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The Alchemy of Finance: Reading the Mind of the Market (Wiley Investment Classics (Paperback)) Paperback – 19 Aug 2003
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“…contains a detailed description of his trading methods and repays careful reading.” ( Investors Chronicle, 1st April 2005)
“…these updated classics are packed with investment wisdom…” (What Investment, November 2003)
This book includes a new chapter by Soros on the secrets to his success along with a new preface and introduction. It also includes a new foreword by renowned economist Paul Volcker. 'An extraordinary ...inside look into the decision-making process of the most successful money manager of our time. Fantastic' - "The Wall Street Journal". George Soros is unquestionably one of the most powerful and profitable investors in the world today. Dubbed by "Business Week" as 'the Man who Moves Markets', Soros made a fortune competing with the British pound and remains active today in the global financial community.Now, in this special edition of the classic investment book, "The Alchemy of Finance", Soros presents a theoretical and practical account of current financial trends and a new paradigm by which to understand the financial market today. This edition's expanded and revised introduction details Soros' innovative investment practices along with his views of the world and world order. He also describes a new paradigm for the 'theory of reflexivity' which underlies his unique investment strategies.Filled with expert advice and valuable business lessons, "The Alchemy of Finance" reveals the timeless principles of an investing legend. This special edition will feature a new chapter by Soros on the secrets of his success and a new foreword by the Honorable Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. George Soros (New York, NY) is President of Soros Fund Management and Chief Investment Advisor to Quantum Fund N.V., a $12 billion international investment fund.Besides his numerous ventures in finance, Soros is also extremely active in the worlds of education, culture, and economic aid and development through his Open Society Fund and the Soros Foundation. See all Product description
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It is massively complex in the ideas presented, necessarily so. I did find my self re-reading certain pages, sections two or three times to get my head around the points he was trying to make. Having said that, I think that the ideas were as simplified and accessible as they could get, whilst retaining the points the author was trying to put across.
George Soros is essentially presenting an opposite theory of how markets work to that of Scholes et al. As Soros's fund is a practical application of his theories, the successes of that may be equated with the value of what he says. However, Soros is pushing a theory that markets are unpredictable and irrational and that models are a straw man ... really saying his speculation is largely an exploitation of that knowledge.
The opposing view (from around the same time) was being implemented practically by Scholes, Meriweather and others in LTCM (See "When Genius Failed"). To see how both sides where successfully exploiting more naive market participants see "All that Glitters".
After the dramatic failure of LTCM, more sway was given to Soros' point of view, largely as his successful fund had been battered but survived more or less in tact. Some time in more recent history that fund also took a big kicking. Bizarrely this does give some more credence to to the theory Soros puts forward .... he is saying that one makes money in markets by being maverick and ignoring popular theory, so once people started copying him it is time to change the game plan or face the consequences!
All in all a very interesting thesis, especially to anyone with any knowledge of the man or the markets. Although it is economic theory and market psychology, etc, it is written more as manifesto and so engaging and accessible.
Not for the newcomer though, it would probably pay to have read a bit about trading, derivatives etc before attempting this one.
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Definitely value for money.