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Lessons From A Trading Great: Ed Thorp

Ed Thorp, the father of quant investing, might be the most impressive market wizard. He turned seemingly random processes into predictable events, transforming the art of speculation into a science decades before Wall Street’s quants became mainstream. His domination in the financial world began in the casino. Thorp figured out how to beat the most “unbeatable” games. In roulette, he created a wearable computer that gave him a 44% edge. And in blackjack, he developed the very first card counting system that’s still widely used today. These gambling skills transferred perfectly to markets. Thorp’s first hedge fund, Princeton Newport Partners, […]

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Lessons From A Trading Great: Amos Hostetter

Amos Hostetter cofounded Commodities Corporation (otherwise known as CC) along with Helmut Weymar back in 1969. CC is the trading shop that produced more legendary trading talent than the Yankees have All-Stars. Alumni include: Bruce Kovner, Michael Marcus, Paul Tudor Jones, Ed Seykota and more… Hostetter was considered the wise sage and mentor of the group. He’s credited with imbuing many of these trading greats with the wisdom and knowledge they used to achieve their grand heights. Upon his untimely death in a car accident in 1977, the directors of CC commissioned one of their traders, Morris Markovitz, to gather […]

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Lessons From A Trading Great: Jim Leitner

Jim Leitner is the greatest macro trader you’ve never heard of. He was once a currency expert on Wall Street, pulling billions from the markets, but now he plays the game through his own family office. Leitner understands the Macro Ops “go anywhere” mentality better than any other trader: Global macro is the willingness to opportunistically look at every idea that comes along, from micro situations to country-specific situations, across every asset category and every country in the world. It’s the combination of a broad top-down country analysis with a bottom-up micro analysis of companies. In many cases, after we […]

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Lessons From a Trading Great: Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater. Two years ago, Bridgewater surpassed Soros’ Quantum fund for the title of most profitable hedge fund of all time; returning over $ 46 billion since inception. In your author’s humble opinion, Ray Dalio is one of the more original thinkers alive today. In the investing world he stands alone in his depth of understanding of how the “economic machine” works. His “principles” for life and management are like beautiful computer code designed to produce desired outcomes while stripping away the non-essential. The man is a philosophizing engineer taking apart and designing machines for […]

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Lessons from a Trading Great: Paul Tudor Jones (PTJ)

From Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards: October 1987 was a devastating month for most investors as the world stock markets witnessed a collapse that rivaled 1929. That same month, the Tudor Futures Fund, managed by Paul Tudor Jones, registered an incredible 62 percent return. Jones has always been a maverick trader. His trading style is unique and his performance is uncorrelated with other money managers. Perhaps most important, he has done what many thought impossible: combine five consecutive, triple-digit return years with very low equity retracements. (I am fudging slightly; in 1986, Paul’s fund realized only a 99.2 percent gain!) Jones […]

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Lessons From A Trading Great: Stanley Druckenmiller

The “greatest money making machine in history”, a man with “Jim Roger’s analytical ability, George Soros’ trading ability, and the stomach of a riverboat gambler” is how fund manager Scott Bessent describes Stanley Druckenmiller. That’s high praise, but if you look at Druckenmiller’s track record, you’ll find it’s well deserved. Druck averaged over 30% returns the last three decades — impressive. But what’s even more astonishing is the lack of volatility… the guy almost never loses. He never had a single down year and only had five losing quarters out of 120 altogether! That’s absolutely unheard of. And he did […]

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Lessons From A Trading Great: George Soros

Remember the scene from the 90’s classic, The Sandlot, where “Smalls” loses his father’s Babe Ruth autographed baseball to “The Beast” and the other kids question him in disbelief, saying: Smalls: I was gonna put the ball back. Squints: But it was signed by Babe Ruth! Smalls: Yeah, you keep telling me that! Who is she? Ham Porter: WHAT? WHAT? Kenny: The sultan of swat! Bertram: The king of crash! Timmy: The colossus of clout! Tommy: The colossus of clout! All: BABE RUTH! Ham Porter: THE GREAT BAMBINO! Smalls: Oh my god! You mean that’s the same guy? All: YES! […]

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Lessons from a Trading Great: Jesse Livermore

“Boy Wonder”, “Boy Plunger” and the “Great Bear of Wall St.” are a few of the monikers Jesse Livermore was known by. Livermore was immortalized in the trading classic Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre — a book your author has read countless times over the years and still pulls new wisdom from with each revisit. Reminiscences has stood the test of time because it, more than any other book, explains the fundamental truths that lie at the heart of successful speculation. It’s no doubt a reflection of Livermore’s deep and intimate understanding of this great game. One […]

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Lessons From a Trading Great: Michael Marcus

Michael Marcus turned $ 30,000 into $ 80 million over a 20 year period — not too shabby. He was profiled in Schwager’s original classic Market Wizards, giving one of the more impressive interviews in a book filled with many. What many don’t know is that Marcus was also part of what has to be the most famous mentor/trader lineage in trading history. The names read like a trader hall of fame inductee list. The lineage began with Amos Hostetter, Founder of Commodity Corp and mentor to Ed Seykota (whom was also profiled in Market Wizards). Seykota then trained Marcus […]

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One Failed College, Two Big Lessons

I’ve always been fascinated by daytime television. It’s not the soap operas and Judge Whomever shows that captivate me, it’s the ads. To judge by what people are selling, there are millions of consumers at home all day who were hurt in auto accidents or have outstanding liens from the IRS. If only they can connect with the right lawyer or accounting firm, their lives will instantly change for the better! In addition to this forlorn group, there are many others who, with the right training and certification, could transform their lives through higher earning potential and job satisfaction. Think […]

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