The Education of a Speculator

Victor Niederhoffer, Author, Victor Niederhoffer, Preface by
Victor Niederhoffer, Author, Victor Niederhoffer, Preface by John Wiley & Sons $29.95 (444p) ISBN 978-0-471-13747-4
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-470-58939-7
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-471-24948-1
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Spiked with irreverent, often self-deprecating humor, this rambling memoir by the head of Niederhoffer Investments, a top-ranked Wall Street commodities trading firm, is entertaining, outspoken and sometimes maddening. Born in Brooklyn in 1943, the author, who grew up playing stoop ball, applies his street smarts to the art of speculation as he distills lessons from handball, chess, checkers, gambling, poker and also tennis, which he played while attending Harvard. National men's squash champion for 10 years, he retired from the game on principle after he was denied membership in athletic clubs that excluded Jews. Sketching an eclectic history of forecasting techniques from ancient Greece's Delphic oracle to the Federal Reserve, Niederhoffer extrapolates from weather predicting and handicapping horse races to estimating price movements, and draws strained if intriguing parallels among sex, music and speculation. Finally, he turns to ecology for an ""ecosystem model"" of futures and foreign-exchange markets. Although he lays out no comprehensive system, his book is full of unconventional advice on what and when to buy and sell. (Feb.)
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