Great Book ... Worth a read!
"Market Wizards" was the first of 3 Market Wizards books in which Jack Schwager interviews top traders in the financial markets about their backgrounds, experiences, and techniques. Published in 1989, the interviews in this book were conducted while the stock market crash of October 1987 was fresh in people's minds, which I found added some interest. Some of those interviewed made money on the crash, some lost money, and many have something to say about it. The book is divided into 5 sections, each containing a series of interviews. Jack Schwager introduces each interview by telling us a little about the trader, then we get an edited transcript of the interview, followed by a brief summary of that trader's philosophy. The information the traders provide about their techniques is enough to give a general impression of what they do, not enough to tip their hand, but is outdated in today's market anyway.
Perhaps because Jack Schwager was a commodities analyst, the first and largest section, "Futures and Currencies", is dedicated to commodities traders. Jack Schwager provides brief explanations of the futures and currency markets, then moves on to interviews of 7 commodities traders. Interview subjects include the great Michael Marcus, who multiplied his company account 2500-fold in a decade, and his protégé Bruce Kovner, perhaps the world's largest currency and futures trader at the time. Larry Hite tells some great stories about what not to do when playing the markets. Part 2, "Mostly Stocks", features interviews with 4 traders of stocks or index futures, including William O'Neil, his protégé David Ryan, and the man who won big several times in the U.S. Trading Championships, S&P futures trader Marty Schwartz. Part 3, "A Little Bit of Everything", includes Mark Weinstein and Quantum Fund co-founder James B. Rogers, Jr. Part 4, "The View from the Floor", interviews 3 traders who trade in the pits.
Part 5, "The Psychology of Trading", features an interview with Dr. Van K. Tharp, a research psychologist who studied "the psychology of winning" so as to come up with a "model" of winning traits which can then be taught to other people. He's a flake, in my view, who bases his practice on various "beliefs", but his "super-trader" classes probably provided him a nice income. Explanations of program trading, portfolio insurance, and options, which are referred to in several of the interviews, are provided in Appendixes in the back of the book. There is also a glossary of terms. "Market Wizards" is often touted as being superior to Schwager's latest Wizard book, 2001's "Stock Market Wizards", but I don't think it is. The names in this one are bigger, the information more vague, but "Market Wizards" has added historical interest at this point, since most of these people traded in the 1970s, when markets were more predictable, adapted to rapid change and increased competition in the 1980s, and then traded through the crash of 1987.
This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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