Dumb Money: Adventures of a Day Trader

Joey Anuff, Author, Gary Wolf, Author, Gary Wolf, Joint Author Random House (NY) $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-375-50388-7
Literate day traders are bound to enjoy this brisk, canny account of one day in the life of young profiteer Joey Anuff, provided they can tear themselves away from their browser windows and news feeds. Anuff, who created the edgy humor site Suck.com and racked up a six-figure trading account when he made an early killing on eBay stock, takes us through the rhythms of the Nasdaq trading day as experienced from his San Francisco loft. With CNBC blaring in the background, we wake up to the blistering pace of morning trading, segue into the ""midday dead zone"" while hitting up a few novice-filled chat rooms, and then wait out the market close. Anuff peppers his real-time vignettes with reportage on the evolution of day trading, revisiting the scene of killer Mark O. Barton, whose rampage through the Atlanta offices of All-Tech Investment Group put day trading on the national radar screen, and harking back to legendary traders like Harvey Houtkin, ""b te noir of the NASD."" To his credit, Anuff explores the cliquish culture of veteran traders and explains plenty of insider babble from the Nasdaq exchange. Yet the book's tone wavers between deliberate cynicism and paranoid delusion, which may be faithful to day-trading psychology but can make the narrative seem contrived. When Anuff concludes by renouncing day trading and its dumb money for a real life, one feels as though the persona of the mercenary, bug-eyed trader has been a bit of a swindle. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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