The Education Of A Speculator by Victor Niederhoffer

This is an interesting read primarily because Victor Niederhoffer, the author, blazes his own trail. The tone is awkward at times – overly modest occasionally, pompous frequently – but this is a man who has made many millions, lost many millions, and then made it all back and more. He has traded in many markets for himself and others, George Soros included, and probably in a manner unlike anyone else.

The author delights in drawing unusual (and tenuous) analogies between the financial markets and anything and everything else that can be studied and measured – music, ecology, competitive sports, weather, etc. While the non-trading subject matter is of passing interest – the mating habits of certain insects, for example! – the statistical conclusions and trading inferences can come across as dubious.

Nevertheless, behind these varied and surprising musings is a highly intelligent and accomplished mind. What is also abundantly clear is how Niederhoffer’s amazing will-power has featured in each of his successful pursuits. It is his character more so than his reflections that held our attention, so even though this isn’t a book filled with practical trading tips, it’s still a must read auto-biography for those interested in investing.