Newcomers to Jack Schwager's series on top traders, as well as fervent fans of his first two entries Market Wizards and The New Market Wizards, will find that Stock Market Wizards offers another revealing look at a wide spectrum of trading styles through the eyes of 15 extraordinarily successful individuals. Transcripts of incisive Q&A sessions between Schwager and traders--including Michael Lauer, Dana Galante, Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher Jr., and Claudio Guazzoni--examine the ways each approaches their specialty, whether it be value stocks, mutual funds, short selling, options trading, or other market niches. After brief but interesting introductions that place the subjects' trading practices into perspective, Schwager coaxes from them penetrating observations on setting goals, finding opportunities, learning from mistakes, and operating on a day-to-day basis. While some participants refuse to divulge proprietary practices, and Anthony admits that many traders' activities hold little relevance to individual investors, the basic doctrines nonetheless contain nuggets of wisdom that can be applied by many nonprofessionals. And, in the final "Wizard Lessons" chapter, Schwager details the 65 overarching principles (such as Trade Your Personality, Be Willing to Take a Loss, and The Importance of Setting Goals) he culled from these extensive conversations. --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
In 1989, professional futures trader Schwager wrote the electrifying Market Wizards, featuring incisive interviews with some of the world's most successful traders, discussion of a wide variety of techniques and markets, and a detailed chronicle of various traders' track records. It quickly became a bestseller. Five years later, Schwager published The New Market Wizards, less detailed and with more generic interviews. Now, six years after, the third installment continues this unfortunate trend. The subjects of Schwager's new interviews are less than impressive, and his questions have gone soft. To make matters worse, subjects were allowed to amend their words later, resulting in many lifeless, boilerplate responses. Instead of analyzing specific trading decisions, theories or track records, subjects spend most of the interviews talking about their childhoods or disparaging ex-bosses and co-workers. Even this dirt fails to engage the reader, since Schwager has changed the names of the maligned parties. Only the author's brief, energetic commentaries on the interviews display the insight of Schwager's earlier work. Inexperienced traders may benefit from some of the platitudes in these interviews, but experienced traders already know to cut their losses. (Jan. 31) Forecast: Bolstered by an author tour (with guest appearances by some of the "wizards") to New York City, Chicago and Boston and a syndicated radio feature, Schwager's third book may get some initial sales from fans of Market Wizards and those looking for more up-to-date trading information. Poor reviews and word-of-mouth, however, probably will hurt this book's sales, as they did the previous sequel.
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