New Book: A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market

Just got a Christmas present from a very good friend of mine (same person who got me the Intelligent Investor for my birthday earlier this year) called “A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market” by John Allen Paulos. It appeals to me right away because of my math background and because I like to understand things like the stock market in quantitative ways. I’ll give you the blurb on the back:

With his trademark stories, vignettes, paradoxes, and puzzles, John Allen Paulos addresses every thinking reader’s curiosity about the market–Is it efficient? Is it rational? How should one pick stocks? Can one quantify risk? What are the most common scams? Is there a way to really outperform the major indexes? Can a deeper knowledge of mathematics help beat the odds? This wry and illuminating book is for armchair mathematicians, market followers, or anyone who wants to know how market work.

Some of the sections within the chapters that caught my eye were: “Technical Strategies and Blackjack,” “Efficiency and Random Walks,” “Fat People, Fat Stocks, and P/E,” “Are Stocks Less Risky Than Bonds,” “The St. Petersburg Paradox and Utility,” and “The Paradoxical EFficient Market Hypothesis.” There are many more topics. Practically everything in the investing world is touched on in some way. I am looking forward to reading it after I finish the book(s) I am reading now.

4 thoughts on “New Book: A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market”

  1. I have not read that many books although I have looked at quite a few here and there in the book store. I have also taken a few out from the library and read a few chapters. My favourites are definitely The Intelligently Investor as a sort of investing bible and The Wealthy Barber for personal finance and retirement planning.

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