The incredible true story of the card counting mathematics professor who taught the world how to beat the dealer and, as the first of the great quantitative investors, ushered in a revolution on Wall Street A child of the Great Depression, legendary mathematician Edward O Thorp invented card counting, proving the seemingly impossible that you could beat the dealer at the blackjack table As a result he launched a gambling renaissance His remarkable successand mathematically unassailable methodcaused such an uproar that casinos altered the rules of the game to thwart him and the legions he inspired They barred him from their premises, even put his life in jeopardy Nonetheless, gambling was forever changed Thereafter, Thorp shifted his sights to the biggest casino in the world Wall Street Devising and then deploying mathematical formulas to beat the market, Thorp ushered in the era of quantitative finance we live in today Along the way, the so called godfather of the quants played bridge with Warren Buffett, crossed swords with a young Rudy Giuliani, detected the Bernie Madoff scheme, and, to beat the game of roulette, invented, with Claude Shannon, the worlds first wearable computer Here, for the first time, Thorp tells the story of what he did, how he did it, his passions and motivations, and the curiosity that has always driven him to disregard conventional wisdom and devise game changing solutions to seemingly insoluble problems An intellectual thrill ride, replete with practical wisdom that can guide us all in uncertain financial waters, A Man for All Markets is an instant classica book that challenges its readers to think logically about a seemingly irrational world.Praise for A Man for All MarketsIn A Man for All Markets, Thorp delightfully recounts his progress if that is the word from college teacher to gambler to hedge fund manager Along the way we learn important lessons about the functioning of markets and the logic of investment.The Wall Street Journal Thorp gives a biological summation think Richard Feynmans Surely Youre Joking, Mr Feynman of his quest to prove the aphorism the house always wins is flawed Illuminating for the mathematically inclined, and cautionary for would be gamblers and day traders Library Journal...
|Title||:||A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market|
|Publisher||:||Random House 24 Januar 2017|
|Number of Pages||:||491 Pages|
|File Size||:||667 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market Reviews
Das Buch enthält grob zwei Teile. Im ersten Teil erzählt Ed Thorp wie er aus bescheidenen Verhältnissen mit seiner Neugier und seinem selbstständigen Denken Blackjack mathematisch schlagen konnte und wie er später einen der erfolgreichsten Hedgefunds aller Zeiten auf die Beine stellte. Dieser Teil ist sehr packend und hätte auch in einem Buch von Michael Lewis auftauchen können.Der zweite Teil ist etwas unstrukturiert und spricht zahlreiche Themen wie die Finanzkrise, finanzielle Ungleichheit und private Vermögensverwaltung an. Wenn man schon Vorwissen zu diesen Themen hat, kann es etwas repetitiv werden. Ich persönlich habe relativ viel überflogen, aber wer noch nicht viele Kenntnisse mitbringt, kann hier ebenfalls sehr profitieren, da Thorp's Ratschläge immer sehr praxisrelevant sind (z.B. Gebühren und Steuern bei der eigenen Vorsorge).Insgesamt eines der besten Bücher, die ich in den letzten 24 Monaten gelesen habe.
I can strongly recommend this book. Ed Thorp has tried almost everything from figuring out how to beat the house in black jack to being a hedge fund manager. Not only that, he was the best of them all while doing it. Besides being a genius he seems to be a nice guy driven more by his curiosity than financial gain.
Ed Thorp ist eine coole Socke. Gerade der biografische Teil ist eine Inspiration zum eigenständigen Denken und den Erfolgen, die man damit erreichen kann. Dabei merkt man immer die Begeisterung und den Forscherdrang, den Ed Thorp angetrieben hat.Der allgemeine Teil ist dagegen eher konventionell - aber trotzdem wertvoll, insbesondere wenn eine solche Koryphäe schreibt.
Edward Thorp is a remarkable man - a polymath of science, computing, mathematics, and finance - and I have looked up to him for a large portion of my life, from when I read "Beat the Dealer" as an impressionable young teenager, to my career in finance as I learned more about his incredible investing exploits, told skillfully in Poundstone's "Fortune's Formula". So, I came to this book with very high hopes.The book is basically four parts:First, a relatively uninteresting account of Thorp's early years, which were mainly spent reading and experimenting.Second, the stories of his successful card counting, roulette, and baccarat adventures, which were more interestingly told in "Beat the Dealer" and several other accounts.Third, his investment management career, which was so consistently successful until it came to a screeching halt on federal charges against members of the east coast branch of his firm (Thorp does appear to have been completely uninvolved and unaware). Most of his success appears to have turned on what would today be considered fairly simple options arbitrage, albeit only simple because Thorp himself devised much of the foundational work on which options pricing rests today.Fourth, and longest, a 120+ page meditation on the recent past, including a handful of successful investment ideas that have been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere (thrift conversions, the Palm/3Com arbitrage trade, statistical arb) and long ruminations on compound interest, personal finance, the hedge fund industry, personal fitness, time, and his interesting but fairly tangential interactions with Warren Buffett, among other things.This section also contains a jarring discussion of Thorp having extensively vetted Bernie Madoff’s fund in 1991 and then conclusively proving that it was a fraud. Then, shockingly, other than telling an investor client to withdraw his funds, he sat on this information for 17 years despite having located investors who had entrusted at least $500m to Madoff, and likely being aware of far more. The SEC ignored Harry Markopolous, but it seems much more likely that they would have taken Thorp, a distinguished academic and well-connected public figure, seriously. It is hard to take Thorp’s moralizing on much smaller issues seriously when he seemingly sat on information that could have saved hundreds of investors their life savings. Thorp then describes a similar situation with a smaller $200m Ponzi scheme in 1982. Many of us may have failed to speak up as well, but Thorp devotes no time to the ramifications of his failure to act.I came away very disappointed in this book - Thorp is a brilliant, brilliant individual who has contributed significantly to numerous fields - but most of these stories have already been told in classic works by Thorp himself, Klarman, Greenblatt, Poundstone, etc. The book feels padded with wise but fairly generic advice, and notably lacking in discussion of his family life and how he coped with the abrupt end of Princeton Newport, with a nearly two-decade skip between Chapter 16 and Chapter 17. I would still recommend this to almost anyone interested in gambling or finance (especially both!), and remain a fan of his, but I came away from this very disappointed.
Ed Thorp is one the greatest applied mathematicians of our time, and this volume takes you from his exploits as a two year old, through his exploration of Roulette and Blackjack, and finishes with his forays into hedging/investing. Throughout, it is interesting to see his decision making process simplified by his honesty, and his understanding of the things more valuable than money. The journey of his discoveries is fascinating and often entertaining. He (and his late wife) had a lot of interesting observations on human behavior. Intelligent risk takers (gamblers/investors) will enjoy this, but the person that needs to read this the most is the upper-middle (or upper) class person that has money, but has no plan. How do you intelligently and safely manage your money? How much money do you really need? How much of your time should you sell? And once you have money and time in abundance, what is meaningful? While I enjoyed the mathematical subjects, the careful thought into the big picture in life (the last 20% of the book) was ultimately more meaningful.
“A Man for All Markets” is at its core a captivating memoir on how Professor Thorp managed to acquire a fortune estimated at around $800-million. It’s dense, it’s detailed, it’s engagingly written, it’s a lot of fun to read and it’s full of valuable information. I would love to have read the chapters on markets some years ago when I was an active trader. I’d have made a lot more money!How did he do it? “Education,” he explains in a later chapter.He either taught himself or he learned from others. Indeed Chapter 1 is entitled “Loving to Learn.” He began as a poor boy in Lomita, California delivering newspapers in the morning and in the afternoon. He got into UCLA and graduated with a degree in physics and then went on to grad school to study mathematics. He became fascinated with challenges, most famously with the gambling card game, blackjack or twenty-one. He devised a point count system that, coupled with his ability to remember cards, allowed him to beat the casinos at their own game.And then he wrote a bestselling book, “Beat the Dealer” showing others how it could be done. I read that book when it came out in the early Sixties and was fascinated. Because my memory is only average I ended up playing poker instead of blackjack--but that’s another story.Following up on his success at twenty-one, Thorp, along with Claude Shannon, designed and built a mechanical and electrical device that allowed them to gain an advantage in roulette by predicting with some proficiency approximately where the bouncing ball would end up. That was quite a coup especially considering that it happened fifty-some years ago.This takes us through the first ten chapters. Then in Chapter 11: “Wall Street: The Greatest Casino on Earth” Thorp turns his attention to the financial markets. The titles of the next 14 chapters not only outline the story but could serve as something like a syllabus for a graduate course in investing. Viz., “Front-Running, The Quantitative Revolution, Swindles and Hazards, Buying Low, Selling High, Hedging Your Bets, Compound Growth, Beat Most Investors by Indexing, Asset Allocation and Wealth Management, etc.”There’s an illuminating chapter on financial crises and lessons not learned. Thorp concludes with Chapter 30 “Thoughts,” which I found fascinating. There are also five appendices, three on inflation and the dollar, historical returns, and the performance of his fantastically successful hedge fund, Princeton Newport Partners.I think it is important in accounting for Thorp’s extraordinary success to realize that he was very good with people and formed valuable friendships with knowledgeable and gifted persons including the afore-mentioned Claude Shannon, Warren Buffet and others. Additionally, his curiosity and love of challenges took him places others couldn’t go. Finally, there was the loving support of his very talented wife, Vivian. If I were giving out advice on how to be successful in this world I would say first pick your spouse wisely.Also, Thorp was thrifty. On page 86 we learn that when he was playing blackjack in Las Vegas he would call his wife collect and to save money would ask for “’Edward __ Thorp,’ the middle initial being a code we had devised to tell how many thousands of dollars we were ahead or, if the initial came before ‘Edward,’ how many behind…” “After hearing the name of the person being called, Vivian would politely tell the operator that Mr. Thorp ‘wasn’t here at the moment.’”I think it is a good lesson to understand that not only is a penny saved a penny earned but it’s worth more than that because what’s saved is untaxed and the money can be invested. Thorp elaborates on the value of thrift in building wealth elsewhere in the book especially on page 269.I want to say that I have a personal affinity for both this book and its author because of some similarities in the lives we have led. For those interested see my recently published memoir “If I Had Been a Better Man.”Okay now for some tidbits from the amazing professor of gambling and markets.“Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut were at a party given by a billionaire…Vonnegut asked Heller how it felt to know that their host might have made more money in one day than Heller’s “Catch-22” since it was written.” Heller replied that “he had something the rich man could never have.” Vonnegut wondered what that might be, and Heller answered, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.” (p. 213)Thorp actually discovered in 1991 that Bernie Madoff’s trades were fakes and that he was running a Ponzi scheme. See pages 213-219.A joke: “…pronounced MADE-off, as in “with your money.” (p. 217)If you haven’t heard of the so-called “secretary/marriage problem” in math turn to page 224. The problem is when to say yes to get the best candidate. Once you say no you usually don’t get another chance and you may find the remaining candidates not as good. On the other hand, if you say yes too soon you might miss the best choice.Thorp’s answer to high frequency trading: “a small federal tax…a few cents a share…” (p. 231)On the crisis in funding for the California university system: “To starve education is to eat our seed corn. No tax today, no technology tomorrow.” (p. 341) --Dennis Littrell, author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”