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General Category => Books => Topic started by: Liberty on January 23, 2017, 11:27:41 AM

Title: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Liberty on January 23, 2017, 11:27:41 AM
Coming out January 24. Seems like this has a good chance of being really interesting. There was a fair bit about Thorp in Fortune's Formula (by William Poundstone), and it was quite interesting IMO.

https://www.amazon.com/Man-All-Markets-Street-Dealer/dp/1400067960/
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: onyx1 on January 23, 2017, 11:31:22 AM
Thanks for posting Liberty. 

Just put in my pre-order.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: dcollon on January 23, 2017, 01:01:13 PM
Thanks for the heads up Liberty. 
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: nwoodman on January 23, 2017, 01:55:27 PM
Recent Planet Money Podcast on Ed Thorpe

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/01/20/510810752/episode-749-professor-blackjack
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: wescobrk on January 23, 2017, 02:08:21 PM
Mine arrives Thursday.
I'm looking forward to it.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: moneyball on January 25, 2017, 07:31:45 AM
Got my copy yesterday. Only about a quarter of the way through, but already have the impression that Ed Thorp might be one of the smartest people alive. Highly recommend picking up a copy.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: merkhet on January 25, 2017, 08:17:10 AM
Read an interview with him recently -- he sounds Munger-esque in the way that he approaches second and third order consequences.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Jurgis on January 25, 2017, 12:35:44 PM
There's tons of his writings at http://www.edwardothorp.com/

The site was redone for the book, so no guarantee if they kept everything, added or removed stuff. E.g. old site pointed to articles he wrote to some math newsletter - not sure if these are still around.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: whiterose on January 25, 2017, 02:51:15 PM
http://www.timmelvin.com/a-conversaation-with-ed-thorp/
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: notorious546 on March 21, 2017, 06:36:36 AM
I thought it was great. Maybe there was a few pages that were dull but generally speaking really enjoyed his approach and writing style. I'll try to write an summary in the coming weeks.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Liberty on March 21, 2017, 08:15:36 AM
I enjoyed it too. Not the best ever, but worth reading, especially if you haven't read all the other accounts of Thorp (if you have, it's still good, but some parts will be less surprising).
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: longinvestor on April 06, 2017, 05:05:11 PM
Just finished reading (listening to) the book. Excellent overall. He drives home the point about acting (investing) only when you have an edge. In his case, a mathematical one, which to me underscores a kind of intellectual honesty. Example, asking his wife to deal cards to him countless times to improve his card counting speed! Kind of aligns with the circle of competence idea. With aligned thoughts on many fronts, notably the take down of the EMH, I can see why Munger recommended this book.

I especially like the fact that his giving back idea is centered on the Berkshire shares doing well, besides the UC Irvine institution surviving for a very long time! It gave me some ideas for my giving back.

Plan to read (listen to) specific portions once again.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: LongTermView on April 06, 2017, 08:14:06 PM
I'm reading through it now - still in the early parts of the book about blackjack.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: tede02 on May 17, 2017, 05:00:16 AM
Just finished.  Excellent read.  I'd highly recommend it.  It was particularly interesting reading about the history of quantitative hedge funds.  This is something I knew very little about.  Ed Thorp's life story great in itself.  I think you could make a movie about it.  Pretty amazing that he identified the Madoff fraud almost 20 years before it imploded. 
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Hielko on May 17, 2017, 05:54:58 AM
I thought the book was okay, not great. The first part of the book with his life story is very interesting, second half of the book where he tries to explain basic investing stuff among others could better have been removed.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: writser on May 17, 2017, 07:16:55 AM
The part about the swimming pool was awesome. Great kid. I agree that they should've sticked to the biography only.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Liberty on May 18, 2017, 06:19:07 AM
The part about the swimming pool was awesome. Great kid. I agree that they should've sticked to the biography only.

Some of the latter chapters were of little interest to me, but I can imagine that they'd be a good primer on a few things for a more general audience or investing-beginners, so I don't mind to much. I just skimmed them (realizing that I didn't have to finish books and read every word was a very freeing realization). That's the good interpretation. The bad one is that some editor said: "We need more pages".
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: DooDiligence on June 09, 2017, 07:22:08 PM
I thought it was great. Maybe there was a few pages that were dull but generally speaking really enjoyed his approach and writing style. I'll try to write an summary in the coming weeks.

If u liked this then you'll enjoy notorious' blog post about Brian Gaines at Springhouse Capital.

It fits with this conversation.

I especially liked

 “I know concentrated investing is out of style today as some high profile investors have had tough times, but it seems more appropriate than ever to wait for great situations and take oversized positions.”

I'm actively waiting.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Peregrino on July 06, 2017, 07:15:34 PM
Just finished.  Excellent read.  I'd highly recommend it.  It was particularly interesting reading about the history of quantitative hedge funds.  This is something I knew very little about.  Ed Thorp's life story great in itself.  I think you could make a movie about it.  Pretty amazing that he identified the Madoff fraud almost 20 years before it imploded.

The real interesting, and timely, thing about the Madoff story relayed by Thorp is that according to Bloomberg, Madoff is trying to help some former investors by arguing that his fraud started in 1992, so anything they took out of the fund prior to that year was not part of the Ponzi scheme.  (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-23/madoff-clients-fighting-for-fortunes-get-help-from-the-con-man)

But if you follow the timeline for when Thorp figured out the fraud, it's 1990.

Not surprising that a liar continues to lie - mostly surprising that anyone would take his statements as evidence...
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: thelads on July 06, 2017, 11:56:39 PM
Doodilligence, do you happen to have a link to that blog post?
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: tede02 on July 07, 2017, 05:05:06 AM
Just finished.  Excellent read.  I'd highly recommend it.  It was particularly interesting reading about the history of quantitative hedge funds.  This is something I knew very little about.  Ed Thorp's life story great in itself.  I think you could make a movie about it.  Pretty amazing that he identified the Madoff fraud almost 20 years before it imploded.

The real interesting, and timely, thing about the Madoff story relayed by Thorp is that according to Bloomberg, Madoff is trying to help some former investors by arguing that his fraud started in 1992, so anything they took out of the fund prior to that year was not part of the Ponzi scheme.  (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-23/madoff-clients-fighting-for-fortunes-get-help-from-the-con-man)

But if you follow the timeline for when Thorp figured out the fraud, it's 1990.

Not surprising that a liar continues to lie - mostly surprising that anyone would take his statements as evidence...

Absolutely.  I wouldn't doubt if the fraud went back long before 1990 even. 

Thorp's life story was just great.  Self made, and got it done with no shenanigans.  Plus all the people he encountered throughout his life (the Las Vegas people and east coast guys who funded his gambling venture, Feynman, Buffett, Claude Shannon, Madoff, etc.). 
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: boilermaker75 on July 07, 2017, 07:14:00 AM
Just finished.  Excellent read.  I'd highly recommend it.  It was particularly interesting reading about the history of quantitative hedge funds.  This is something I knew very little about.  Ed Thorp's life story great in itself.  I think you could make a movie about it.  Pretty amazing that he identified the Madoff fraud almost 20 years before it imploded.

The real interesting, and timely, thing about the Madoff story relayed by Thorp is that according to Bloomberg, Madoff is trying to help some former investors by arguing that his fraud started in 1992, so anything they took out of the fund prior to that year was not part of the Ponzi scheme.  (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-23/madoff-clients-fighting-for-fortunes-get-help-from-the-con-man)

But if you follow the timeline for when Thorp figured out the fraud, it's 1990.

Not surprising that a liar continues to lie - mostly surprising that anyone would take his statements as evidence...

Absolutely.  I wouldn't doubt if the fraud went back long before 1990 even. 

Thorp's life story was just great.  Self made, and got it done with no shenanigans.  Plus all the people he encountered throughout his life (the Las Vegas people and east coast guys who funded his gambling venture, Feynman, Buffett, Claude Shannon, Madoff, etc.).

There is a book coming out soon on Claude Shannon,

https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Play-Shannon-Invented-Information-ebook/dp/B01M5IJN1P/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499436789&sr=1-1&keywords=claude+shannon

Being an EE, I can't wait to read it!
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Liberty on July 07, 2017, 07:44:17 AM
There is a book coming out soon on Claude Shannon,

https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Play-Shannon-Invented-Information-ebook/dp/B01M5IJN1P/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499436789&sr=1-1&keywords=claude+shannon

Being an EE, I can't wait to read it!

That's going on the list, thanks!
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: thowed on July 07, 2017, 07:45:40 AM
Lads, if you're still looking:

https://anonymoosenotes.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/notes-on-brian-gaines-of-springhouse-capital-management/

btw - thanks for your big thread - it's been a fascinating read.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: boilermaker75 on July 11, 2017, 11:53:38 AM
There is a book coming out soon on Claude Shannon,

https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Play-Shannon-Invented-Information-ebook/dp/B01M5IJN1P/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499436789&sr=1-1&keywords=claude+shannon

Being an EE, I can't wait to read it!

That's going on the list, thanks!

Liberty,

If you have not seen this yet, I thought it would be of interest,

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/history/meet-the-authors-of-a-mind-at-play-how-claude-shannon-invented-the-information-age
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Liberty on July 11, 2017, 01:40:04 PM
There is a book coming out soon on Claude Shannon,

https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Play-Shannon-Invented-Information-ebook/dp/B01M5IJN1P/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499436789&sr=1-1&keywords=claude+shannon

Being an EE, I can't wait to read it!

That's going on the list, thanks!

Liberty,

If you have not seen this yet, I thought it would be of interest,

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/history/meet-the-authors-of-a-mind-at-play-how-claude-shannon-invented-the-information-age

Thank you, I hadn't seen it!
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: shalab on December 26, 2017, 09:35:31 PM
I am reading this book now - in the last page (page 348) - it has a table of real returns with passive and active returns. The active management returns are astoundingly low in taxable accounts:

large compnay stock - after tax real returns - 2.0%
small company stock - after tax real returns - 3.4%


everything else is not worth writing about
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: boilermaker75 on March 02, 2018, 06:08:28 AM
Kindle version on sale today,

https://www.amazon.com/Man-All-Markets-Street-Dealer-ebook/dp/B00SEFEYCI?_bbid=9416148&tag=bookbubblog-20
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Jurgis on March 02, 2018, 09:10:23 PM
Kindle version on sale today,

https://www.amazon.com/Man-All-Markets-Street-Dealer-ebook/dp/B00SEFEYCI?_bbid=9416148&tag=bookbubblog-20

Thanks for shout out. Bought it.  8)
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Jurgis on April 07, 2018, 01:33:18 PM
Ed Thorp seems like a nice guy and I liked his approaches to beat casino and stock market.

However, the book is rather boring and IMO pretty basic. Maybe it's just that we've all heard this in other places multiple times. Maybe he was trying to get his writings to book length with filler material. It also is not quite a biography (which I would have liked) and not quite a how-to-invest book (which I am not really interested in). IMO both halves suffer from rather so so treatment. It might be that this is a good book for someone who have not read about Ed Thorp previously and/or have not read about how to invest (and how not to).
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Fitz on August 27, 2019, 04:39:51 PM
As someone who previously hadn't read anything about Ed Thorp I found it very interesting. Great story of an insanely smart guy who proved people wrong or went off in a path no one thought was possible in every field he entered.
Title: Re: A Man for All Markets - Ed Thorp
Post by: Liberty on October 29, 2019, 11:57:14 AM
Podcast about the book:

https://overcast.fm/+HBlp8BOlg