What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars: Summary Review

This is a summary review of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars containing key details about the book.

What is What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars About?

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars begins with the unbroken string of successes that helped the author achieve a jet-setting lifestyle and land a key spot with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It then describes the circumstances leading up to his $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.

Who is the author of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars?

Jim Paul is a poet, novelist, essayist, and journalist. He was the Director of University of Arizona Poetry Center in 2000-2001. He also worked on development staff at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Mills College.

Brendan Moynihan is an editor-at-large for Bloomberg News, where he manages the popular column Chart of the Day and writes about the economy and Wall Street. He has been with the company since 2007 after spending more than twenty years on Wall Street as a trader and risk manager.

How long is What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars?

  • Print length: 190 pages

What genre is What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars?

Business, Finance, Nonfiction

What are good quotes from What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars?

“Experience is the worst teacher. It gives the test before giving the lesson. —UNKNOWN”

“A fool must now and then be right by chance. —WILLIAM COWPER”

“Personalizing successes sets people up for disastrous failure. They begin to treat the successes totally as a personal reflection of their abilities rather than the result of capitalizing on a good opportunity, being at the right place at the right time, or even being just plain lucky. They think their mere involvement in an undertaking guarantees success.”

“Smart people learn from their mistakes and wise people learn from somebody else’s mistakes.”

“Speculating (and this includes investing and trading) is the only human endeavor in which what feels good is the right thing to do.”

“Man is extremely uncomfortable with uncertainty. To deal with his discomfort, man tends to create a false sense of security by substituting certainty for uncertainty. It becomes the herd instinct. —BENNETT W. GOODSPEED, THE TAO JONES AVERAGES”

“Even if the position is a net profit, the trader or investor can go through the Five Stages. Consider when a market position is profitable but not as profitable as it once was. When that happens, he becomes married to the price at which it was the most profitable. He denies that the move is over, gets angry when the market starts to sell off, makes a bargain that he’ll get out if the market moves back to that arbitrary point, gets depressed that he didn’t get out, and maybe even lets the profit turn into a loss, thus slipping again into denial, then anger, etc. He creates a chain reaction of loops that result in further losses.”

“On the other hand, a discrete event (e.g., a football game, roulette, blackjack, or other casino game) has a defined ending point, which is characteristic of external losses.”

“In a continuous process, the participant gets to continuously make and remake decisions that can affect how much money he makes or loses. On the other hand, a discrete event (e.g., a football game, roulette, blackjack, or other casino game) has a defined ending point, which is characteristic of external losses.”

“profitable trades” that are missed actually cost zero while poor controls (pick the stop later) or no controls (no stop) will sooner or later cost you a lot of money.”

“The markets fall into the category of continuous process because market positions have no predetermined ending point. Granted, the market has a defined open and close for the day, but a market position continues beyond the market’s close and could go on forever. Even though a loss in the market is an external loss (since money is external, not internal), it is also the result of a continuous process and prone to becoming an internal loss.”

“In order to translate your analysis into something more than mere commentary, you need to define what constitutes an opportunity for you. That’s what rules do; they implement your analysis. Rules are hard-and-fast. Tools (i.e., methods of analysis) have some flexibility in how they are used. Fools have neither rules nor tools. You must develop parameters that will define opportunities and determine how and when you will act. How? By doing homework (i.e., research, testing, trial and error) and defining the parameters with rules. Your homework determines what parameters or conditions define an opportunity, and your rules are the “if … then” statements that implement your analysis. This means entry and exit points are derived after you have done your analysis.”

― Jim Paul, Brendan Moynihan, What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars
 

What are the chapters in What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars?

Chapter 1: From Hunger
Chapter 2: To the Real World
Chapter 3: Wood That I Would Trade
Chapter 4: Spectacular Speculator
Chapter 5: The Quest
Chapter 6: The Psychological Dynamics of Loss
Chapter 7: The Psychological Fallacies of Risk
Chapter 8: The Psychological Crowd
Chapter 9: Rules, Tools, and Fools

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Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

 

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Founder

Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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