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01/27/2014

Book Review: Hedge Fund Market Wizards


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This fourth book in the Market Wizards series includes 15 interviews with hedge fund traders. It details many variations regarding which markets to trade in, what time frame to incorporate, and how to use information. The wizards trade in all markets, including futures, options, equities, and bonds.

Determining how great traders acquire and use their special skills has been an elusive quest. We have no shortage of cookbooks on how to trade, but only a limited number of books describe the decision processes of those who speculate as a profession. Trader confessionals exist often as testimonies to egos, but few focus on the details of decision making.

Material that does successfully capture the essence of how speculators think is the Market Wizards series by Jack D. Schwager. These books are neither cookbooks nor testimonials but question-and-answer conversations with traders who talk about their thought processes, how they entered the business, their trading styles, and market battles they have undertaken. These interviews provide a sense of realism about how traders think. The interviewees are not always extraordinary individuals; often, they are simply hard-working professionals who manage the anxieties and uncertainties of trading by developing styles that work within the comfort of their skills and personalities.

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