If you could have in-depth interviews with top hedge fund "masters of the universe" types, what would you ask? I suspect it would be the very same questions that Steven Drobny, the author, asks in this book. I love the format and the direct answers. They are always clear, concise and to the point. This book was an instant knowledge widener for many of the best hedge fund fundamentals needed for any overview. It served the right purpose for me at the right time. It certainly reminds me of the "Market Wizards" series in its style and format. In a similar way, it has high quality insight with every single chapter.
It is a series of one on one interviews. Each gives a great wrap up of which strategies have been able to take the best advantage of world markets at different times, and most importantly, why. I am a big Steven Drobny, fan as he is able to deeply research a subject matter, and explain it in a very smooth and logical rhythm that matches my mental intake pattern almost perfectly. Like a well tailored suit, this writing style fits me perfectly, and feels like a second skin, very natural.
The in-depth chapters and subject matters are wide ranging from "how family offices see the world". They then contrast totally with Yra Harris, floor trader. The dialogue with Christian Siva-Jothy, from Goldman prop (later SemperMacro) differs a lot from Dwight Anderson, who founded Ospraie within commodities. Each was a rare combination of feedback sources for me. It was presented really well, and I felt that I received my full money's worth when I finished this fine collection of conversations. I would described it as intellectual gold.
I get a sense that these are the kind of people who all have an edge. Partly unique talent, but always worked at continually. Further sharpened by long hours of hard work and dedication. There is no easy path to success. It is an insight that many investors or Managing Directors are always looking for in financial markets.
The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that impact any reader are:
1) There is a lot to learn about how to be a successful hedge fund trader. You have to learn how and when markets may move in your favor, and adapt constantly.
2) The best traders know how to make money and keep doing what they do best, and focus on where they have an edge. You need to recognize patterns and be consistent, keep a constant ability to adapt to trends, and follow niche markets & changes.
3) Becoming a successful trader, a true long-term moneymaker, is never fast or easy. Losses are a part of profits, and cannot be avoided. However, by noting them, you seek to minimize them in future. The more trading notes you take, then the more profits you make. Write things down. That seems key.
At 356 pages this book is dense quality and no fluff - just great, high quality interviews asking the same kind of questions to legends in the hedge fund world. They are the kinds of questions I would have asked myself, maybe even over drinks in a New York bar, to get the full color. This book is a keeper and is Highly recommended!