's book as a solid discussion of investing. It does warn people of their "lizard brain" which sets them up to have their pockets picked by the sharpsters of Wall Street.