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The Alchemy of Finance [Anglais] [Broché]

Paul A. Volcker , George Soros
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

19 août 2003
New chapter by Soros on the secrets to his success along with a new Preface and Introduction. 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 BusinessWeek 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′s 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.

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The Alchemy of Finance + One Up On Wall Street + The Intelligent Investor Rev Ed.
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“…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)

Quatrième de couverture

Critical Praise forThe Alchemy of Finance "The Alchemy of Finance joins Reminiscences of a Stock Operator as a timeless instructional guide of the marketplace." ––Paul Tudor Jones From the Foreword to the First Edition "An extraordinary . . . inside look into the decision–making process of the most successful money manager of our time. Fantastic." ––The Wall Street Journal "A breathtakingly brilliant book. Soros is one of the core of masters . . . who can actually begin to digest the astonishing complexity . . . of the game of finance in recent years." ––Esquire "A seminal investment book . . . it should be read, underlined, and thought about page by page, concept by idea. . . . He’s the best pure investor ever . . . probably the finest analyst of the world in our time." –– Barton M. Biggs Director, BKF Capital Group, Inc. Updated to include a new Preface and Introduction by Soros, and a Foreword by Paul A. Volcker George Soros is unquestionably the most powerful and profitable investor in the world today. Dubbed by BusinessWeek as "The Man Who Moves Markets," Soros once made a billion dollars by betting that the British pound would be devalued. Soros is not merely a man of finance, but a thinker to reckon with as well. In The Alchemy of Finance, this extraordinary man reveals the investment strategies that have made him "a superstar among money managers"(The New York Times).

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 416 pages
  • Editeur : John Wiley & Sons; Édition : Reprint (19 août 2003)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0471445495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471445494
  • Dimensions du produit: 22,8 x 16,3 x 2,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 39.596 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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I started the original introduction by saying that in a very real sense this book represents my life's work. Lire la première page
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Le produit convient! 23 novembre 2011
Par Adrienm
Format:Broché
J'ai reçu le produit dans des délais très brefs compte-tenu de la distance émetteur-récepteur. Le livre correspond tout à fait à la description faite sur Amazon.
Rien à redire!
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  72 commentaires
41 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Some Insights, but also Wordy & Digressive 21 février 2003
Par Christopher Hefele - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Soros is unquestionably one of the finest investors of our time, and the concept of "reflexivity" that he introduces in this book does have some merit. However, I found his wordy tome is a slightly burdensome read. Most of his most valuable points are in the first 80 pages; the remaining 300 could have been trimmed down by a wise editor.
Soros' main points revolve around a concept that he dubs "reflexivity." Reflexivity claims a few things: First, that prices aren't objective; they're based on people's biased perceptions of the fundamental factors influencing the market. Second, people make trades based on their biased perceptions, so perceptions will influence the market. Third, and most importantly, those market movements can in turn change the market's underlying fundamentals. There is, therefore, a continuous co-evolution of the market fundamentals, the market's price movements, and market participants' perceptions.
Let's run through an example to make this clear. Say a profitless Internet company's stock soars because investors have overblown expectations of earnings growth. That company could then use its inflated stock in a stock-swap to aquire another company that DOES has earnings. This aquisition would thus "justify" the stock's inflated stock value. Thus, mistaken perceptions have allowed a change in the structure of an industry (i.e. two companies merged which would not have earlier).
Soros makes a number of other valuable points about "reflexivity." He notes that traditional economics try to sidestep the issue of subjectivity and biased perceptions by assuming people behave rationally, which of course isn't always true. To demonstrate this, he points out that we see reflexive behavior all over the markets. For example, we see self-reinforcing price trends (people buy because a stock is going up, or sell when it's going down), rather than random-walks in prices. We see booms & busts in the credit markets. And so on.
Finally, the genesis of the title, "The Alchemy of Finance" comes from Soros' observation that finance can never be a science because the traditional tools of science -- that is, explanation, prediction and objectivity -- can't be used, because perceptions and subjectivity cannot be seperated out like they can in a controlled science experiment. Finance can only be a form of alchemy -- it seeks operational success, instead of being able to seeking and test fundamental laws as the scientific method does.
Overall, I found the book insightful in parts, but rambling. Some other reviewers claimed that the book was pseudo-intellectual. I did find that it lack academic rigor, but I can't be sure if that's because he was writing for a popular audience.
Since the book was written in the late 80's, there's been growing interest & academic research at the intersection between psychology and financial markets. Soros was not the first to recognize that financial markets involve a good dose of psychology, but his book serves to underscore this important truth about the market.
67 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lesson in Dealing with Uncertainty 17 février 2004
Par C. Kurdas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
In this updated edition, Soros summarizes his worldly philosophy--the connection between thought and reality and how it applies to financial markets. The heart of the book remains Mr. Soros's account of what he did with Quantum Fund in the mid-1980s, both as an example of his approach and a remarkable lesson in how to make money in markets where most of the time nobody, including Mr. Soros, knows what's coming next.
His philosophical tenet, Reflexivity, denotes a feedback loop: Individuals act on their views of a situation, thereby changing the situation. For example, if traders believe a stock is going up, they buy it, thereby bidding it up. But their belief caused the result; there may be no fundamental reason for the rise.
Thus what we think determines what we do and has consequences, but typically it is not correct.
Inspired by Heisenberg's rule about quantum particles, Soros proclaims a human uncertainty principle which suggests our understanding is often incoherent and always incomplete. From his case study, one notices that uncertainty continually besets Mr. Soros in managing his hedge fund, which has the same name as the particles subject to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
General models do not always translate into money making practice. But Soros provides an insight of great practical significance: traders need to be adaptive, because there is no way of knowing beforehand how a market situation will turn out.
The Quantum Fund experience demonstrates how that works. This exercise in global macro strategy, a master speculator's take on commodity, currency and equity markets, is a a litany of doubts and hazards.
He's been losing on currency trades for several years. Then in September 1985, he makes a killing by buying a lot of yen just before central banks switch to a new exchange rate system and the yen rises. There is a pattern: he sustains losses, reduces positions, gets out, then sees a great opportunity and pounces. In short, he constantly and quickly adapts to events.
Despite various setbacks, Quantum Fund's NAV per share rose 121% in 1985 and 43% in 1986. Such numbers make for legend and Mr. Soros became one.
How did he do it? He keeps an open mind and continually modifies his outlook with new information. As he remarks, "the markets provide a merciless reality check," and Mr. Soros never stays with an idea that fails the test. Most of the time he can't predict what's coming, but he promptly corrects course in response to feedback. That limits losses. On rare occasions he can see through the fog of uncertainty and hauls in the booty.
This is not an easy book to read, but as another hedge fund manager, Paul Tudor Jones, describes it in the foreword, it is a timeless guide.
27 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 required reading for aspiring money managers 2 mars 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Soros is the greatest publicly known investor of our times. His Quantum Fund numbers attest to that. In this book, he makes a Herculian effort to explain how he did it, including a real-time diary, which is as informative in revealing how often he is wrong-headed (and so exits) as it reveals how he piles on more leverage on a winning position. He also tries to honestly write about how some decisions are simply intuitive, and not the result of reasoned analysis. Though most investors will not be involved in macro-investing, where Soros simultaneously considers equity prices, forex, commodities, politics and economics, and using 5 to 1 leverage invests accordingly in stocks, bonds, currencies, both long and short --- still this is a must-read for anyone considering a carreer as a money manager. If you wanted to be an artist, you would read the biography of da Vinci, a master of art. Soros is a master of finance. The way the Beatles inspired a generation of musicians, so Soros inspired a generation of hedge fund managers.
78 internautes sur 92 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Soros = great mind, terrible writer 25 juin 2004
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Anyone who has had as much success as Soros must be doing something right, so I respect his mind. Unfortunately, he is a terrible writer. He could take ten pages explaining why 2 + 2 = 4.
Here's an example:
"[the shoelace theory]...can be interpreted as a synthesis of Hegel's dialectic of ideas and Marx's dialectical materialism. Instead of either thoughts or material conditions evolving in a dialectic fashion on their own, it is the interplay between the two that produces a dialectic process."
This passage is a microcosm of the entire book: he makes a valid point, but it's not a particularly significant or difficult point. The only difficulty is in parsing his turgid language. I sense he is a great investor who wants to be considered a great thinker, and he believes that in order to accomplish this he has to use big words to express his theories.
Soros's widely praised theory of reflexivity is a valuable contribution, but he doesn't need 400 pages to convey it. I didn't read this book expecting a "how to make money in the stock market" tutorial, but I did expect to gain a better insight into how the markets function. I did not get that.
Don't waste your time.
120 internautes sur 150 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 A diatribe from a Billionaire 13 décembre 2005
Par Atherton Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I first read this book in 1994 and remembered it being unuseful and his kitchen-talk economics being superficial. So, 11 yrs later I picked it up again believing that it was my own lack of understanding and maturity that made me under-appreciate Soros. But, I was wrong.

Pros: Chapter Chapter 3 is about his approach to the currency market speculation. This is probably the most useful part of the book for an investor or market observer. Currencies are, after all, entirely relative to each other, particularly after the fall of Bretton Woods. He simplifies his model into eight variables (nominal FX, nominal i, price levels, gdp, capital flows, hotmoney flows, trade account, and govt budget) and then talks about how a virtual cycle appears when the market perception itself feeds price movement, which in turn fuels the perception that the perception was correct. This culminates in incorrect pricing and thus opportunity. This approach is not unlike other int'l/macro hedge fund managers today.

Cons: He has lengthy diatribes around his overabundant belief that he's a great-mind in philosophy and economics. Reflexivity is nothing more than the notion that market participants affect a price, but that prices are dynamic and constantly influenced by perception -- and here's the GREAT insight -- and perception sometimes is misled by unfounded herd momentum. He applies this model to the stocks, currencies, and credit vs regulatory cycles in the book. However, Billionaire make not a Worldly Sage...

For example, he debunks all academically-taught economics by comparing the "Perfect Competition" model to his Reflexivity. Well, of course, Perfect Competition is not reality and Supply/Demand are not discrete lines that nicely intersect on Wall Street at 4:00pm every business day! Every student of economics understands that. Its too bad that Soros's 1950's college-level economics didn't introduce him to more challenging concepts and higher level models (no offense intended towards Princeton). He does similar things to metaphysics, which can be best described as a little better than yet-another-Hollywood-actor describing existentialism.

His arguments follow an annoying pattern: (1) oversimplify a current model and debunk it, (2) apply his Reflexivity theory onto the situation, and (3) philosophize about life's implications. I can almost see him take a cigar puff then as minions sit gasping at his profound teachings, as if from Kant and Samuelson -- combined. He readily admits in the introduction and thoroughout the book that he's writing real-time and out of sequence when he has time. So, the style of writing follow an initially focused set of themes, then meander about as if he's punching the keyboard at 2:00am.

In summary, this book will NOT give you insights into the mind of one of the most profitable hedge fund traders in the world. He will not tell you his techniques (like "How to Trade like a Hedge Fund"), nor will he allow you into his inner feelings and personality (like "My Life as a Quant") so that you can walk away with something useful tomorrow. Rather, he's telling you what he wants and drags you along for a ride with verbose pages -- after pages.
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