What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars

Hardcover | April 30, 2013

byJim Paul, Brendan MoynihanForeword byJack Schwager

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Jim Paul's meteoric rise took him from a small town in Northern Kentucky to governor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, yet he lost it all-his fortune, his reputation, and his job-in one fatal attack of excessive economic hubris. In this honest, frank analysis, Paul and Brendan Moynihan revisit the events that led to Paul's disastrous decision and examine the psychological factors behind bad financial practices in several economic sectors.

This book-winner of a 2014 Axiom Business Book award gold medal-begins with the unbroken string of successes that helped Paul achieve a jet-setting lifestyle and land a key spot with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It then describes the circumstances leading up to Paul's $1.6 million loss and the essential lessons he learned from it-primarily that, although there are as many ways to make money in the markets as there are people participating in them, all losses come from the same few sources.

Investors lose money in the markets either because of errors in their analysis or because of psychological barriers preventing the application of analysis. While all analytical methods have some validity and make allowances for instances in which they do not work, psychological factors can keep an investor in a losing position, causing him to abandon one method for another in order to rationalize the decisions already made. Paul and Moynihan's cautionary tale includes strategies for avoiding loss tied to a simple framework for understanding, accepting, and dodging the dangers of investing, trading, and speculating.

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From the Publisher

Jim Paul's meteoric rise took him from a small town in Northern Kentucky to governor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, yet he lost it all-his fortune, his reputation, and his job-in one fatal attack of excessive economic hubris. In this honest, frank analysis, Paul and Brendan Moynihan revisit the events that led to Paul's disastrou...

Jim Paul (1943-2001) was first vice president in charge of the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. International Energy Unit in New York City. During his twenty-five-year career in the futures industry, he was a retail broker, floor trader, and research director and served on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Board of Governors and the Exe...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 2013Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231164688

ISBN - 13:9780231164689

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Table of Contents

ForewordPreface to the Columbia EditionPrefacePart I. Reminiscences of a Trader1. From Hunger2. To the Real World3. Wood That I Would Trade4. Spectacular Speculator5. The QuestPart II. Lessons Learned6. The Psychological Dynamics of Loss7. The Psychological Fallacies of Risk8. The Psychological CrowdPart III. Tying It All Together9. RulesConclusionPostscriptAppendixNotesBibliography

Editorial Reviews

The book points out very early that many successful investors have opposing styles and theories on how to make money, and that they can not all be right at the same time. The most important point to take from the book is how to avoid losing money...