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Hedge Hunters: Hedge Fund Masters on the Rewards, the Risk, and the Reckoning (Bloomberg) [Hardcover]

Katherine Burton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Nov 2007 Bloomberg (Book 22)

they're known as the great investors, the market wizards, the financial giants: julian robertson, michael steinhardt, t. boone pickens, hugh sloane, to name a few. they are the men that created the trillion-dollar hedge fund industry by taking the right bets, not only when it came to money but also when it came to people. knowing what makes a great trader, they pick their managers as carefully as they pick their investments.

notorious for their secrecy, these managers have now opened their doors to the public for the first time. they talk about the biggest challenges they face; and how they enter, exit and size a trade. they reveal the people that share their gift for money management, those who define the industry today and those who will continue to shape the future of the hedge fund world.

as an investor or a market watcher, you will be intrigued as well as informed, by this unprecedented look at the hedge hunters who continue to define the hedge fund world.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomberg Press (3 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576602451
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576602454
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 15.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"a readable, relevant book, with lessons a new generation of hedge-fund managers...would do well to take to heart … the book celebrates, in individual profiles, the experience and know-how of hedge fund “masters”. burton brings to light a delightfully disparate, even eccentric, cohort in a field that manages an estimated $1.7 trillion. ‘in sum, burton has written a readable, relevant book, with lessons a new generation of hedge-fund managers, in a decidedly less hospitable investment climate, would do well to take to heart."


“this is a well-written and accessible book, and readers with scant knowledge of hedge funds will be able to enjoy the interviews…an entertaining, informative and easy-to-read book. i would recommend it to hedge fund investors and non-investors alike.”

fund strategy

"eloquently written and obviously well researched. burton has managed to bring out the lively personalities of these wall street titans…all in all, an entertaining and informative read which really is actually hard to put down."

pensions age

"this collection of interviews is much more useful then those books which only espouse a single viewpoint."

securities & investment review

"in an astute move that separates the book from others in its class, burton also probe the most established players in the industry on who they believe are the rising stars of the hedge fund management- then speaks to them too juxtaposing the experience of the veterans with the fresh energy of their protégés. it is a lively read that cuts through the industry jargon to paint a straightforward and occasionally compelling picture of those at its heart."

the business

"her lengthy interviews with these managers are a window onto how wealth operates. the conversations recorded in this book are strewn with gems. burton’s book surprises with is comedy and colour."

international herald tribune

“great descriptions of the backgrounds, philosophies, and practices of the best managers, told in a rapid, entertaining narrative.”

david einhorn, manager, greenlight capital hedge fund

“this is a page-turner, with insights from some of the legends of the hedge fund industry. and it’s written in a wonderfully engaging style by a veteran journalist with unprecedented access to these titans of wall street.”

andrew w. lo, harris & harris group professor, director, mit laboratory for financial engineering, mit sloan school of management

Book Description

the world's best hedge fund managers on how they find great traders and top talent, answering questions such as: what makes a great investor? what sets him apart as a manager? how is he able to produce high returns?

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
What are the qualities of a successful hedge fund manager? To answer that question, Katherine Burton profiled industry leaders who have outperformed their peers over time. Her book provides readers with a sweeping introduction to the hedge fund industry's top performers. You will discover how these investors got to the top, what strategies they employ, how they learn from their mistakes and what characteristics they find necessary to succeed in this very competitive environment. Burton profiles an impressive group: Mark Yusko, Michael Steinhardt, John Armitage, Marc Lasry, Craig Effron, Lee Ainslie, Bernay Box, Boone Pickens, Brian Bradshaw, David Meaney, Michael Ross, Alex Szewczyk, Josh Friedman, Mitch Julis, Jeffrey Schachter, Burton Weinstein, Dwight Anderson, Roberto Mignone, Bruce Ritter, Julian Roberston, Jim Chanos, Richard Perry and Daniel Loeb. While Burton provides a rare glimpse inside the world of these hedge fund managers, her very readable interviews are too brief for those searching for inside knowledge about hedge funds. Those seeking in-depth discussions of investment techniques and trading strategies may wish that she had dug a little more deeply. Nevertheless, getAbstract likes this quick, easy-to-read set of profiles from the world of hedge funds, and recommends it to anyone who wants a peek behind the curtain into this elite domain.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Collection of best hedge fund managers 15 Nov 2009
The growth in hedge funds over the last 20 years has been tremendous. The author says that in 2007 there were 2,400 single-manager hedge fund firms worldwide. But as more hedge funds formed, the overall returns decreased. This book features the industry's leaders and legends who have successfully operated for a decade or more and produced returns greater than their peers.

These managers differ on things such as philosophies, personalities, and age, but what they all have in common is their ability to make money. The author says:

"Whatever their training, education, or risk tolerance, they share many qualities: they're skeptical, intellectually curious, and independent thinkers. Passionate about their profession and their goals, they take the long view."

Some of their names are Mark Yusko, Michael Steinhardt, Craig Effron, Boone Pickens, and many others. It is always fascinating to read how others make it. I recommend it to readers who would like to learn from the best.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More like "generality gatherer". 22 Dec 2007
By lighten_up_already2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I ordered this book actually thinking that I might gain some insights into how hedge funds work and perhaps to learn something about investing that I didn't already know. Instead I ended up reading a book that seemed just like one of those "market wizards" books from back in the 1980's.

A generic hedge fund manager's bio might go like this. "Joe Money" grew up in an affluent family where he got interested in investing. Then he went to an exclusive college and got a job in a Wall Street company. A few years later he got to manage a fund, and then a few years later he left that company and started his own fund. Now he sits in an office decorated with (insert decorations here) and gives this advice:

Be prepared to make mistakes.

Know when to stick to your convictions and when to walk away (like Kenny Rogers in "The Gambler". Ya gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run.)

The better you know the investment you're making, the greater your conviction will be.

Don't stake more than a certain percentage of your portfolio on a single invesment. (Or, don't put all your eggs in one basket).

Study the leadership of the company, not just the financials.

Buy into industries that everyone else hates.

Look for new products that everyone has to have. Buy stock in the company that makes them.

Seek out companies whose shares are undervalued compared to earnings and other financial measures.

And there's more. More generalities that I've read several times before and have appeared in investing books for decades. I was rather dissappointed.
85 of 111 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hedge needlessly killed: A Put Option 22 Oct 2007
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not sure who Katherine's target audience is, but I know it's not me. If you like breathy prose ("..boyish good looks...") and inflight magazine profiles (23 career profiles in 200 pages), then you're going to have a rollicking good time. If you are looking for in depth discussions of various trading strategies by market luminaries then look elsewhere. What you get is a bunch of anecdotes relating, "How I became a hedge fund manager".

This book falls between two markets not delivering to either. If you are new to trading you are going to need a reference to interpret the jargon. If you have some experience you're going to think that the author doesn't know what hedging is (the trades described are the traditional searches for value based on fundamentals).

Hedging is an investment strategy that utilizes an understanding of risk and how it is priced into the current value of an instrument. A traditional fund manager is generally looking for value, that is, looks at the fundamentals of a business and tries to assess if the stock has been undervalued by the market, whereas a hedge fund manager is looking for value in pricing of a derivative instrument that factors in volatility, like a stock option contract, and takes positions on both long and short sides to make money. This is a rather abstract concept, so Katherine either doesn't understand this or couldn't be bothered to explain it to her readership.

Katherine seems to be a frustrated novelist and just didn't ask enough of the right questions to make this book worth the cover price. I would have rated the book higher, but for the fact that the book makes promises on the cover that it doesn't deliver. In a bargain bucket near you shortly (excuse the pun). A book you'll put down and only pick up to swat flies.

Better books on investment are Investments (6th Edition) and Options, Futures and Other Derivatives (6th Edition).
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long Access; Short Methodology 27 Oct 2007
By Craig L. Howe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although the author provides rare access to the thinking of 25 hedge fund great, she often misses the mark.

Hedge Fund managers are notorious for high returns and low profiles. Katherine Burton, who covers the hedge fund industry for Bloomberg News, provides the reader with access to these legends, but often fails to plumb the depths of their thinking.

The book is well-written. But I do not particularly care that the manager has boyish good-looks, is dressed in a suit or has holes in his blue jeans. From a book that carries this steep a price tag, I expect research methodologies, tips on mental preparation, trading tactics and logistics.

If you want to read breezy profiles, this book will suffice. If, however, you want to get under the covers, I would opt for [ASIN:0471794473 Inside the House of Money: Top Hedge Fund Traders on Profiting in the Global Markets]] by Steven Drobny.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BizFinGuy 23 Oct 2007
By BizFinGuy - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful look at the world of hedge funds and the players who built an industry. Ms. Burton has achieved unusual and deep access to many of the leading and formative figures of the past 20 years. It helps that she has a great understanding of the hedge world and that these luminaries trust her enough to be frank and informative -- in ways not usually associated with this asset class. Ms. Burton's easy writing style and disarming way with her subjects has resulted in a very readable and interesting book.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Figure It Out Yourself 23 Oct 2007
By Earscape - Published on Amazon.com
Hedge Hunters is the best book about the hedge fund industry to date...and likely a classic. Katherine Burton, who covers hedge funds every day on her beat at Bloomberg News, is by far the most plugged in and skilled writer working in financial journalism today. It is well known and makes sense that the best hedge fund managers are famous for not wanting to talk to any reporter, for any reason, ever. Period. The fact Ms. Burton got the cream of the current crop to sit down with her tells you they she has earned their respect. And, in writing this book, she has earned mine.

Of course...I love data, charts, diagrams, profit and loss reports, exotic mathematics, and complexity. But there are hundreds, if not thousands, of books available to meet my needs in these ares. Hedge Hunters is different. It rightfully focuses on the human dimension of the hedge fund industry - the character attributes of those at the top of it and their thought processes. It provides a much needed break from the scores of entrancing, dizzying, but ultimately forgettable books about finance. It rightfully elevates people over formulas, ideas over equations, and wisdom over information.

Ms. Burton is a very gifted writer. She is extremely talented at observation, description and story telling. She has a very wry wit, and is often hilarious. Hedge Hunters reminds me of Michael Lewis's "Liar's Poker"...absent the testosterone and ego saturated hijinks of his subjects.

You'll have to do some work to extract all the valuable guidance Hedge Hunters can provide. But, to me, that's what reading...and life... is all about.
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