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Stock Market Wizards: Interviews with America's Top Stock Traders Hardcover – September 11, 2012
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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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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Although the traders are generally more cautious to not give away their trading methods (unlike Ed Soyka, from the first Market Wizard's books, who disclosed quiet a bit about his method), most of the traders provide some value even if it is not about what method they specifically use. I think the reason the traders are more secretive is because it has increasingly become difficult to keep a static system working as more and more people figure out the same methods. In fact, some of the traders talk about how they are having to adapt and change their trading methods more often. And although some traders say that their trading method has not changed, I think their methods include an adaptable or evolving method.
All in all, this series mainly covers successful traders between 1990 to mid 1999. At the end of each interview, Jack includes a follow up interview to see how the traders performed during 2002: part of the significant bear market.
I found it helpful to see how the traders changed and evolved from the first two Market Wizard editions. As in the other Market Wizard books, Jack included a great mix of traders such as the college graduate who made millions from nothing, the Harvard graduate who landed a job with a top Wall Street firm, the farmer who overcame the odds and made it, the typical Wall Street trader who thinks he is too important to treat the interview seriously, the woman who made it strictly shorting stocks, and the smart person who started a hedge fund & raised millions before he even knew how to invest (yea, I am serious).
In each of these stories, I could not help myself but think how much luck played into some of the traders stories (more so than the other Market Wizard book stories).
For example, one of the traders lost almost a million dollars when he wrote naked calls: the trader owed the brokerage $300,000. The young trader told his mother how much money he had lost and his mother just said to keep at it and make it back. The trader said if it was not for his mother telling him to make the money back and her positive attitude about his loss, he would have likely quit. How lucky is that? His mom knew nothing about trading, and most parents would think their son was gambling and discourage such behavior. This trader later went on to make millions.
Another example is how a trader took out a mortgage against his home, lost 75%, and then made most of the money back on a lucky trade that almost made up his loss (after he sold, the stock shortly fell over 90%). This trader was unemployed, could not make the mortgage payments coming due, and said he would likely have given up but for the lucky trade. This trader later went on to make millions.
In short, great addition to the Market Wizard series. I am glad I did not listen to some of the reviewers who thought otherwise. For me, if nothing else, these interviews showed how traders continually adapt to the ever changing market.
Schwager has another all star line up of proven traders in this book, Mark Cook, Steve Cohen of SAC capital, and Mark Minervini among others. Unlike the other three this one focuses solely on traders who profit from trading the stock market. Whether it is stocks, or derivatives of stocks like future contracts of stock indexes, or stock options these traders make their money from focusing on the stock market almost exclusively instead of currencies, commodities, or bonds. This is great for traders that trade stocks exclusively.
The traders in this book are all successful using different systems, one trader runs a short only fund and had double digit returns shorting in the roaring bull market of the late nineties, another trader is a value investor but also shorts, there is also growth stock investors and momentum traders, something for everyone. You will see top fund managers that trade 100s of millions and single operators who are self made millionaires. As you read the book if you listen carefully you will see the common thread of successful traits all these traders have in common: determination,a strong work ethic, ability to manage stress and control risk along with a true passion for trading the markets.
The 64 Wizard Lessons in the back of the book alone are worth far more than the cover price of the book. Do not make the same mistake I did and listen to these other negative reviews, this book has jumped into the list of the top five trading books I have ever read, not an easy task. Just a gem of a book loaded with principles and concepts to help any stock trader get better.
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.
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.