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Inside the House of Money: Top Hedge Fund Traders on Profiting in the Global Markets Hardcover – April 21, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The managers featured in Drobny's book use various strategies, as evidenced by the panoply of securities mentioned, from African stocks to Icelandic housing bonds. Drobny stresses the importance of diversification in picking global-macro managers, adding, "You can't rely on one man."….Other managers featured in Drobny's book include Peter Thiel, who runs Clarium Capital Management….Christian Siva-Jothy, former head of proprietary trading at Goldman Sachs, and Jim Leitner of Falcon Management. In the book, Leitner offers this advice to managers: "If you read about an oil discovery, start thinking about how to develop it into a trade. The idea is to do as much research as you can just reading and thinking about anything in the world before reaching out to your network."….The key to thriving in global macro? Plenty of smarts for starters. And "humility and flexibility," Drobny says. "You have to be flexible enough to cut your positions when what you firmly believe in is not working for you." This year, global macro managers did great in the January-April period, and didn't do great in May and June, when equities and emerging markets took a big hit…..even for sophisticated players in the global-macro game, it sometimes pays to just sit on the sidelines." (Barron's)

"It's a fantastic book, both in content and execution." (Bloomberg News)

"Steven Drobny has been able to do something that few others have, especially in the media: He got hedge fund managers to share their trade secrets." (InstitutionalInvestor.com)

"...useful for anyone who has entrusted their money to funds operating in the sector...an insight into the way in which some of the best performing global macro managers think about the world they invest in and how they have amassed their fortunes." —Financial Times, (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006)

"[Steven Drobny] uses this access to present a series of fascinating interviews with more than a dozen managers representing a broad spectrum of investment thinking." (Financial Times)

"a good start in understanding what the new global micro manager is all about." (Lipper HedgeWorld)

"Couldn't come at a more appropriate time…sheds more light than ever on the minds behind the largest global macro funds…reveals the intricacies of thinking like a hedge fund manager." (Forbes)

"Drobny has a Rolodex that's the Wall Street equivalent of Wilt Chamberlain's little black book…he has used its power to help craft the absorbing Inside the House of Money. Think Market Wizards – only full of guys who aren't either dead or irrelevant." (Trader Monthly)

"For the investor, the trading strategies described in the interviews are chock-a-block with detail, and can serve as a starting point toward navigating hedge funds… more interesting are the stories of how these traders got where they are today… goes a long way toward enlightening those who aspire to enter." (Financial World Magazine)

"...eye opener..." (NYSSA)

"...must read..." (Futures Magazine)

"...engaging..." (Active Trader)

"written an intelligent analysis of the current hedge fund climate" (Pensions World, September 2006)

"Corporate finance managers are taking the message of the book on board." (CFO Europe, September 2006)

From the Inside Flap

In today's difficult investment environment, where geopolitical and social instability compound an already challenging search for higher returns, hedge funds have outperformed. As a result, assets under management have exploded and top investment talent has migrated over to hedge funds. Amidst the growth and evolution of the business, one strategy—global macro—has remained true to its original mandate of absolute return investing, which seeks outsized returns from investments anywhere in the world, in any asset class, and in any instrument.

Although successful money managers often have a reputation for being reluctant to discuss their market views and trading strategies, Inside the House of Money opens the door to the typically opaque world of hedge funds—particularly global macro investing—and offers a rare glimpse into a high-intensity environment where enormous stakes are a part of everyday life. As cofounder and partner of Drobny Global Advisors—an international macroeconomic research and advisory firm—author Steven Drobny has access to a broad selection of today's top global macro hedge fund managers. Through detailed interviews with more than a dozen of these individuals, Drobny provides you with an inside look at how these money managers view world markets and offers subtle insights into how they make money.

First, you will receive an introduction to global macro from a professional investor's perspective. Then, you will discover how some key historical events have shaped this field. You will also learn how future events, such as increased competition and specialization, are pushing today's global macro manager into the realm of global micro investing. With this information in hand, you'll go Inside the House of Money through a collection of in-depth interviews with a variety of money managers, each with a unique perspective and approach to global markets, including:

  • The Family Office Manager: Jim Leitner (Falcon Management)
  • The Prop Trader: Christian Siva-Jothy (SemperMacro)
  • The Treasurer: Dr. John Porter (Barclays Capital)
  • The Central Banker: Dr. Sushil Wadhwani (Wadhwani Asset Management)
  • The Dot-Commer: Peter Thiel (Clarium Capital Management)
  • The Pioneer: Jim Rogers
  • The Commodity Specialist: Dwight Anderson (Ospraie Management)
  • The Emerging Market Specialist: Marko Dimitrijevic (Everest Capital)
  • And others

Filled with in-depth insight and real-world experiences of top hedge fund traders, Inside the House of Money reveals how the best minds in the business identify and profit from opportunities in every corner of the globe.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471794473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471794479
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
While working on the book Steven, the author, learned and shares with the reader through a series of interviews, "how the best minds in the business think about risk, portfolio construction, history, politics, central bankers, globalization, trading, competition, investors, hiring, the evolution of the hedge fund business and a variety of other details."

The book provides an inside look at the thoughts and actions of many great financial minds. For example did you know that Maynard Keynes (the father of modern macroeconomic theory) was completely wiped out by a margin call during the commodity slump of 1929 or that George Soros's Quantum Fund averaged over 30% for it's 31 ½ years existence and that $100,000 invested in the fund at inception was worth $420 million 31 ½ years later.

Jim Leitner of Falcon Management who claims to have taken $2 billion out of the market so far in his career says he "reads a tremendous amount of books and papers" and feels, "developing a network by going out and meeting groups of intelligent people is very important". He also recommends reading the Economist. Jim says, "The Economist had something on Nigeria, stating the average beer consumption had dropped from 34 liters to 3 and then rebounded to 4. That signaled to me that there must be a trade there. There is something going on when beer consumption drops 90% in a hot country and then starts to rebound. We started buying Guinness of Nigeria and its gone straight up over the last 3 years".

Peter Thiel, the former CEO and co-founder of PayPal who runs Clarium Capital Management was given this advice from a major venture capital partner when asking about the industry, "The best way to get into venture capital is to make at least $20 million by starting a company and selling it.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the things money can't always buy is access to the great minds. Lets say you want have an 1 on 1 with Jim Rogers(the co-pioneer of the Hedge Funds concept). Will you be able to do it? Maybe ... maybe not. And if we expand the problem to 10+ top Hedge Fund minds ... the problem becomes even more challenging. However, instead if we find someone who has access to all these folks and can proxy for you? Won't that be neat? That is exactly what Steven Drobny has done in this book. He has been able to rein in some of the greatest & successful minds in the Hedge Funds arena and ask them interesting & revealing questions relating to their trading strategy, best trades, worst trades and the other lessons they learnt from their failures/successes.

As expected, this book is written in Q&A format. The author has done an excellent job of organizing and laying out the book which moves in gradual progression. The responses from the folks are equally simple and straight forward without the use of complicated financial language(except the overuse of long/short gamma/alpha) or financial models. In my opinion, the most interesting and revealing question/responses were the one relating to the biggest mistakes and the lessons learned from them. I would highly recommend reading the responses from the various folks on this particular question. It will be worth a lot.

Some of the key insights/views I found interesting ...

* Just being right does not matter. Being right at the right time does.
* Be fluid in your decisions. As fact changes, change your views too.
* If you make agressive bets, then make sure that you defend your investment with good hedging strategy.
* Cut your losses. Ride your winners.

It definitely is a must read ...

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Format: Hardcover
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Inside the House of

Money is an amalgam of perspectives from about twenty of the world's most

successful "global macro" hedge fund players in the vein of similar books

like Barton Biggs' Hedgehogging, Schwager's Market Wizards, or Elder's

Entries and Exits. The players range from home office hedge fund managers

to chief treasurers of Barclay's to reknown bow-tie wearing commodity

market demagogues. New Jersey's governor (a Goldman Sachs alumnus) even

makes an brief appearance in this book.

Of course none of these folks are like us, as inside the House of Money

they deal in highly leveraged $100 billion positions in esoteric financial

exotica like swaptions and steepeners. Readers whose experience may be

limited to discount brokerage stockpicking will quickly find theselves

submerged by the quasifantastic instruments hedge fund players flip

almost effortlessly. Drobny sometimes eases the impact with explanatory

side bars, and price graphs illustrate many good (and bad) market bets.

Nonetheless, feeling a certain amount of disorientation when first

entering the House is only to be expected.

When these trades go wrong, they are Oh So wrong, as revealed in many

personal reflections throughout the book. Yet given their failings they

have managed to survive global macro, and that much makes them remarkable.
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