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Dumb Money: Adventures of a Day Trader Hardcover – April 18, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (April 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375503889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375503887
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,777,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Could it be? Is it possible that day trading--the hottest thing to hit the market since analysts started forecasting stock movements by the heft of Alan Greenspan's briefcase--is simply a bait-and-switch that promises unlimited riches but delivers only aggravation? Joey Anuff, cofounder of the Suck.com humor Web site, certainly thinks so. With a literary assist from Wired magazine's Gary Wolf, he takes us into the belly of the beast in Dumb Money. And his rollercoaster first-person account of the day trading life graphically shows that while this highly romanticized world may be consistently exciting and occasionally quite profitable, it sure ain't pretty.

Set to the tempo of a trading day that begins each dawn in Anuff's San Francisco apartment, the book chronicles an existence fueled by CNBC and Starbucks and has little room for anything else. Envious of the vast riches that everyone else seems to be accumulating, Anuff jumps into the abyss full-bore to the detriment of his personal life, his regular job, and even his sanity. Through witty writing and self-effacing irony, he shows why he stayed glued to his keyboard each day until the closing bell, repeatedly risking tens of thousands on stocks he couldn't even recall a few weeks later. Along the way, he introduces us to several top players in the game, and explains how everything from discount brokerages to Web message boards affect the action. A true cautionary tale, it's recommended for anyone who has ever read about a trader's million-dollar day and seriously wondered, "Why not me?" --Howard Rothman

From Publishers Weekly

Literate day traders are bound to enjoy this brisk, canny account of one day in the life of young profiteer Joey Anuff, provided they can tear themselves away from their browser windows and news feeds. Anuff, who created the edgy humor site Suck.com and racked up a six-figure trading account when he made an early killing on eBay stock, takes us through the rhythms of the Nasdaq trading day as experienced from his San Francisco loft. With CNBC blaring in the background, we wake up to the blistering pace of morning trading, segue into the "midday dead zone" while hitting up a few novice-filled chat rooms, and then wait out the market close. Anuff peppers his real-time vignettes with reportage on the evolution of day trading, revisiting the scene of killer Mark O. Barton, whose rampage through the Atlanta offices of All-Tech Investment Group put day trading on the national radar screen, and harking back to legendary traders like Harvey Houtkin, "b?te noir of the NASD." To his credit, Anuff explores the cliquish culture of veteran traders and explains plenty of insider babble from the Nasdaq exchange. Yet the book's tone wavers between deliberate cynicism and paranoid delusion, which may be faithful to day-trading psychology but can make the narrative seem contrived. When Anuff concludes by renouncing day trading and its dumb money for a real life, one feels as though the persona of the mercenary, bug-eyed trader has been a bit of a swindle. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By By Mike B on April 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you are considering daytrading, or need some comic relief to ease the pain from your daytrading losses, read this book.
An easy read, this one portraits daytrading for a living as it really is. There are plenty of books about how wonderful trading life is. It sounds too good to be true and it is.
I've always been partial to authors who have real life experience. This one does, you couldn't make this stuff up!
Read it. Considering the potential losses in money and sanity, it may be your best investment yet.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book is an interesting combination of one person's odyssey into and out of day trading, as well as a solid history of day trading. I thought that the joint perspective of the two authors was very helpful in conveying both how it used to be easy to make money in day trading (as SOES bandits hitting old bids and offers from market makers) and is much harder now.
The reality described here is that almost all new day-traders can expect to lose a lot of money in the process of learning day trading (perhaps 30-50 percent of the inital stake, and some will lose more), and even those who make money will do so in a minority of the trades. This means a lot of psychological pressure on the day trader as loss after loss occurs.
This pressure was beautifully described through Joey Anuff's relating a typical day while he was day trading. Since he lives on the West coast, this means getting up early . . . often followed by sleeplessness if he made big mistakes (like when he carried a large Oracle position overnight before a disappointing earnings announcement). The moments in between were often filled with tedium (listening to too much CNBC) and self-doubt (why didn't I hit the buy button in time?).
For those who are not skeptical enough, the book provides a lot of insight into the motives of those who profit from there being more day traders (brokerage firms, market makers, those who sell tips and educational services, information providers, financial networks, etc.).
The tone of the book is funny without overdoing it. Money is, after all, serious business to most people. In fact, it seems that most day-traders dream of becoming wealthy from this activity. Some will find the routine of a day-trader to be intriguing and exciting.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a quick read, as breezy as the sports page and as agreeable as a six-figure income before you're thirty. But beware. Underneath the adrenaline rush lie material angst and emotional depression. After reading this you may take a certain delight in writing yet another line of boring code or in picking up that phone and punching in the numbers as you puff yourself up for a cheery hello. You might even walk outside and admire the scenery, realizing that perhaps day trading is its own peculiar hell, the kind of thing the gods do to you when they grant your dearest wish.
On the other hand this book might psyche you up to take the plunge or recharge you enough to catch the open tomorrow morning. If so--if you hear the siren call of the market or feel that passion for action--then this is a good book to read for what you can learn about how some day traders buy and sell. (They will be part of your competition.) There's a lot of insight here into what works and what doesn't work, or I should caution, what worked and what didn't work. It's clear that what day traders like Anuff do is follow the trend while working very hard to find a way to (glory be!) ANTICIPATE the trend. The incidental information on the significance of spreads, of just who you are playing against (add brokers and market makers to day traders) and how this passion may take over your life is perhaps the best of the book. Noteworthy is Anuff's description of the three-monitor layout and the software he used and the sites he visited while ensconced in his Frisco apartment glued to CNBC, whistling their theme song.
Essentially "dumb money" is nonprofessional money.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Firstly don't write a review about a book you havent read--duh (like the guy above did).
Secondly--I greatly enjoyed the book. I am not a day trader but I am intrigued by it. I learned a great deal about the history of the stock market during the last 15 years. I am less "dumb" for reading this book.
The main morale I got from this book was not whether to day trade or not, but rather how the average online investor is being taken by the brokerages, CNBC interviews, and market makers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eugene H. Steele on April 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is worth the read for those thinking about daytrading or just begining the process and losing money. It is well written and flavored with great phrases. It is not a tech book but shows the development of a day trader. It can be very helpful in developing the correct mind set. It was a fun read.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mike on April 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a really fun read and tells it like it is. It strips away the glamour of day trading and shows the real story of the life of a manic day trader. Between Dumb Money, Monkey Business and Liar's Poker anyone could get the real scoop of what trading and banking are all about and be as well educated as any Harvard MBA in the ways of Wall Street.
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