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In A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market best-selling author John Allen Paulos demonstrates what the tools of mathematics can tell us about the vagaries of the stock market. Employing his trademark stories, vignettes, paradoxes, and puzzles (and even a film treatment), Paulos addresses every thinking reader's curiosity about the market: Is it efficient? Is it rational? Is there anything to technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and other supposedly time-tested methods of picking stocks? How can one quantify risk? What are the most common scams? What light do fractals, network theory, and common psychological foibles shed on investor behavior? Are there any approaches to investing that truly outperform the major indexes? Can a deeper knowledge of mathematics help beat the odds?All of these questions are explored with the engaging erudition that made Paulos's A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper and Innumeracy favorites with both armchair mathematicians and readers who want to think like them. Paulos also shares the cautionary tale of his own long and disastrous love affair with WorldCom. In the tradition of Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street and Jeremy Siegel's Stocks for the Long Run, this wry and illuminating book is for anyone, investor or not, who follows the markets-or knows someone who does.

Topics: Stock Market, Mathematics, Popular Science, and Essays

Published: Basic Books on Oct 11, 2007
ISBN: 9780465009701
List price: $15.95
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The title promises way more than the work actually offers; in fact, the exact opposite of what you think when you read the title is about to happen. It's more a patchwork of reviews on sundry topics that orbit around the world of investment/trading, provided with the chagrin of a bad investment as the book's premise. Most of what he says isn't novel, and the sections that are novel (like an investment strategy involving pairs trading and probability skews) are abruptly left with a "meh, could work," even though that's what the confounding book should probably be about. But even if all you're going to do is give a catchy title to what amounts to a soap box / sob story / review of the financial economics canon and saints -- why do you talk so little of Mandelbrot!? That's the one guy (who was Fama's mentor, by the way, never mentioned in the text) that has epitomized how to treat this topic as both a mathematician and a historian of sorts. If you're reading this, the book you really want to read is called "the (mis)behavior of markets" by mandelbrot. read more
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The title promises way more than the work actually offers; in fact, the exact opposite of what you think when you read the title is about to happen. It's more a patchwork of reviews on sundry topics that orbit around the world of investment/trading, provided with the chagrin of a bad investment as the book's premise. Most of what he says isn't novel, and the sections that are novel (like an investment strategy involving pairs trading and probability skews) are abruptly left with a "meh, could work," even though that's what the confounding book should probably be about. But even if all you're going to do is give a catchy title to what amounts to a soap box / sob story / review of the financial economics canon and saints -- why do you talk so little of Mandelbrot!? That's the one guy (who was Fama's mentor, by the way, never mentioned in the text) that has epitomized how to treat this topic as both a mathematician and a historian of sorts. If you're reading this, the book you really want to read is called "the (mis)behavior of markets" by mandelbrot.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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