- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 7301 KB
- Print Length: 353 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0593086317
- Publisher: Penguin (5 November 2019)
- Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07NLFC63Y
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,893 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution SHORTLISTED FOR THE FT & MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2019 Kindle Edition
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A terrific book, a terrific read... I recommend it highly... It's a hell of a story (Lou Dobbs, Tonight, Fox News)
Tells a surprisingly captivating story. It turns out that a firm like Renaissance, filled with nerdy academics trying to solve the market's secrets, is way more interesting than your typical greed-is-good hedge fund (Joe Nocera, New York Times)
Gregory Zuckerman lifts the lid on the most fascinating man in financial markets...superb reporting (Robin Wigglesworth, Financial Times)
Zuckerman brings the reader so close to the firm's inner workings that you can almost catch a whiff of the billionaire's Merit cigarette (Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg)
A gripping biography of investment game changer Jim Simons... readers looking to understand how the economy got where it is should eat this up (Publishers Weekly)
Worthwhile reading for budding plutocrats and numerate investors alike (Kirkus)
Zuckerman vividly tells the story of how Jim Simons and his team of scientists developed the most successful quantitative trading operation in history. . . . Immensely enjoyable (Edward O. Thorp, author of A Man for All Markets)
An extremely well-written and engaging book . . . a must read, and a fun one at that (Mohamed A. El-Erian, author of The Only Game in Town)
Leave it to the Wall Street Journal's Greg Zuckerman to lay open the golden mysteries of quantitative investing. With this fine, humane, and eye-opening book, he's well and truly broken the code (James Grant, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer)
About the Author
Gregory Zuckerman is a special writer at the Wall Street Journal. He writes about big financial trades, hedge funds, private-equity firms and other investing and business topics. He's a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honour in business journalism. Zuckerman
is the author of The Greatest Trade Ever and The Frackers, and he appears regularly on CNBC, Fox Business and other networks around the world. He lives in New York.
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Treat to the brain
Inspiring at times.
Starts of with a bang but slows down towards end when politics take charge over other things.
Top international reviews
The key insight of the book is that Jim Simons and his colleagues realised that markets were not efficient, in contrast to the mainstream view of market efficiency, and that the inefficiency could be exploited for profit. Lots of it. And they were right.
So this book is well worth reading. It’s well written and it skips along at a relatively decent pace. I don’t think it’s a five star book on my scale, and I doubt it will quite make the top step in the FT Business Book of the Year, but it is still a book you probably do want to read sometime soon if you work in and around trading financial markets.
What I liked - Useful biographies of key team players that advanced the success of Jim Simons's Medallion hedge fund and the Renaissance technologies founder. Good index enabling links and cross reference of hedge fund events - Global Alpha Cliff Asness and the Quant quake (refer Greg Smith's why I left Goldman Sachs). Capital and VC involvement described from David Sussman's refusal to GAM's agreement.
What is missing - Old style hold strategy with long event lines was robbable by the quant funds whose techniques was to reduce the event time lines and increase the number of trades. Profitability per trade would diminish but the task was to increase exponentially the number of trades in managed pattern moves - page 223 Medallion was trading up to 300,000 contracts a day. Simplification graphics would help to better grasp essential features of machine managed control like event line time reduction: page 101 halts long term trades, page 113 reduction from 1 week and 1/2 to 1 day and 1/2, page 190 trades average hold 2 days, page 271 hold time 1 or 2 days increases to 1 or 2 weeks. Sorting the Sharpe ratio and evidencing its shape change through a year eventually pushes the ratio out to 7.5 needs illuminating.
The future - investor nervousness. Retrenchment trades and fake chaff news leading to daily 100 point volatility swings in the Dow, Nikkei, Dax, are good for quant funds but negative for investor confidence and micro second entry and exit decisions - IPO management becomes precarious and issues are pulled.
I didn't know Jim Simons smoked heavily; which will be why his voice resonates the way it does and his laugh is often followed by a cough. And Bob Mercer whistles a lot, maybe more than he talks, and was one of the main financial contributors to the 2016 Trump campaign. And how this connects with Brexit and goodness knows what else is quite eye opening.
As with all worthwhile stories the book is about people, and how they relate to each other and their world.
What made the Renaissance Medallion Fund work was obviously in part the shrewd harnessing of the various individuals exceptional intellectual abilities, and the exponential growth of computers processing power. Creative and curious minds meet mathematical modelling and data analysis on a massive scale.
The real success of the company seems to come from the ability and willingness of a handful of principal players to work together, despite extraordinarily different social, political and personal alliances. Motivated by money, for sure, but the theme that much more was intrinsically involved is a strong thread which I think makes the book a 4 star read. Most pleasing of all was throughout there were no goodies or baddies!
Investors like Soros have given up a lot more of their methods - in part because their strategies relied on directional views of macroeconomic factors are harder to replicate in the future. You would assume that if you had knowledge of the code used at Renissance today you could rack up some pretty mean trading profits - since that is exactly what they are doing!
Still I think this is a must for any mathematician, and offers insight to one (of many) ways that mathematics can be applied to the world we live in.
Personal highlight? The joke at the start of Ch 2:
Q: What's the difference between a PhD in mathematics and a large pizza?
A: A large pizza feeds a family of 4.
Furthermore, the main character, Jim Simons stays quite elusive in this story and really just pops in and out of the narrative. Again, this is mainly due to his reluctance to talk much to the author.
So you are left with a slightly strange overview, with some characters probably given more prominence than they were due, probably because they were willing to talk.
It's a light read but you'll come out of it really feeling none the wiser about the man or the company