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Fascinating, but you won't find the holy grail
on September 25, 2016
This is a book about the foundation blocks of a brilliant trader's intellect, temperament, and skill.
I am amused by some of the negative reviews which complain that Niederhoffer presents none of his trading methods when he clearly states that he would never reveal his secrets, and he advises those looking for get rich quick scheme to venture elsewhere.
The book is long, and yes, there are portions to be skimmed. But the writing is outstanding and if it were a fiction book, it would be just as enjoyable.
Niederhoffer learned from his grandfather and father about risk and the value of humanity and fairness. He was schooled on gambling and athletics in Brighton Beach. His squash career and musical interests are just as relevant to his trading as his heart-pounding escapes from the movement of numbers flashing on a screen. The stakes are high, and few of us could stomach watching 50% of our net worth vanish in seconds.
Niederhoffer admits his failings as readily as his successes, and his self-deprecating style is a refreshing change from Soros' writings which can be cold and arrogant (although I highly recommend his Alchemy of Finance). Niederhoffer is clearly a charming character whom the reader grows to admire.
I found the chapter on pari-mutuel wagering worth the read alone.