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THE INVESTMENT CLASSIC
"I've read Market Wizards at several stages of my career as it shows the staying power of good down-to-earth wisdoms of true practitioners with skin in the game. This is the central document showing the heuristics that real-life traders use to manage their affairs, how people who do rather than talk have done things. Twenty years from now, it will still be fresh. There is no other like it."
—NASSIM N. TALEB, former derivatives trader, author of The Black Swan, and professor, NYU-Poly
"Market Wizards is one of the most fascinating books ever written about Wall Street. A few of the 'Wizards' are my friends—and Jack Schwager has nailed their modus operandi on the head."
—MARTIN W. ZWEIG, PhD, Editor, The Zweig Forecast
"It is difficult enough to develop a method that works. It then takes experience to believe what your method is telling you. But the toughest task of all is turning analysis into money. If you don't believe it, try it. These guys have it all: a method, the conviction, and the discipline to act decisively time after time, regardless of distractions and pressures. They are heroes of Wall Street, and Jack Schwager's book brings their characters vividly to life."
—ROBERT R. PRECHTER, JR., Editor, The Elliott Wave Theorist
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From the Inside Flap:
Q & A with Jack D. Schwager, author of Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders
More than twenty years have passed since the first edition of this book was released. Is it as relevant today as it was then?
Absolutely. Markets may change and the specific techniques or systems that work best may change, but the underlying core principles that lead to trading success stay the same. And there is a good reason for that. Through all periods, market price moves reflect some combination of underlying fundamentals and human behavior. Since human nature doesn't change, the market's basic behavioral patterns don't change either. I believe that every conclusion I reached about the factors important to trading success in the first edition remains equally valid today. Perhaps the best testament to the continued relevance of Market Wizards in today's markets is that so many of the managers I meet who read the original edition early in their careers make it required reading for new traders in their organization.
Has trading fundamentally changed with the rise of the quants and algorithmic traders?
The growing role of algorithmic trading may have eliminated some market inefficiencies as sources of profitable strategies, and it may even have impacted the efficacy of some trading systems, but I don't believe it has changed fundamental market behavior. The same basic concepts that are critical to trading success remain as valid now as they were a generation ago when computerized trading was in its infancy.
What are these basic concepts?
Well that's what this book is all about. But to offer one example, I believe that developing a trading methodology that fits your personality, as opposed to seeking someone else's approach, is an absolutely critical element to succeeding as a trader.
Why do most traders fail?
There are many reasons. They seek easy answers. They listen to "experts" and chase trading fads instead of doing the hard work of developing their own methodology. They focus almost all their energy on determining trade entry points and all but ignore the more critical questions of trade exit and risk management. They listen to other people. These are a few of the reasons. Readers will find a lot more in the book.
Which trader interview in the book has been the most popular?
Readers will often tell me that a certain chapter was their favorite and by far the most important in improving their own trading. The interesting thing is that they always seem to mention a different trader. There is no consensus. Different readers will find different things in the book important. They will relate to different traders. It all goes back to the importance of finding your own approach in the market.
Have the interviews you did for Market Wizards been important to your own trading?
The interview and writing process has helped solidify in my own mind the principles that are important to trading success. At times, it has also had a very specific influence. A great example occurred last summer. At the time, the stock market was approaching the high end of a long-term trading range, and for a variety of reasons, I expected the rally to fail and was positioned on the short side of stock index futures. Then the government released an extremely bearish employment report. It was so negative that commentators couldn't even cite one offsetting bullish consideration, as they usually do. The market initially sold off sharply in response--"perfect," I thought of my trade--but by the end of the day, it nearly recovered the entire loss, ending the week near the recent high. From the perspective of a short, this was terrible price action. I thought I was in trouble. I was prepared to cover most of my position when the market opened on Sunday night. On Sunday night, however, the market opened lower. I immediately thought of Marty Schwartz's advice in this book: "If you're very nervous about a position overnight, and especially over the weekend, and you're able to get out at a much better price than you thought when the market trades, you're usually better off staying with the position." I did, and Schwartz's insight saved me a lot of money, as the market proceeded to move sharply lower in the ensuing weeks.
How do some of the world's most successful traders amass millions of dollars in a year—or sometimes in hours? Are they masters of a priceless wizardry or simply the very lucky winners in a random market lottery that allows only a few players to become fantastically wealthy? What are the secrets of their unheard-of successes? And what mental disciplines, what emotional responses, what intangible personal ingredients make these top traders so mysteriously effective? What enables them to work financial magic while so many others walk away losers?
Featuring interviews with seventeen of the most successful market-beaters, including Bruce Kovner, Richard Dennis, Paul Tudor Jones, Michael Steinhardt, Ed Seykota, Marty Schwartz, and Tom Baldwin, Market Wizards is packed with real-life anecdotes from the trading world. From the electrical engineer from MIT whose computerized trading earned returns of 250,000% over sixteen years to the trader who, after wiping out several times, successfully turned a $30,000 investment into an $80 million fortune, Schwager identifies the factors that define the Market Wizards.
Market Wizards takes the reader into the minds of a few of the most successful traders of all time, explaining that while markets may change and techniques may change, the underlying core principles that lead to trading success stay the same. The best testament to the continued relevance of Market Wizards in today's markets is that so many money managers who read the original edition early in their careers make it required reading for new traders.
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