Fascinating insights into the hedge fund traders who consistently outperform the markets, in their own words
From bestselling author, investment expert, and Wall Street theoretician Jack Schwager comes a behind-the-scenes look at the world of hedge funds, from fifteen traders who've consistently beaten the markets. Exploring what makes a great trader a great trader, Hedge Fund Market Wizards breaks new ground, giving readers rare insight into the trading philosophy and successful methods employed by some of the most profitable individuals in the hedge fund business.
- Presents exclusive interviews with fifteen of the most successful hedge fund traders and what they've learned over the course of their careers
- Includes interviews with Jamie Mai, Joel Greenblatt, Michael Platt, Ray Dalio, Colm O’Shea, Ed Thorp, and many more
- Explains forty key lessons for traders
- Joins Stock Market Wizards, New Market Wizards, and Market Wizards as the fourth installment of investment guru Jack Schwager's acclaimed bestselling series of interviews with stock market experts
A candid assessment of each trader's successes and failures, in their own words, the book shows readers what they can learn from each, and also outlines forty essential lessons—from finding a trading method that fits an investor's personality to learning to appreciate the value of diversification—that investment professionals everywhere can apply in their own careers.
Bringing together the wisdom of the true masters of the markets, Hedge Fund Market Wizards is a collection of timeless insights into what it takes to trade in the hedge fund world.
Guest review of Hedge Fund Market Wizards, by Stanley Druckenmiller
Jack Schwager's newest book, Hedge Fund Market Wizards, like his previous works, is yet another solid contribution toward how to effectively manage capital. The book will have strong appeal to three main audiences; those managing capital professionally, those evaluating professional money managers, and those readers who want to manage their own money more effectively.
The fact that markets and the money management industry have gone through tumultuous change makes the central message of the book all the more powerful...that the key ingredients to successful performance are timeless and true in radically different environments. Those ingredients, an appreciation for the balance of risk versus reward in a trade, discipline, adaptability, an open mind, and intellectual honesty that enables one to learn from mistakes, come to life in Schwager's riveting interviews with a number of managers.
The characters' stories highlight their very different personalities and lifestyles and are interesting in and of themselves. But it is Schwager's unique ability to illustrate their winning strategies and interweave their personal backgrounds and emotional highs and lows that makes Hedge Fund Market Wizards both a highly entertaining read and learning experience. What most jumps out at the reader is how radically different styles and approaches all share the common traits mentioned above. By exemplifying these traits in a number of managers with seemingly different investment philosophies, whether it be short term vs. long term trading, large capital or small, or technical vs. fundamental analysis, Schwager is able to better highlight their essential importance to successful investing. By highlighting their differences, the common thread of their similarities is much more evident. Schwager reinforces the message with succinct summaries of what these commonalities are throughout the book.
Whether a reader is a professional money manager or simply managing their own capital, I have no doubt they will find Hedge Fund Market Wizards both entertains and enhances their ability to grow their capital.
Stanley Druckenmiller founded Duquesne Capital Management, which compounded at 30% per annum without a single losing year from its inception in 1981 to its closing in 2010. From 1988 to 2000, he also served as Lead Portfolio Manager of the Quantum Fund and Chief Investment Officer of Soros Fund Management (1989-2000) where he had overall responsibility for funds with a peak asset value of $22 billion.
Jack Schwager's Five Market Wizard Lessons
Hedge Fund Market Wizards
|Jack Schwager |
is ultimately a search for insights to be drawn from the most successful market practitioners. The last chapter distills the wisdom of the 15 skilled traders interviewed into 40 key market lessons. A sampling is provided below: 1. There Is No Holy Grail in Trading
Many traders mistakenly believe that there is some single solution to defining market behavior. Not only is there no single solution to the markets, but those solutions that do exist are continually changing. The range of the methods used by the traders interviewed in Hedge Fund Market Wizards, some of which are even polar opposites, is a testament to the diversity of possible approaches. There are a multitude of ways to be successful in the markets, albeit they are all hard to find and achieve. 2. Don't Confuse the Concepts of Winning and Losing Trades with Good and Bad Trades
A good trade can lose money, and a bad trade can make money. Even the best trading processes will lose a certain percentage of the time. There is no way of knowing a priori which individual trade will make money. As long as a trade adhered to a process with a positive edge, it is a good trade, regardless of whether it wins or loses because if similar trades are repeated multiple times, they will come out ahead. Conversely, a trade that is taken as a gamble is a bad trade regardless of whether it wins or loses because over time such trades will lose money. 3. The Road to Success Is Paved with Mistakes
Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund, strongly believes that learning from mistakes is essential to improvement and ultimate success. Each mistake, if recognized and acted upon, provides an opportunity for improving a trading approach. Most traders would benefit by writing down each mistake, the implied lesson, and the intended change in the trading process. Such a trading log can be periodically reviewed for reinforcement. Trading mistakes cannot be avoided, but repeating the same mistakes can be, and doing so is often the difference between success and failure. 4. The Importance of Doing Nothing
For some traders, the discipline and patience to do nothing when the environment is unfavorable or opportunities are lacking is a crucial element in their success. For example, despite making minimal use of short positions, Kevin Daly, the manager of the Five Corners fund, achieved cumulative gross returns in excess of 800% during a 12-year period when the broad equity markets were essentially flat. In part, he accomplished this feat by having the discipline to remain largely in cash during negative environments, which allowed him to sidestep large drawdowns during two major bear markets. The lesson is that if conditions are not right, or the return/risk is not sufficiently favorable, don't do anything. Beware of taking dubious trades out of impatience. 5. Volatility and Risk Are Not Synonymous
Low volatility does not imply low risk and high volatility does not imply high risk. Investments subject to sporadic large risks may exhibit low volatility if a risk event is not present in the existing track record. For example, the strategy of selling out-of-the-money options can exhibit low volatility if there are no large, abrupt price moves, but is at risk of asymptotically increasing losses in the event of a sudden, steep selloff. On the other hand, traders such as Jamie Mai, the portfolio manager for Cornwall Capital, will exhibit high volatility because of occasional very large gains-not a factor that most investors would associate with risk or even consider undesirable-but will have strictly curtailed risk because of the asymmetric structure of their trades. So some strategies, such as option selling, can have both low volatility and large, open-ended risk, and some strategies, such as Mai's, can have both high volatility and constrained risk.
As a related point, investors often make the mistake of equating manager performance in a given year with manager skill. Sometimes, more skilled managers will underperform because they refuse to participate in market bubbles. The best performers during such periods are often the most imprudent rather than the most skilled managers. Martin Taylor, the portfolio manager of the Nevsky Fund, underperformed in 1999 because he thought it was ridiculous to buy tech stocks at their inflated price levels. This same investment decision, however, was instrumental to his large outperformance in subsequent years when these stocks witnessed a prolonged, massive decline. In this sense, past performance can sometimes even be an inverse indicator.