The Man Who Solved the Market

How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution
Narrated by: Will Damron
Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,907 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

The perfect gift for the avid reader on your list: 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 23 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' revolution means for the rest of us.

Includes a PDF of Appendices 1 and 2 with charts

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Gregory Zuckerman (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A gripping biography of investment game changer Jim Simons...readers looking to understand how the economy got where it is should eat this up." (Publishers Weekly)

"Worthwhile reading for budding plutocrats and numerate investors alike." (Kirkus)

"Zuckerman vividly tells the story of how Jim Simons and his team of scientists developed the most successful quantitative trading operation in history.... Immensely enjoyable." (Edward O. Thorp, author of A Man for All Markets)

What listeners say about The Man Who Solved the Market

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not worth it

The book could be an interesting story about really smart, focused people who first figure out and then capitalize on inefficiencies in investing markets. Unfortunately, the author can’t help him self and you are repeatedly subjected to the authors political biases. Congratulations on your biases. It did nothing to illuminate the story, make it more real or increase its relevancy to the central premise: smart people who figured out the markets.

16 people found this helpful

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Good general history, some personal overtones but easily teased out

Listen to the first 2/3rds if you’re interested in finance, learning about Renaissance and Jim Simons. Listen to the last 1/3 if you’re interested in an Anti-Trump political piece. It took a strange turn.

24 people found this helpful

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Impressive on so many levels.

I listen to what the visionaries were doing 40 years ago and I am in awe. This man understood the necessity to collect the the most brilliant minds and factor everything in his quantom formula to benefit his mission.... Making money. Even better is the works he did after his success and continues to do. Sorry he had such severe tragedies is his life.

7 people found this helpful

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Authors biased tirade in chapter 15...

Chapter 15 was almost completely unnecessary and irrelevant. Weakens his credibility for the entire book. Extremely left and one sided. We want to hear about the fund and the story, not prime time CNN. Book fantastic besides the authors incessant unwanted political views.

22 people found this helpful

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It's Okay - Big Head Fake Here

Narrator is great Story is okay but deviates to smear Bob Mercer and covers, in detail, the story of a particular employee. It barely covers the nuts and bolts of Quant trading operations. It's never super deep. Oddly, there is the fired former-employee named David Magerman that was super open to the writer and gave much content. So the last 2 of 3 chapters are about Magerman, his angst, and his therapy needs. Weird. This book contains 25% about Jim Simons and early collaborators, 50% about Quant trading, and 25% about Magermann. So, you have to endure 50% personal stuff to get to the trading content. The personal content is like reading People Magazine,

6 people found this helpful

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Painfully Uninteresting

I'm someone who loves this genre, but this guy's life was simply not book material. For reference, I put 6 hours into this before I gave up.

6 people found this helpful

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Fascinating, but a bit biased

The book is mostly a well researched expose on the life of James Simons, the math professor who became one of the pioneers of quantitative investing. But the latter portion of the book was devoted to Bob Mercer, a Simons protege who harbored Republican political views. The author has a clear bias against conservative views and President Trump which was evident towards the end. Basically, the author believes that Mercer--who is a Republican--must be stopped and isn't allowed to have conservative political views while holding a top job at the company. And everyone else, who are Democrats--including Simons himself--are completely fine.

5 people found this helpful

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Short of details

I don’t think Zuckerman had enough of a story to tell about the Renaissance/Medallion hedge fund, so instead told a story about the people involved. But this leaves the story lacking in the crucial details the reader is wanting.

14 people found this helpful

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Another WSJ article...

Rambled on about characters other than Simon. You can tell the author had no access on the inside. Just a lot of “he said” “she said”. Went on about characters background that weren’t that relevant to Simon himself. Lost me when the book went into politics and Trump, no interest after that. Simons name was hardly mentioned in the last part of the book and seems to be all about other executives. This is more of a workplace drama then Simons actual biography, mindset, and inside look into how he actually ran his fund. I suppose this how the quants would actually have liked the book to go which is ironic to the nature of authors trying to dig every detail out. Quants- 1, another WSJ article- 0.

16 people found this helpful

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  • MC
  • 01-10-20

Gets off topic on other pointless topics

The narration was very well done. It needed to be to get through the book. There were so many sub stories that took up chapters (time). It makes me wonder if it was done just to add length to the story rather than focusing on the main story of the quant revolution.

2 people found this helpful