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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Shortlisted for Theft and Mckinsey business book of the year award 2019

The first and fascinating look into the mind of Jim Simons, the shy billionaire who revolutionised Wall Street.

Jim Simons is the greatest moneymaker in modern financial history. His record bests those of legendary investors, including Warren Buffett, George Soros and Ray Dalio. Yet Simons and his strategies are shrouded in mystery. The financial industry has long craved a look inside Simons's secretive hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies and veteran Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman delivers the goods.

After a legendary career as a mathematician and a stint breaking Soviet codes, Simons set out to conquer financial markets with a radical approach. Simons hired physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists - most of whom knew little about finance - to amass piles of data and build algorithms hunting for the deeply hidden patterns in global markets. Experts scoffed, but Simons and his colleagues became some of the richest in the world, their strategy of creating mathematical models and crunching data embraced by almost every industry today.

As Renaissance became a major player in the financial world, its executives began exerting influence on other areas. Simons became a major force in scientific research, education and Democratic politics, funding Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign. While senior executive Robert Mercer is more responsible than anyone else for the Trump presidency - he placed Steve Bannon in the campaign, funded Trump's victorious 2016 effort and backed alt-right publication Breitbart. Mercer also impacted the success of the Brexit campaign as he made significant investments in Cambridge Anatlytica. For all his prescience, Simons failed to anticipate how Mercer's activity would impact his firm and the world.

In this fast-paced narrative, Zuckerman examines how Simons launched a quantitative revolution on Wall Street and reveals the impact that Simons, the quiet billionaire king of the quants, has had on worlds well beyond finance.

©2019 Gregory Zuckerman (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Reads more like a delicious page-turning novel...Put it on your holiday gift list for your favourite hedge-fund honcho." (Bloomberg)

"A compelling read." (Economist

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What listeners say about The Man Who Solved the Market

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting man and colleagues, but boring book

A lot of drawn out fluff in this book. I was on the edge of being fascinated the whole time, due to the people and the stories involved, but there was never really much to sink my teeth into. Too much filler, perhaps.

5 people found this helpful

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Not enough insights into Renaissance

The author starts the book by saying how secretive Renaissance is and that not many people were willing to speak to him. This is apparent in the book: 85% is about the people who are/have been part of the organisation. The backstory of these people is relevant, but starts to bore after a while. The really interesting gems of how Renaissance works are left uncovered, so that the reader is left without much new knowledge of how this secretive quant hedge fund operates and makes money.

3 people found this helpful

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Insightful and engaging

I enjoy books on this and similar topics, and am aware of the risk that a lot of them will go over my head or the subject matter is too dry/specific for the keen amateur. This didn’t do any of that, it was interesting, engaging and thought provoking. I completed the whole book in a couple of sittings, which is unusual for me. Hope you enjoy it too.

3 people found this helpful

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Very entertaining

Very entertaining but lacks technical details for the savy reader looking for insight into Renaissance actual trading.

2 people found this helpful

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Insightful

Fantastic narration enhances a rigorous examination of the Jim Simons/Renaissance story. Interesting digression into the political activities of Simons, Mercer et al. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautifully written, balanced and informative

A beautiful book full of financial insights, inspiring personal stories and political intrigue. The audio book is very well read with a pleasant voice

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Outstanding!

This book is much better than I thought it will be. Story of Jim Simons is like movie and I am sure one day it will. Because this is a story worth to tell and listen. You will be surprised what you will learn.

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I enjoyed it throughly.

Only one chapter was boring out of 16 chapters. I recommend if you like math, science and books about scientists

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Fascinating.

Great story and educational at the same time. Opened my eyes to the new age of man and machine finance.

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very interesting

A really interesting story and one that anyone who in interested in stock markets or machine learning should read.

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  • Similo
  • 31-12-19

Useless

This book is basically about the lives of RenTec employees and their successes. Useless

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Christos Spanos
  • 16-06-20

Conjecture and sciolism.

Didn't understand the functioning of markets, quant trading or otherwise. More of an effort for sensationalism than fact