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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Honesty, 20 Aug. 2010
By 
P. Amery (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
Hedge fund managers are not renowned for their modesty. This week, Stanley Druckenmiller shut down his fund with a comment in his farewell letter that "while our clients were certainly pleased that we achieved positive results for 2008 and 2009 in a challenging environment, as you may have surmised I was dissatisfied with those results because they did not match my own, internal long-term standard". 2008, of course, was the year in which many funds lost the lot, so a positive return was no mean feat...as I suspect Druckenmiller intends us to know.

As Tracey Corrigan of the Telegraph put it with tongue in cheek, "however brilliant Mr Druckenmiller may appear to everyone else, he has such high standards that he constantly disappoints himself".

By contrast, Lars Kroijer is relentlessly honest, describing the post-business-school arrogance he took to an early interview with Perry Capital; the nail-biting months of attempting to launch a fund; the excruciating capital introduction conferences with potential investors; the period of success and growth; the mistakes made when leveraging his fund; the toll on his personal life taken by his work; the layers of costs that funds charge investors; and the whole, surreal, hedge fund world, where investors arrive and depart on a whim, condemned to act in a herd by greed and fear in equal measure.

As he says in his introduction, "it's one long blur of human drama, with triumph and failure following each other in quick and merciless succession".

This is a well-written, thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ESCHEW OBFUSICATION - ESPOUSE ELUCIDATION ......., 2 Feb. 2011
By 
DOPPLEGANGER (TEDDY B) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
......so exhort learned professors when teaching their students the many advantages of simplicity. Any semi-intelligent fool can make things appear complex but it takes a touch of genius - and guts - to move in the opposite direction. Lars Kroiger, the author of "Money Mavericks" is one of the few people that is confident enough of himself and in his knowledge of the workings of the hedge fund industry, to have written a first class insight into the workings of a hedge fund that is within the understanding capabilities of the average 'Joe' or 'Cynthia'.

Many of those in senior positions in the rarefied world of the Hedge Fund carousel, share two characteristics with those in the equally cliquish domain of Investment Banking, an insatiable appetite for personal enrichment on a grand scale and a tendency to create a mystique and ambiguity about exactly what they do, presumably to stop others from joining the 'gravy train'. The 'smoke screening' takes the form of making everything sound excruciatingly complicated by using a contrived jargon that has the desired effect of making the Joe's and Cynthia's feel like twats!

Lars Kroijer heeds the wisdom of Confucius "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated" and gives it to us 'straight' without embellishments, in fact with warts and all and certainly demystifies the task of setting up, attracting and managing funds, and in the case of his hedge fund, Holte Capital Limited, its winding down. In an industry not known for its modesty, the author is very self-effacing and comes clean on his short-comings as well as his achievements. We are also given insight into the many diverse, crazy and obsessed characters that filter through the hedge fund world, all trying to stumble on to their own 'cavern of riches'.

This book is perfect for anybody wishing to understand what goes on in the frenetic world of Hedge Funds but, had been made to feel 'as thick as two short planks' by the unintelligible clap trap that seems to be the norm in this business. The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak, and "Money Mavericks" certainly accomplishes this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 11 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
In Money Mavericks, Lars Kroijer tells the story of how he built Holte Capital, his London-based hedge fund, from its beginnings as a small start up--much smaller than he would have ever expected--to a $300 million hedge fund. Along the way, Kroijer runs into all the highs and lows of building a business and meets some of the biggest players in the global hedge fund industry. The stories of these meetings will become part of hedge fund lore. Kroijer tells his tale with humour and eloquence, but also with humility about the incredible experience he has had. Money Mavericks is a great read for anyone interested in the inside story on hedge funds, what they do, the people who run them, and the challenges of starting a business.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshingly honest confession, 17 Aug. 2010
By 
Jack (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
It's important to make clear that this excellent book is not your usual tale of expense account excess in the City, along the lines of dross like Cityboy - the title and subtitle are slightly guilty of trying to sex-up the content. Instead this is a fascinating and insighful insiders account of the joys and pressures of hedge fund life, from someone who saw both success and failure and is refreshingly honest about the latter. The only real hubris is at the start when Kroijer sets out on his own, convinced of his own talents but with no track record at all to back up his self-belief and appears to be surprised that he struggles to find investors, but even this is told with humour and charm - his interview with Perry Capital recounted in the first chapter is particularly amusing. The book manages to combine some proper meat for those interested in his fund's strategy (in seperate text boxes that can be skipped if too detailed), an insight into the hedge fund business model and yet keep the whole thing motoring on nicely with sufficient anecdotes and stories - I happily finished the book in two sittings and as someone working in financial services thought the balance just about perfect, although a more general reader might find some of it slightly heavy going. Nevertheless, with hedge funds seen as evil locusts at the current time by politicians and the public, a sober and serious account of the work they do aimed at a wide audience is to be welcomed and Kroijer can be satisfied that he's hit the target with his first book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read even for those not in the investment world, 23 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
In his first book Lars Kroijer takes a deep dive into his experiences in the world of high finance. Mr. Kroijer, using self deprecating humor and brutal honesty gives the reader a real view into the hedge fund world. Mr. Kroijer is able to tell an exciting story of barely raising the money to launch, the painful and at times humbling climb to the top, the rapid turn of events and the eventual winding down of his creation. Kroijer's story is both interesting and compelling and woven into the chapters are clear diagrams and concise explanations on financial matters to allow those not in that world to understand and enjoy the book. I highly recommend this reflective book and I am looking forward to his next one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just about money, 5 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
Starting to read Lars Kroijer's 'Money Mavericks', I expected it to be a rather boring book about finance, and not a very suitable read for a literary person like me. It wasn't boring, far from it. This is a really interesting and exciting book about a young entrepreneur building an impressive hedge fund company, starting with two almost empty hands.

The book is very pedagogic, explaining much of the hard work and analysis behind successful hedge funds and how they work, and is surely an excellent read for anyone wanting to know more about hedge funds. For me, however, the thrill of the read was the representation of the personal development of the hedge fund manager himself. Kroijer accurately depicts the difficult life of a true entrepreneur and his personal reactions to the strain and workload.

I can recommend this book not only to business students, but to anyone looking for an interesting biography.Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Captivating Read, 4 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This is a great, honest book about a period that future generations will look back on and wonder what on earth was going on. This book will explain exactly what was happening.

Far too often, journalists are bamboozled by the City. And when they write about hedge funds, they write about young aggressive traders in lap-dancing bars. Or of impossibly brainy quants, computing their way to disaster.

This book is an eye-opener because the author tells us about the mundane nature of what setting up a hedge fund is like. The book explodes all these hyperbolic myths about the City. He is refreshingly honest and he is very very funny. The author doesnt hesitate to laugh at himself or the people he meets along the way.

All in all, I doubt whether anyone will write a book like this ever again about the City. Its too good a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really enjoyable and informative read, 29 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
I bought this book after a friend recommended it to me. I found myself reading it in one go, truly enjoying myself as Lars describes his adventures in starting his new money-management business. It's actually very well written, very insightful and eye-opening in many ways. While everyone knows that fundraising for a new venture is quite a challenge, it's hard to imagine just how tough it really is until you read the book. Here is someone with a tremendous pedigree, all the right schools, jobs, skills, etc... and yet he gets started with a much smaller amount than anyone would have anticipated.

This is also the first time that I see a first-hand account of the pressures, tensions, etc... involved in starting such a business. While you can read many accounts of technology startups, you don't have many examples dealing with the hedge fund industry. For people that are involved in the finance industry and are thinking about launching their own business (be it a fund or a money management firm), this is an absolute must read as you will get insights into how to structure equity participations, pay bonuses, keep employees happy, negotiate with banks and service providers. Since you're seeing this through the eyes of the business owner, you feel the pain, stress and excitement that come along with making these decisions in a way that goes far beyond the "tips and tricks" a less personal tale may sprinkle around.

Financial industry startups are also unique in their funding and profit models. While you need lots of capital to manage, the business is not capital intensive (quite the opposite as your assets leave the building every night). Just like other startups though the success rate is very low and potential gains are very high. Reading through the book you see very clearly just how much selection bias currently exists in this space. People often don't realize that for every successful fund there have been many many failures.

Most importantly this is a very fun read. I found myself laughing out loud at every other page (which made people on my train wonder what could be so funny about a hedge fund book).

The last chapter opens the door to a new philosophy of investment. While Mr. Kroijer does not fully develop his views here it's easy to see he's on to something that could be quite interesting and perhaps a good topic for a next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare insight into mind of hedge fund manager, 11 Aug. 2010
By 
Curt Peters - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
Lars Kroijer provides the reader with an excellent portal into the mind of a hedge fund manager. Kroijer started his fund, Holte Capital, in the boom years of hedge funds with a few dollars and a lot of ambition. His book tells the tale of all the ups and downs (business-wise, trading-wise, emotionally-wise, partners-wise, etc) he experienced with Holte Capital. There is no shortage of hedge fund manager autobiographies for sale these days, and generally I avoid reading hedge fund manager self-promoting nonsense. However, in the case of Kroijer, an exception must be made. Kroijer is that rare animal who, made clear from his writing, is much too self-reflective and aware of the world around himself, to be comfortable in the hedge fund industry. Kroijer's book tells of the absurdness of the industry and its participants which only a critical outsider would be able to discern; all the while Kroijer is deeply ensconced in the industry trying to make a go of it. This book is not a frat-house tale of lurid sexcapades and drug fueled parties, rather the story is one of the inner workings of a humble self-reflective mind placed in an environment of near-sociopaths and their institutions. Kroijer's book is the one book about hedge funds which I believe is an enjoyable read for the non-hedge fund person. A book which industry outsiders can appreciate, and certainly a book which industry insiders need to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest insight into the world of hedge funds, 8 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
Lars Kroijer has written a great book that gives some honest insight into the world of hedge funds. I think this book is a must read for anyone aspiring to work within the hedge fund industry or for anyone wishing to gain some knowledge of what goes on "behind the scenes". I found the book to be inspiring, as it also raises some very valid questions regarding the role of hedge funds in "balanced" portfolios.
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