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What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars (Columbia Business School Publishing) Hardcover – 17 May 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 1 edition (17 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231164688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231164689
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

The best finance book I know is "What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars".--Nassim Nicholas Taleb "quoted in "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" "

Worthwhile reading for those who don't believe in the holy grail in the markets; a must-read for those who do.--Jack Schwager, author of "Hedge Fund Market Wizards"

A must-have for traders blessed with a string of hot trades.--Ken Fisher "FORBES "

A new, novel approach aimed at pushing you inside your head and outside the losing habits most folks adopt right after multiple successes. A must-have for traders blessed with a string of hot trades.--Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments "FORBES "

One of the rare noncharlatanic books in finance.--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, from "Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder"

A novel approach aimed at pushing you inside your head and outside the losing habits most folks adopt right after multiple successes. A must-have for traders blessed with a string of hot trades.--Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments "FORBES "

At Ned Davis Research, we like to say that we are in the business of making mistakes and that the only difference between winners and losers is that winners make small mistakes and losers, big mistakes. This book does an excellent job in explaining in simple English the potential psychological 'flaws' that cause investors to make big mistakes.--Ned Davis, Ned Davis Research, Inc.

Plenty of books recount past successes or focus on how to make money in the market, but what about keeping the money you already have? This may seem like a high-class problem, but it is a very real challenge for investors with substantial capital.--John Mihaljevic"Beyond Proxy" (01/01/0001)

[An] enlightening read.--Brenda Jubin"Investing.com" (01/01/0001)

The book points out very early that many successful investors have opposing styles and theories on how to make money, and that they can not all be right at the same time. The most important point to take from the book is how to avoid losing money...--Steve Osbiston"Financial Times Advisor" (01/01/0001)

Worthwhile reading for those who don't believe in the holy grail in the markets; a must-read for those who do.

--Jack Schwager, author of Hedge Fund Market Wizards

At Ned Davis Research, we like to say that we are in the business of making mistakes and that the only difference between winners and losers is that winners make small mistakes and losers, big mistakes. This book does an excellent job in explaining in simple English the potential psychological 'flaws' that cause investors to make big mistakes.

--Ned Davis, Ned Davis Research, Inc.

One of the rare noncharlatanic books in finance.

--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, from Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

[An] enlightening read.

--Brenda Jubin"Investing.com" (01/01/0001)

[An] enlightening read.

--Brenda Jubin-Investing.com- (01/01/0001)

A novel approach aimed at pushing you inside your head and outside the losing habits most folks adopt right after multiple successes. A must-have for traders blessed with a string of hot trades.

--Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments "FORBES "

Plenty of books recount past successes or focus on how to make money in the market, but what about keeping the money you already have? This may seem like a high-class problem, but it is a very real challenge for investors with substantial capital.

--John Mihaljevic"Beyond Proxy" (01/01/0001)

The book points out very early that many successful investors have opposing styles and theories on how to make money, and that they can not all be right at the same time. The most important point to take from the book is how to avoid losing money...

--Steve Osbiston"Financial Times Advisor" (01/01/0001)

Worthwhile reading for those who don't believe in the holy grail in the markets; a must-read for those who do.--Jack Schwager, author of Hedge Fund Market Wizards

A novel approach aimed at pushing you inside your head and outside the losing habits most folks adopt right after multiple successes. A must-have for traders blessed with a string of hot trades.--Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments "FORBES "

At Ned Davis Research, we like to say that we are in the business of making mistakes and that the only difference between winners and losers is that winners make small mistakes and losers, big mistakes. This book does an excellent job in explaining in simple English the potential psychological 'flaws' that cause investors to make big mistakes.--Ned Davis, Ned Davis Research, Inc.

One of the rare noncharlatanic books in finance.--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, from Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Plenty of books recount past successes or focus on how to make money in the market, but what about keeping the money you already have? This may seem like a high-class problem, but it is a very real challenge for investors with substantial capital.--John Mihaljevic "Beyond Proxy "

[An] enlightening read.--Brenda Jubin "Investing.com "

The book points out very early that many successful investors have opposing styles and theories on how to make money, and that they can not all be right at the same time. The most important point to take from the book is how to avoid losing money...--Steve Osbiston "Financial Times Advisor "

About the Author

Jim Paul (1943-2001) was first vice president in charge of the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. International Energy Unit in New York City. During his twenty-five-year career in the futures industry, he was a retail broker, floor trader, and research director and served on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Board of Governors and the Executive Committee. Brendan Moynihan is a managing director at Marketfield Asset Management LLC, where his understanding of markets and the media helps shape their macro views and allocations. He is an adjunct professor of finance at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. He is also the author of Financial Origami: How the Wall Street Model Broke. He lives in Barrington Hills, Illinois, with his wife and two sons. Jack Schwager is the author of the best-selling Market Wizard series as well as the three-volume Schwager on Futures. His latest work, Market Sense and Nonsense, was published in November 2012. He is currently the portfolio manager for the ADMIS Diversified Strategies Fund. His experience includes twenty-two years as director of futures research for some of Wall Street's leading firms.


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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is okay but not more than that. The first half in which he describes his life and how he lost a million dollars is more interesting than the second half which is rather dry and analytical. The book is very dated, as the events occurred in the early 1980s. The author died in 2001. The message of the book is still very relevant, which is you should have an investment plan, in particular you should get out of falling investments relatively early and not watch them go down to the point where they are a major financial problem, i.e. decide in advance what your 'stop loss' level is and get out and accept the loss if your investment falls to this level. Also, don't personalize your investments - if an investment falls, don't blame yourself for being wrong. The book doesn't tell you much more than that.
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This book neatly articulates probably the only real true secret to success in trading. After a long career in finance and a wide variety of books consumed this is the only book I have read that really tells the truth, and with a distinct lack of fluff or b-s! I will be recommending this to others and would consider it invaluable to anyone aspiring to become a professional trader.
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What I learned loosing million dollars is a book based on the real life story of Jim Paul, trader and investor, and his trading adventure on the stock market during the period of 1970 - 1983. The book emphasizes on the psychological part of the trading process advocating that decisions based on emotions are biased and would lead to negative compound effect that overtime will have a detrimental effect over an individual. While such statement is a common sense for many of us probably only a few realise that tacking unemotional decision that bear actions require predefined exit point and desirable outcome.
The book can be divided in two parts. The first one covers Jim Paul’s different stages of life through childhood (starting his first job at 9 years of age), student life, and adulthood (military service, entering the stock market industry – profits and losses). This is the part where he introduces us the readers with his feelings, emotions, and thoughts, during extraordinary profits and one 75 days long loss consisted of many daily and weekly losses that cost him $1.6 million (everything).
The second part emphasizes on human psychology and how we perceive “loss”. Chapter psychological dynamics of loss gives information about external and internal losses and how these two different types of losses affect human beings in different ways. An interesting fact for me was to see a correlation between the behaviour of terminally ill patients and traders (in both winning and losing trades), all exhibiting identical five behavioural stages of internal loss.
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This is about so many things: personalizing wins and losses.....linking self worth to the outcome, not having a plan, not following a plan. There are many ways to make money (in markets) but only a few ways to lose!

I got more from this than from the texts on market Psychology i have read.

just a superb read.
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Everyone who harbours ambitions in any career or business should read this book. It's short and entertaining, so you have no excuse not to. Jim Paul has been extraordinarily honest and open about how his behaviour and beliefs led to his bankruptcy. He is just like me. And he is just like you. We are all human. We are all of us capable of the mistakes he outlines here.

It is a fantastic case study in both success and failure. The overwhelming majority of people never acknowledge that a lot of their career success is simply down to luck, and not their own skill set. I saw this time and again in what I laughingly call my 'career'.

What happens is that someone has moderate success, which builds confidence and garners attention. They get promoted and have more success, usually just due to favourable market conditions. Before you know it, they are a 'mastermind'. This is exactly the sort of fallacy that Nassim Taleb talks about in his work: every success is explained *after the fact*. And so what inevitably happens is that last year's amazing role-model is this year's bankruptcy. It's all hubris and nonsense.

This kind of model is particularly acute when it comes to banking and traders. What provides an air of wonderfully dark comedy towards the end is when the author is talking about well-managed businesses. This book was published in 1994, and he talks about how well Bear Stearns manages its traders, giving them 'cold sweat' meetings once a week about their positions, to ensure the bank isn't over-exposed. Hindsight is a wonderful thing - Bear Stearns went bankrupt in 2008. There are some wonderful examples of over-reach, a great many more must have come to light since.

But there is hope.
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