NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
The unbelievable story of a secretive mathematician who pioneered the era of the algorithm--and made $23 billion doing it.
Jim Simons is the greatest money maker in modern financial history. No other investor--Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Ray Dalio, Steve Cohen, or George Soros--can touch his record. Since 1988, Renaissance's signature Medallion fund has generated average annual returns of 66 percent. The firm has earned profits of more than $100 billion; Simons is worth twenty-three billion dollars.
Drawing on unprecedented access to Simons and dozens of current and former employees, Zuckerman, a veteran Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, tells the gripping story of how a world-class mathematician and former code breaker mastered the market. Simons pioneered a data-driven, algorithmic approach that's sweeping the world.
As Renaissance became a market force, its executives began influencing the world beyond finance. Simons became a major figure in scientific research, education, and liberal politics. Senior executive Robert Mercer is more responsible than anyone else for the Trump presidency, placing Steve Bannon in the campaign and funding Trump's victorious 2016 effort. Mercer also impacted the campaign behind Brexit.
The Man Who Solved the Market is a portrait of a modern-day Midas who remade markets in his own image, but failed to anticipate how his success would impact his firm and his country. It's also a story of what Simons's revolution means for the rest of us.
A gripping biography of investment game changer Jim Simons arrives from journalist Zuckerman (The Greatest Trade Ever). With little experience in business before he started trading at age 40, Simons made for an unlikely innovator. Nonetheless, this book reveals, Simons created the "greatest money-making machine in financial history" with his company, Renaissance Technologies, founded in 1982, and particularly with the firm's flagship Medallion hedge fund, founded in 1988. Showing a flair for the surprising and dramatic statement, Zuckerman proposes that Simons eclipses the more famous likes of Warren Buffett and George Soros as "arguably the most successful trader in the history of modern finance," with a net worth of about $23 billion. A theoretical mathematician and former math professor, he was the first to take a mathematical, data-driven approach to investing. Gambling that computers using predictive mathematical models could beat human judgment, he won, and changed the industry. Zuckerman skillfully recounts Simons's backstory his comfortable childhood in Newton, Mass.; his time spent crafting code-breaking algorithms for the National Security Agency during the 1960s the salient details of his revolutionary work, and his failures as well as his successes. With a potential recession looming, readers looking to understand how the economy got where it is should eat this up.
The history of Simons, Renaissance and quant investing was fascinating. The author should have left it at that and resisted the temptation to get into Mercer‘s and Simon‘s differences in political beliefs and pick sides so ham-handedly. It ultimately detracted from the book.
A famed hedge fund needs a better book. This story doesn’t really tell us much about the hedge fund and it’s strategies and goes off tangent with its political focus at the end. Eh.....
Great history of Jim Simons, Sad hatchet job of Bob Mercer
Good overview and history of Jim Simons and creation of RenTech. Sadly, author seemed unable to remove his personal political lens and tries to portray Bob Mercer as a political crackpot with alt-right beliefs. Clearly the author embraces all political views as long as they are aligned with his own (you know the type). So, a truly brilliant, wise and kind-hearted man like Bob Mercer is clearly suspect in this authors mind because of his traditional, conservative (and constitutional) views — which are clearly unfathomable to the author, and repeatedly cast as suspect and damaging. This would have been an otherwise good read except for its unwarranted attempt as a hit piece on the Mercers.