I was surprised the author dedicated the last 1/3 or 1/4th of the book to personal finance, budgeting, and life view/work life balance. Thorp’s favorite entertainment was solving mathematical puzzles. He decided early on not to accept anyone’s opinion that something was impossible . After blackjack, he calculated a way to beat roulette, in collaboration with Claude Shannon, the father of information theory. He was, of course, barred from the Nevada casinos, and became a master of disguise as a result. The last casino game to fall to his calculations was baccarat.
An intellectual thrill ride, replete with practical wisdom that can guide us all in uncertain financial waters, A Man for All Markets is an instant classic–a book that challenges its readers to think logically about a seemingly irrational world. Thereafter, Thorp shifted his sights to “the biggest casino in the world” Wall Street. Devising and then deploying mathematical formulas to beat the market, Thorp ushered in the era of quantitative finance we live in today. The first half of the book was an utterly https://forexarena.net/ fascinating autobiography recalling the early years of the author’s childhood life and how he got interested in mathematics. His curiosity led him to key discoveries in how to beat the dealer in blackjack and other games of chance, and eventually led him down the path to make key discoveries to arbitrage the markets in finance. However, that material only provided enough for half of a book so the latter half is stuffed with his observations and views on markets, hedge funds, wealth, personal finance, etc.
Edward Oakley “Ed” Thorp is an American mathematics professor, author, hedge fund manager, and blackjack player best known as the “father of the wearable computer” after inventing the world’s first wearable computer in 1961. He was a pioneer in modern applications of probability theory, including the harnessing of very small correlations for reliable financial gain. Born during the Great Depression, Thorp spent his early years in Chicago, Illinois, before moving to Lomita, California, with his parents and younger brother.
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One day our teacher gave us all blank paper and told us to draw a copy of an outline of a horse from a picture she had given us. I put little dots on the picture and used a ruler to measure the distance from one to the next. Then I reproduced the dots on my piece of paper, using the ruler to make the distance between them the same as they were on the picture and with my eye estimating the proper angles. Next, I connected up the new dots smoothly, matching the curves as well as I could. The result was a close copy of the original sketch.
I still remember facts from this time such as my phone number and address (3627 North Oriole; 7600 W, 3600 N) in Chicago and Chicago’s seven-digit population , cited in the old green 1930 Rand McNally Atlas and Gazetteer that’s still on my bookshelf. My father helped Marvin and his father, Old Man Kester, with the work of the farm, and sometimes I tagged along. One sunny forenoon during the second summer of our two weeks in Crete, my father took me to pick up supplies at a local store. I was just turning six, tall and thin with a mop of curly brown hair, lightly tanned, pants too short, the bare ankles ending in a pair of tennis shoes with frayed laces.
Upon its publication, A Man for All Markets received largely positive reviews, with critics such as the reviewer for Kirkus deeming it both “instructive” and a pleasure to read. Critics particularly praised Thorp’s handling of the portions of the book dealing with his early life as well as his detailed discussions of his processes for developing card-counting, roulette-predicting, and investing methods. In an otherwise positive review for the Financial Analysts Journal, Mark S. Rzepczynski also noted that the book could have delved more deeply into Thorp’s methods of identifying profitable opportunities for investment. Despite such comments, critics on the whole appreciated A Man for All Markets, deeming it an enjoyable and enlightening glimpse into the life and career of a little-known yet highly accomplished figure. From Malory’s story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, I learned about heroes and villains, romance, justice, and retribution.
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Born in Iowa in 1898, my father, Oakley Glenn Thorp, was the second of three children, with his brother two years older and sister two years younger. His father took him and his brother to settle in the state of Washington. In 1915 my grandfather died from the flu, three years before the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918–19, which killed between twenty and forty million people worldwide. Then my father, at age eighteen, went to France to join World War I as part of the great American Expeditionary Force. He fought with the infantry in the trenches, rose from private to sergeant, and was awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts for heroism in places like Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and the Battles of the Marne.
There’s an illuminating chapter on financial crises and lessons not learned. Thorp concludes with Chapter 30 “Thoughts,” which I found fascinating. There are also five appendices, three on inflation and the dollar, historical returns, and the performance of his fantastically successful hedge fund, Princeton Newport Partners.
After that, he studied the market intensively for several months and found a way to minimize risk while maximizing returns. He originated one of the first hedge funds, and chalked up impressive results year after year. His descriptions of his methods sometimes get a bit technical, but serious investors will be able to follow them easily. The remainder of the book’s chapters could be divided into three sections based on their focus, the first of which deals with Thorp’s research into the games of blackjack and roulette. His interest in such games, developed early in life, was at last able to be put to use following his move to MIT, where he had access to a variety of resources that proved crucial to his research.
There are learnings and scattered through their are anecdotes. For instance, he tells a story about how he convinced his maid to put her money into Berkshire Hathaway in the 1960s and keep it there. Edward O. Thorp launched revolutions in Vegas and on Wall Street by turning math into magic, and here he weaves his own life lessons into a page-turner as hot as a deck full of aces.
The principal interviewed me and immediately recommended that I be moved up to first grade. After a few days in my new class, it was clear that the work there also was much too easy. The principal suggested skipping me again into second grade. Gulliver’s; Travels was a special favorite, with its tiny Lilliputians, giant Brobdingnagians, talking horses, and finally the mysterious Laputa, a flying island in the sky supported by magnetic forces. I enjoyed the vivid pictures it created in my mind and the fantastical notions that spurred me to imagine for myself further wonders that might be.
When, after an eight-month arduous and dangerous search, Stanley found his quarry, the only European known to be in Central Africa, I thrilled to his incredible understatement, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume,” and I discussed the splendor of the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River with my father, who assured me that they far surpassed our own Niagara Falls. A autobiography by Ed Thorp, the man who has beaten not only the casino but also Wall Street.
I admired the heroes who, through extraordinary abilities and resourcefulness, achieved great things. Introverted and thoughtful, I may have been inspired to mirror this in the future by using my mind to overcome intellectual obstacles, instead of my body to defeat human opponents. The books helped establish lifelong values of fair play, a level playing field for everyone, and treating others as I myself wish to be treated.
He also took one of the first IQ tests, yoloed big chunk of it, only to be found to be in the class of “once in a century” prodigies. Hell, this review could very well be just a list of his achievements. I’ve come to believe very strongly that any knowledge that cannot be used in the real world is useless. Application of knowledge to solve real world problems – for individualistic gain or otherwise – satiates our desire to exist.
Thorp also gives an understandable explanation of why the financial markets collapsed in the first decade of the twenty-first century, and tells why something like this can keep happening. Few people have as good a grasp of financial issues as he does, and for that reason alone this is a valuable book. Edward O. Thorp is a mathematics professor, author, hedge fund manager, and blackjack player. A pioneer in modern applications of probability theory, Thorp’s bestselling book, Beat the Dealer, mathematically proved that the house advantage in blackjack could be overcome by card counting. He is also the author of a guide to investment, Beat the Market; a memoir, A Man for All Measures; and numerous popular and scholarly articles.
Although he did not speak until he was about three years old, Thorp began to demonstrate an affinity for mathematics shortly thereafter, learning to count to large numbers and perform mental arithmetic before ever attending school. He likewise became an avid reader and chess player at an early age. Having earned a scholarship by placing first in a Southern California physics exam, Thorp enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley, after high school, initially planning to study chemistry. After a year, he transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles , where he met his wife, Vivian.
We started with See Spot, See Spot Run, and See Jane. I was puzzled and disoriented for a couple of days; then I saw that the groups of letters stood for the words we spoke. In the next few weeks I went through all of our simple beginner books and developed a man for all markets a small vocabulary. I saw printed words everywhere and realized that if I could figure out how to pronounce them I might recognize them and know what they meant. Phonics came naturally, and I learned to sound out words so I could say them aloud.