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What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars (Columbia Business School Publishing) Hardcover – April 30, 2013
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Worthwhile reading for those who don't believe in the holy grail in the markets; a must-read for those who do. (Jack Schwager, author of Hedge Fund Market Wizards)
A novel approach aimed at pushing you inside your head and outside the losing habits most folks adopt right after multiple successes. A must-have for traders blessed with a string of hot trades. (Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments FORBES)
At Ned Davis Research, we like to say that we are in the business of making mistakes and that the only difference between winners and losers is that winners make small mistakes and losers, big mistakes. This book does an excellent job in explaining in simple English the potential psychological 'flaws' that cause investors to make big mistakes. (Ned Davis, Ned Davis Research, Inc.)
One of the rare noncharlatanic books in finance. (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, from Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
Plenty of books recount past successes or focus on how to make money in the market, but what about keeping the money you already have? This may seem like a high-class problem, but it is a very real challenge for investors with substantial capital. (John Mihaljevic Beyond Proxy)
[An] enlightening read. (Brenda Jubin Investing.com)
The book points out very early that many successful investors have opposing styles and theories on how to make money, and that they can not all be right at the same time. The most important point to take from the book is how to avoid losing money... (Steve Osbiston Financial Times Advisor)
About the Author
Jim Paul (1943–2001) was first vice president in charge of the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. International Energy Unit in New York City. During his twenty-five-year career in the futures industry, he was a retail broker, floor trader, and research director and served on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Board of Governors and the Executive Committee.
Brendan Moynihan is a managing director at Marketfield Asset Management LLC, where his understanding of markets and the media helps shape their macro views and allocations. He is an adjunct professor of finance at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. He is also the author of Financial Origami: How the Wall Street Model Broke. He lives in Barrington Hills, Illinois, with his wife and two sons.
Jack Schwager is the author of the best-selling Market Wizard series as well as the three-volume Schwager on Futures. His latest work, Market Sense and Nonsense, was published in November 2012. He is currently the portfolio manager for the ADMIS Diversified Strategies Fund. His experience includes twenty-two years as director of futures research for some of Wall Street's leading firms.
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Top Customer Reviews
Initially winning in the stock market is perhaps more dangerous than losing because it is natural to feel that you have won due to skill or insight, rather than luck or happening to enter the market during favorable conditions. The author describes a process to help the investor avoid losing which is simple to implement.
Assumptions: It is always good to look for underlying assumptions!
1) The author assumes you also have a strategy for winning, and that there are many winning strategies that may be conflicting, but which can all work when conditions are right for them. This may be true.
2) The author assumes that the market will have ups and downs, sometimes dramatic ones, but that it will continue more or less as it has been for over a hundred years. This might not be true.
It is unclear to what extent the increasing computerization of market actions, hidden market activities such as dark pool investing, and the increase in nationally sponsored arbitrage and large player collusions will affect the risk of investing.
For example, you may have a good strategy to win in the market and may have learned how not to lose from this book-- But if your money has been invested with some future broker equivalent of a Jon Corzine, your account may be diverted and squandered illegally and without your knowledge and, if your broker (like Corzine) has the right political connections, he will never be prosecuted and you will never get your money back. Maybe these issues are beyond the scope of this book, but it would have been helpful to have a small discussion in it of the role of various types of market rigging, and how to detect and avoid them.
Bottom line--I liked this very readable book, and feel it will help me in future investing!
The first part of the book was most interesting to me because I find it fascinating to know about a person's personal history. But then he started to lose me describing how he lost his money. Nothing interesting or complicated- he simply road his massive gain into the ground and beyond.
The most interesting part of the book was when he puts quotes from ultra successful speculators that directly contradict each other. The takeaway is that there are many, many ways to make money in the markets.
The end was pretty painful. He really tries to spell out how you should trade and the rules needed to guide you. There's nothing new there for anyone not absolutely brand new to speculation.
Overall it was fine. I can't say I learned a ton but it was an enjoyable enough read.
I have been managing my own "hedge fund" (a combination of long stocks and options trading) and I truly enjoyed this book, which was recommended to me by reading Tim Ferris.
In investing and trading, the common denominator of successful people may not be their "entry rules" or the vehicles they trade, but what they definitely have in common is the risk management. What do they do when the trade does NOT go their way?
For me, above all for the options trading side of my hedge fund (I mostly trade 1-step and 2-step iron condors, vertical spreads, calendars and diagonals), having a CLEAR risk management plan is so crucial. The only negative comment I have to make about this book is that it doesnt give the reader any practical idea what a sound RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN should look like.
It doesnt take a genius to initiate a vertical spread or an iron condor or a calendar. But it does take a lof of RISK MANAGEMENT SKILLS to be successful LONG term, as I am now. And I have worked so MUCH on my risk management plan to manage LOSING positions.
It was refreshing to read a book that finally put a frame around the way I am already trading and investing.
Top book, you must read it.
One of the profound conclusions introduced early on is that there are many contradictory ways of making money – but only one way that the ultimately successful keep from losing money; and that is to not let your ego get hung up in your investments and to cut your losses beyond a certain point. The authors own personal sequence of getting drawn in are detailed in ways we all can empathize with, and Johnson in Vietnam is then paralled as a broader example.
Roughly the first half of the book is well thought out and succinct. The second half of the book is much more wordy filler – giving too many examples and overselling the point. Once I realized the author didn’t have much more to say, I found myself skimming over the latter half of the book and onto the conclusion.
This book is very unique. The first half is written in a “high information density” style (i.e., you don’t have to read much to get a lot out of it), and well worth the investment.