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Stock Market Wizards: Interviews with America's Top Stock Traders Paperback – April 15, 2003

3.7 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; Rev Upd edition (April 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066620597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066620596
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jack Schwager is a recognized industry expert in futures and hedge funds and the author of a number of widely acclaimed financial books. He is currently the co-portfolio manager for the ADM Investor Services Diversified Strategies Fund, a portfolio of futures and FX managed accounts. Previously, Mr. Schwager was a partner in the Fortune Group, a London-based hedge fund advisory firm, which specialized in creating customized hedge fund portfolios for institutional clients. His prior experience includes 22 years as Director of Futures research for some of Wall Street's leading firms and 10 years as the co-principal of a CTA.

Mr. Schwager has written extensively on the futures industry and great traders in all financial markets. He is perhaps best known for his best-selling series of interviews with the greatest hedge fund managers of the last two decades: Market Wizards (1989), The New Market Wizards (1992), and Stock Market Wizards (2001). The latest book in the series, Hedge Fund Market Wizards is due to be released in May 2012. Mr Schwager's first book, A Complete Guide to the Futures Markets (1984) is considered to be one of the classic reference works in the field. He later revised and expanded this original work into the three-volume series, Schwager on Futures, consisting of Fundamental Analysis (1995), Technical Analysis (1996), and Managed Trading (1996). He is also the author of Getting Started in Technical Analysis (1999), part of John Wiley's popular Getting Started series.

Mr. Schwager is a frequent seminar speaker and has lectured on a range of analytical topics including the characteristics of great traders, investment fallacies, hedge fund portfolios, managed accounts, technical analysis, and trading system evaluation. He holds a BA in Economics from Brooklyn College (1970) and an MA in Economics from Brown University (1971).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think the first two Market Wizards books are classics, I really like Schwager as a writer, and I really really really wanted this book to be as good. I resisted coming to the same conclusion as the other 2-or-3 star reviewers as long as I could, but you know what? Sadly, they're right. The first Market Wizards book is completely indispensable. The second, it's true, was not as good overall - but half of it was. This book isn't in the same league. The best I can call it is light entertainment, for those of us who find books about the markets entertaining. To Schwager's credit, his writing is consistently clear and readable. (To appreciate this better, take a look at the slapdash Market Wizards knockoff, "The Best: Conversations with Top Traders", which contains a few insights scattered amidst a great deal of repetition and incoherence.) But not only do most of the traders interviewed here not have nearly the track records of the original Market Wizards; they don't seem to have the same substance or depth either. There are no minds here of the calibre of an Ed Seykota or a Jim Rogers, just to name two. (I mean, of course, judging solely by these interviews). Not only that, but several display a distasteful absence of class. (I'm not talking about social class, I'm talking about that elusive quality of graciousness which makes a successful person seem deserving...) Nonetheless, I did enjoy reading several of the interviews, for example those with Fletcher and Galante.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Schwager apparently needs to keep churning out more "Market Wizards" books in order to pay for his swank Martha's Vineyard address. Other than a few nuggets of trading/investing strategy contained in a couple of the interviews, this book has virtually no value to the individual trader or investor.
The majority of the interviews are with fund managers who manage hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, and whose trading strategies and access to information and CFO's are not applicable to the individual. Many of the interviews are with individuals who practice arcane strategies involving financing packages or interest-rate hedges with corporations designed to essentially eliminate any market risk. These strategies are of absolutely no value to the individual trader/investor. In one interview, the person not only refused to discuss any of his trading strategies or techniques, but also refused to even discuss what markets he traded. This of course immediately begs the question of why this interview was included in the book.
The author could have easily found many stock traders who trade for their own account, and whose trading strategies would have been of significant interest to the average reader. He fails almost completely in this regard. What a waste.
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Format: Hardcover
Unlike the first two "Wizard" books, which were outstanding, this book is uninspired and a profound disappointment. Almost immediately after starting the book, I got the feeling that Jack Schwager wasn't terribly interested in writing it, but couldn't resist the temptation to cash in a final time by doing a dozen or so "quickie" interviews with traders.
The stock traders interviewed this time around are younger, cockier, and generally a lot less likeable than the futures traders in the old "Wizard" books. The most interesting chapter, and the only one on par with the original books' interviews, is with Mark Cook, who isn't really a stock trader, but is in fact a trader of S&P futures. Several of the chapters are almost unbearable to read, not because Schwager's writing is bad, but because the traders themselves are hugely pretentious (Michael Lauer) or plainly arrogant (Ahmet Okumus). Most of the interviewees would best be described as short-term investors, not traders, and a couple of them are exclusively involved in private equity financing (Fletcher, Guazzoni), which has nothing whatsoever to do with trading (filler, Jack?). If you think that you will be able to learn something about day to day trading from this book, then you will be sorely disappointed.
Lastly, there are practically none of the penetrating insights or revealing comments (except for the Cook interview) that made the first two "Wizard" books so educational and even inspirational. It's a shame that Schwager wrote this uninspired book and sullied the reputation that he built with his original "Wizard" books. He should have followed his own advice about "not getting greedy," and declined the publisher's advance in order to keep his position as an interesting writer intact.
1 Comment 54 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
This book seems like it was rushed to press. It's not nearly as in depth as the other two Market Wizard books. And the interviewees seem to suffer from "Survivoritis." They know they are being watched and read now and they guard their words so carefully as to make the interviews pretty much worthless.
I have read the first two Wizards again and again and this book is nowhere near their quality. Avoid!
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Format: Paperback
...did anyone notice the Michael Lauer disappering act? He was featured in the original version, but not in the current version. It seems that between the time the original version was released and the current version came out he got himself in trouble with the SEC. A search of the web led me to the SEC's web site where it shows that Lauer has been charged with several violations of the law -- basically, it is alleged by the SEC that his hedge funds were scams.
What is a bit disconcerting, though, is that there is no mention of anything related to Lauer in the new version. I'm not sure whose decision that was, but it seems disingenuous. As embarrassing as it may have been to feature an "alleged" crook as a "wizard," there are still lessons to be learned and there should have been some sort of followup -- not just sweeping it under the rug and hope no one notices.
I did.
Kind of ironic because I found the section on Lauer to be one of the most valuable for me (at the time).
That's why I gave it 2 stars. The rest of the book is good, but since he blew his credibility with me I've got to wonder how much of it is real.
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