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The Mind of Wall Street Hardcover – December 3, 2003

22 customer reviews

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Hardcover, December 3, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This well-written investment book delivers both adventure and financial insight, offering an intriguing theory that blends economic fundamentals with a keen understanding of the stock market's many moods. Levy, a legendary Wall Street investor with more than 50 years of experience and the founder of Oppenheimer Funds, certainly has a firm intellectual grasp on the inner workings of the stock market, but also sees its psychological dynamic. He fleshes out this analysis of the markets and the economy from the 1950s to today with amusing and exciting financial stories. Early in his career, Levy piggybacked on corporate raids run by J. Paul Getty and Sy Scheuer. After helping to found Oppenheimer and later, Odyssey Partners, he had the capital to lead the way. He explains each investment story step-by-step, from initial research to acquiring positions and influence, fighting through defenses and counterattacks, and finally cashing out years later, usually-but not always-at a handsome profit. Interwoven throughout the financial dramas are character vignettes, autobiographical sketches, anecdotes and thoughtful digressions on Levy's philanthropy, social theories and market theories.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Levy blends in anecdotes from the Street to produce a short, well-written, and well-organized work." -- Library Journal, January 2003.

"The beauty of [Levy's book] is that you can hear how...Levy's mind works...the reader-investor gets more than his money's worth." -- Forbes, November 5, 2002.

"illuminating...combines tales of flamboyant promoters...with wry observations about the nature of man and markets." -- New York Times, October 6, 2002

"well-written...delivers both adventure and financial insight, offering an intriguing theory...[and] a keen understanding of the market's many moods..." -- Publishers Weekly, October 28, 2002 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Texere Publishing (December 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587991764
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587991769
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,817,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By M. Swanson on March 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book that every investor should read. People who are looking for a trading system or some cookie-cutter program that will make you rich will be dissapointed. Although he made hundreds of millions of dollars, I doubt Levy himself had an exacting system that he used. He knew how to manage risk and look for low-risk opportunities. He also knew how to take advtange of new investment markets - which are almost impossible for average investors. Leveraged buyouts for example.
Nonetheless, if they take the effort this is one of the most important investment books that someone can read in this moment in time. Levy's book is one that will make you think. As he recounts the past 50's years on Wall Street you'll see how the stock market changed and how the psychology around it did too. Going into the 1950's, people, remembering the 1930's, were extremely bearish about the market. Levy wouldn't hire anyone under 30 - not because he wanted youth, but because he feared that those older would be too cautious, because of their life experiences of the depression.
Contrast that bearish sentiment, with today where every down day is heralded as a bottom and a one week rally is called a new bull market, and you'll see how different the eras are. You'll also realize how different the risk to reward ratio for stock investors is.
I have come to the same conclusions that Levy has concerning our market and our economy and where the coming investment opportunities are in the world. I was already in agreement with him before I read his book. That is why I strongly recommend that people read it.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By P. Hamidi on April 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is an example of how someone with a decent track record in investing thinks they can be as successful in writing, but then fail miserably at creating anything meaningful. I was able to finish this book in less than 9 hours!
The author actually makes an attempt at explaining the market based on the theories and doctrines of Behavioral Finance, or so he says. Unfortunately, the book is nothing more than a ramble about the "excess of the late 90's", as if we need more literature on that subject. In reality, the book would be thrown out of Behavioral Finance class rooms as a miserable failure.
In one instance, the author refers to Amazon.Com as "nothing more than a mail order house". He also suggests that Amazon's model of selling books is not going to be sufficient to bring this company to profitability. Hmm...Maybe an update is required but this book was published in 2002!!
Throughout the book, the author constantly refers to his and his firm's success, suggesting this to be nothing more than a $15 advertisement. There is no resemblance to work such as "Reminiscence of a Stock Operator", which is the classic book on speculator psychology. Unless you have never ever invested in the market and have nothing more than a basic understanding of what an investment is, don't buy this book. Instead, consider work by Schwager, LeFevre, Bernard Baruch and even classic Technical Analysis work such as "TA of Stock Trends", which goes more into the psychology behind successful investing than this author. I also highly recommend the two books written by Victor Neiderhoffer.
In instances where the author actually begins to discuss anything remotely close to behavioral finance, he immediately drops off into another subject.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. E. Yang on December 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I generally agree with Leon Levy's thesis that behavioral finance moves markets and stocks. It took me a while to grasp this idea after 4 years of Wharton where market efficiency and investors' rationality were expounded. Working as a practioner on Wall Street and living through the recent Internet bubble and subsequent collapse has taught me the value of respecting the effect of investors' psychology on stock prices. That said, I found this book disappointing. Some of Levy's economic and finance theories are dubious, and there were few ideas on how to actually make money from shifting investors' sentiment. Still, the book only took me a couple of hours to read (large print, 200 pages), and it did have some interesting anecdotes. All in all, it's pretty light-weight fare, and ok for a quick browse.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Walton on August 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A hundred pages into the book, I stopped and said "Wait, where's the psychology of Wall Street this book touts?" and realized the book is no more than a work touting Levy's every move.

While entertaining and well written, the book is a fast read that is short on substantial information. The book is interesting; it just falls very short of providing any sort of substantial fact or opinion on his psychology of the street premise.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a memoir, then this one is well written and a worthwhile read. But unfortunately, if you are looking to glean some insights and wisdom from his years in the trenches, you will be disappointed. Except for a few references to interest rates and value investing he never really spells out his theories on economics and investing. He repeatedly makes mention of his brother who continued his father's work (economic theory) but never really explains it. He probably has much he could teach us, but fails to do so. What a shame.
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