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The Education of a Speculator

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Victor Niederhoffer, eine exzentrische, au�ergew�hnliche Pers�nlichkeit und ein �u�erst erfolgreicher B�rsenh�ndler, erz�hlt seine wirklich faszinierende Geschichte: Sein Leben, seine Ausbildung, seine Erfolge und Fehler, Gewinne und Verluste. In einem Gesch�ft, in dem es von Scharlatanen wimmelt, erfrischen derart realistische Worte. Mit vielen Hintergrundinformationen am Victor Niederhoffer, eine exzentrische, au�ergew�hnliche Pers�nlichkeit und ein �u�erst erfolgreicher B�rsenh�ndler, erz�hlt seine wirklich faszinierende Geschichte: Sein Leben, seine Ausbildung, seine Erfolge und Fehler, Gewinne und Verluste. In einem Gesch�ft, in dem es von Scharlatanen wimmelt, erfrischen derart realistische Worte. Mit vielen Hintergrundinformationen am Rande, beispielsweise �ber die Hillary-Clinton-Aff�re. (06/98)


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Victor Niederhoffer, eine exzentrische, au�ergew�hnliche Pers�nlichkeit und ein �u�erst erfolgreicher B�rsenh�ndler, erz�hlt seine wirklich faszinierende Geschichte: Sein Leben, seine Ausbildung, seine Erfolge und Fehler, Gewinne und Verluste. In einem Gesch�ft, in dem es von Scharlatanen wimmelt, erfrischen derart realistische Worte. Mit vielen Hintergrundinformationen am Victor Niederhoffer, eine exzentrische, au�ergew�hnliche Pers�nlichkeit und ein �u�erst erfolgreicher B�rsenh�ndler, erz�hlt seine wirklich faszinierende Geschichte: Sein Leben, seine Ausbildung, seine Erfolge und Fehler, Gewinne und Verluste. In einem Gesch�ft, in dem es von Scharlatanen wimmelt, erfrischen derart realistische Worte. Mit vielen Hintergrundinformationen am Rande, beispielsweise �ber die Hillary-Clinton-Aff�re. (06/98)

30 review for The Education of a Speculator

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric Smith

    This book was essentially as close to unreadable as a book can get. It feels like the publishing company may have been friends with him and therefore didn't bother to edit the thing. Given his infamous reputation, his role as the opposite side of many Taleb trades, I read his blog for a few years, and the random fact that I went to school with one of his daughters - I had been meaning to read this book for some time now. I knew the reviews were not very good for it, but figured I would still make This book was essentially as close to unreadable as a book can get. It feels like the publishing company may have been friends with him and therefore didn't bother to edit the thing. Given his infamous reputation, his role as the opposite side of many Taleb trades, I read his blog for a few years, and the random fact that I went to school with one of his daughters - I had been meaning to read this book for some time now. I knew the reviews were not very good for it, but figured I would still make an effort to read this. Don't bother - it is awful. At best, it is some ramblings about tennis, squash, checkers, contradictory logic regarding statistics and trading, and then what genuinely feels like someone with a manic depressive disorder detailing a mix of their work life and schooling. I really wanted to enjoy it or even find some merit to it, but it was overall a total and complete waste of time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    Very disappointing, mostly just a vanity book about his life, and his fathers life, and his grandfathers life... There's a chapter titled Sex, even that part is boring. The book was published before the Asian contagion, when went totally bust, but after that was able to raise more money from another generation of suckers, then went bust again. He has vanity pages on the internet and manipulates the content of his wikipedia page, so it's hard to tell how many times he has gone totally bust, probably 3 Very disappointing, mostly just a vanity book about his life, and his fathers life, and his grandfathers life... There's a chapter titled Sex, even that part is boring. The book was published before the Asian contagion, when went totally bust, but after that was able to raise more money from another generation of suckers, then went bust again. He has vanity pages on the internet and manipulates the content of his wikipedia page, so it's hard to tell how many times he has gone totally bust, probably 3 or 4 times, who knows, who cares? As a role model, or adviser, he's a loser and an example of what not to do.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cristobal

    I tried reading this book twice and failed on both occasions. I just can't get past Niederhoffer's self-absorbed ramblings and unnecessary talk about squash. There probably is a reading public for this kind of book but it clearly isn't me. It also doesn't help knowing that a few years after writing the book his fund was wiped out, and then again in 2007. There's a reason why one should distill his professional memoirs AFTER his career is over. I tried reading this book twice and failed on both occasions. I just can't get past Niederhoffer's self-absorbed ramblings and unnecessary talk about squash. There probably is a reading public for this kind of book but it clearly isn't me. It also doesn't help knowing that a few years after writing the book his fund was wiped out, and then again in 2007. There's a reason why one should distill his professional memoirs AFTER his career is over.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Nash

    Tough to follow. Had to stop reading. I'm sure I'll pick it up again one day, but it's sitting pretty on a shelf right now collecting dust. Tough to follow. Had to stop reading. I'm sure I'll pick it up again one day, but it's sitting pretty on a shelf right now collecting dust.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    This book is a great book that touches on so many different topics in life (and how they're linked to speculation). In particular, I liked the discussions on (a) weather (b) board games (c) poker (d) sports etc. The author recommended a list of books too, which I'll add to my reading list. p/s: this book is as thick as the bible! This book is a great book that touches on so many different topics in life (and how they're linked to speculation). In particular, I liked the discussions on (a) weather (b) board games (c) poker (d) sports etc. The author recommended a list of books too, which I'll add to my reading list. p/s: this book is as thick as the bible!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mark Speed

    This is a very interesting and educational book by a master trader. It's a touch overlong, but he reveals his own failings and the failings of many others. It's in these lessons that we see our own failings - particularly our tendency to be 'fighting the last war'. The question is whether we are able to change ourselves in light of these lessons - the inability to change and adapt is the failing that makes us human, and is the reason why so few of us make decent investors or traders. This is a very interesting and educational book by a master trader. It's a touch overlong, but he reveals his own failings and the failings of many others. It's in these lessons that we see our own failings - particularly our tendency to be 'fighting the last war'. The question is whether we are able to change ourselves in light of these lessons - the inability to change and adapt is the failing that makes us human, and is the reason why so few of us make decent investors or traders.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alvin Lim

    A top trader's story, written in his own words, "The Educator of a Speculator" is a fascinating tale that intertwines the complete life and education of a top commodity trader with his successes and failures in the market. Includes a controversial analysis of the Hillary Clinton trading affair. Illustrations. A top trader's story, written in his own words, "The Educator of a Speculator" is a fascinating tale that intertwines the complete life and education of a top commodity trader with his successes and failures in the market. Includes a controversial analysis of the Hillary Clinton trading affair. Illustrations.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rafael Jose Velasquez

    Ever changing cycles are important, what the wise man does at the beginning the fool does at the end. Test everything all theories you have. Think about governments incentives and what they will or won't allow to happen. Ever changing cycles are important, what the wise man does at the beginning the fool does at the end. Test everything all theories you have. Think about governments incentives and what they will or won't allow to happen.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aharon

    Fades in the stretch, but he's still my hero. My creepy, creepy hero. Fades in the stretch, but he's still my hero. My creepy, creepy hero.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed Embbya

    A semi-autobiographical treatise of a speculator, sportsman and a music dilettante. At times it was a dull and excruciating read but I thought seven of the sixteen chapters are a must read for anyone interested in finance and speculation; but while I felt I was tediously trudging through the remianing chapters, they did contain pockets of insights and foresights and despite my three star rating, all in all the book is worthy of reading, perhaps only selective reading though. Topics covered which A semi-autobiographical treatise of a speculator, sportsman and a music dilettante. At times it was a dull and excruciating read but I thought seven of the sixteen chapters are a must read for anyone interested in finance and speculation; but while I felt I was tediously trudging through the remianing chapters, they did contain pockets of insights and foresights and despite my three star rating, all in all the book is worthy of reading, perhaps only selective reading though. Topics covered which I found most interesting: - Arguments against the Efficient Market Hypothesis and also arguments against opponents of the theory - Occasional stabs at technical analysis and chartism - Complacency and rigidity of academic finance - Panics and crashes - The importance of optimal trade execution and the role of transaction costs, bid/ask spreads (dealer vigorish as Neiderhoffer refers to them) and why he never used stop-losses and limit orders (these insights about stop losses and limit-running are golden) -Finally, modelling the market as a Darwanian ecosystem

  11. 4 out of 5

    Viktor Nilsson

    This book has a lot of things working against it: - It is poorly edited (lots of typos). - It is written in a very oral form (like rap song lyrics). - It is full of way too long digressions away from the subject at hand. - It is unstructured, basically just a thick collection of notes, ideas, memories and fantasies (the distinction is often unclear). Despite all this: Being a speculator myself, I had a hard time putting it down. I can relate to many of Niederhoffer's thoughts, both as lessons I have This book has a lot of things working against it: - It is poorly edited (lots of typos). - It is written in a very oral form (like rap song lyrics). - It is full of way too long digressions away from the subject at hand. - It is unstructured, basically just a thick collection of notes, ideas, memories and fantasies (the distinction is often unclear). Despite all this: Being a speculator myself, I had a hard time putting it down. I can relate to many of Niederhoffer's thoughts, both as lessons I have learned before myself and as food for thought. If you are a speculator, you will definitely find this an interesting read. Otherwise, it will probably be completely unbearable.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul Barnes

    Niederhoffer is a big-time hedge fund manager. Between ordering this book from Amazon and it's arrival Niederhoffer went bust, betting that Asian markets would lift after substantial falls. That was the greatest lesson of the book - you have to be with the trend, not betting against it. A colourful character and a fun read. Nice cover art – with Niederh0ffer in his socks. Great inspiration to be myself given my aversion to wearing shoes. Niederhoffer is a big-time hedge fund manager. Between ordering this book from Amazon and it's arrival Niederhoffer went bust, betting that Asian markets would lift after substantial falls. That was the greatest lesson of the book - you have to be with the trend, not betting against it. A colourful character and a fun read. Nice cover art – with Niederh0ffer in his socks. Great inspiration to be myself given my aversion to wearing shoes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    Read this book because it was recommended to me by a neighbor. Otherwise I would not have finished it. Book jumps around and is not cohesive. Story overall is impressive: Random walk theory - went to the same school where it was invented and criticized the theory publically, research in Japan, and views on Fibonacci.

  14. 4 out of 5

    rd

    Niederhoffer's a good racquetball player, phenomenal speculator (albeit a blowup artist, but still..), and a mediocre writer. Too much rambling, too little substance. First few pages detailing his emotional state on an FX trade were worth the price of the book though. Niederhoffer's a good racquetball player, phenomenal speculator (albeit a blowup artist, but still..), and a mediocre writer. Too much rambling, too little substance. First few pages detailing his emotional state on an FX trade were worth the price of the book though.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I'd recommend this book for patient intermediate to advanced investors. The book is mostly a memoir, it's not really an investing book per se, although there's a lot of wisdom here in metaphor form if you're willing to look for it. I'd recommend this book for patient intermediate to advanced investors. The book is mostly a memoir, it's not really an investing book per se, although there's a lot of wisdom here in metaphor form if you're willing to look for it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mat

    I wanted to like it but this is an hard read. Unstructured and too long sentences. At the end I see a gambler speculating....

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne Kadet

    This would be extremely compelling if it was even remotely readable.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Javier Villar

    I feel that 450 pages weren't enough... It should have been 2000 in order to give a glimpse into such a fantastic ego! HAHA! Come on... Proper trading is about being surrendered, something which is the opposite of this book. How come is (used to be) he a successful trader? Well, among all of those who are trying to probe how intelligent and right are, some have to win. I feel that 450 pages weren't enough... It should have been 2000 in order to give a glimpse into such a fantastic ego! HAHA! Come on... Proper trading is about being surrendered, something which is the opposite of this book. How come is (used to be) he a successful trader? Well, among all of those who are trying to probe how intelligent and right are, some have to win.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Donald Plugge

    Niederhoffer may or may not be a good investor, but he is certainly quite eccentric. I have him 4 stars, as I just might go back and reread select chapters of the book. Niederhoffer lives life in a big way and that includes a huge 1997 loss of 100's of millions on a bad investment. How does such a person go on after losing that much money? He goes on by brushing himself off and getting back on the house -- moxie. Perhaps that spirit was behind his push to become a ranking handball player. The boo Niederhoffer may or may not be a good investor, but he is certainly quite eccentric. I have him 4 stars, as I just might go back and reread select chapters of the book. Niederhoffer lives life in a big way and that includes a huge 1997 loss of 100's of millions on a bad investment. How does such a person go on after losing that much money? He goes on by brushing himself off and getting back on the house -- moxie. Perhaps that spirit was behind his push to become a ranking handball player. The book describes his youth and the influence of various relatives and friends, people who taught him how to play games and even gamble. I enjoyed the read. dgp

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ben Peyton

    This was all over the place and needed to be cut in half. Also, what got me was the constant attacks against investors who use random correlations to invest but then he had two chapters on how investing is like music and another one on how investing is like sex which were chalk full of random correlations and observations. At that point I had enough of his supposed ideas and it took everything in mean to finish this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    William

    One heck of an interesting investment mind. He lost millions in the Asian Crisis in 1998 but his story and thoughts are truly unigue. He has a following among some very, very bright investment minds and his insight into different areas of thinking made a great read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charles Melendez

    I am here to claim that this is one of my favorite books. It is very un-edited and fresh. It is a topic that I was very interested in, so I did not have a problem reading it, however, I can see others losing interest in reading it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    He's very egotistical, and went out of business in 1997. Nevertheless, he's a smart guy, and a good trader. He talks about playing squash way too much though. He's very egotistical, and went out of business in 1997. Nevertheless, he's a smart guy, and a good trader. He talks about playing squash way too much though.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Agustin Gonzalez

    Love this book. It's fabulous in small doses. I highly recommend it!!! Love this book. It's fabulous in small doses. I highly recommend it!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    If there's an education in this book, I couldn't find it. Nothing more than the memoirs of a legendary trader. If there's an education in this book, I couldn't find it. Nothing more than the memoirs of a legendary trader.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This book might appeal to someone getting into speculating and looking for even the tiniest edge. He offers no big edges but he does offer some tiny ones.

  27. 5 out of 5

    David

    Pure garbage. Worst and most useless investment that I have read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Edward

  29. 4 out of 5

    Thayne Batty

  30. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Jakab

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