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Publisher's Summary

The market wizards are back!  

Unknown Market Wizards continues in the three-decade tradition of the hugely popular Market Wizards series, interviewing exceptionally successful traders to learn how they achieved their extraordinary performance results.  

The twist in Unknown Market Wizards is that the featured traders are individuals trading their own accounts. They are unknown to the investment world. Despite their anonymity, these traders have achieved performance records that rival, if not surpass, the best professional managers.  

Some of the stories include:  

  • A trader who turned an initial account of $2,500 into $50 million. 
  • A trader who achieved an average annual return of 337 percent over a 13-year period. 
  • A trader who made tens of millions using a unique approach that employed neither fundamental nor technical analysis. 
  • A former advertising executive who used classical chart analysis to achieve a 58 percent average annual return over a 27-year trading span. 
  • A promising junior tennis player in the UK who abandoned his quest for a professional sporting career for trading and generated a nine-year track record with an average annual return just under 300 percent.  

World-renowned author and trading expert Jack D. Schwager is our guide. His trademark knowledgeable and sensitive interview style encourages the wizards to reveal the fascinating details of their training, experience, tactics, strategies, and their best and worst trades. There are dashes of humor and revelations about the human side of trading throughout.  

The result is a engrossing new collection of trading wisdom, brimming with insights that can help all traders improve their outcomes.

©2020 Jack Schwager (P)2020 Jack Schwager

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Schwager did it again

Even in a world full of podcasts interviewing traders, Schwager manages to find the best among the best (with the biggest differential being his verification of financial claims). Amazing book.

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As good, if not better than the others

He did it again! Those are as fascinating stories as the Market Wizards. I can't wait for the next one!

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My favorite book series of all time

Best series ever! Glad to see some more recent examples of great traders and their unique styles. DJ is one of the greatest narrators as well.

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  • Tom R.
  • 2020-11-30

Must Read | A New Twist on a Favorite Series

In writing this review, I must first inform you, the reader, that reading Jack’s earlier books changed my life, and, I am, therefore somewhat favorably biased toward his work. I will, however, do my best to present as objective of a review as possible, in the interest of literary criticism. You will see I pull no punches in my analyses of his premise for the book and publishing yet another book in the series in the same format as five or seven others, running the real risk of simply retelling stories already better told elsewhere if the trader selection, the stories, performance, lessons learned and readability and entertainment value did not at the very least match if not well exceed an already exacting standard.

--

The premise for the latest edition in the Market Wizards series is to showcase a selection of previously largely unknown traders (with one or two exceptions) who have produced remarkable returns or outstanding return to risk ratios consistently over the past several years or decades. As I shall discuss, one fear in revisiting this topic in 2019 and 2020 was the real risk that traders with returns as exceptional as some of the original Market Wizards would simply not exist as those earlier traders’ results were not be reproduceable, as the windfall profits reaped by those trading in prior generations, especially in commodities in the 1970s and 1980s and stocks, stock warrants and stock options in the 1980s and 1990s using trend following systems had run away bull markets, not nearly as many false breakouts, cleaner chart patterns and more types and more chart patterns that worked a much larger percentage of the time.

None of that mattered.

Jack pulled off a feat of one-upmanship on several of his prior works, selecting several of the most intriguing, successful traders from whose story and Jack’s narrative one can both be entertained and educated, without the slightest effort, making this an easy read and even easier listen, as the audiobook is available on Audible. The traders he presents, both discretionary and systematic (though largely the former in this work) and both technical and fundamental (with a new category espoused by Chris Camillo to boot—using neither of the traditional models and relying on something new entirely).

Time and time again throughout the book the reader will discover intriguing individuals, some with track records of 300% percent for a decade straight that would make Ray Dalio look like an underperformer.

--

I had originally read Market Wizards a few years ago and was immediately captivated. It re-awoke inside of me my original ambition for working on Wall Street that was the catalyst for me choosing to do a Finance minor in college, with the intention of going to work on Wall Street after I graduated.
I chose the minor, because at our esteemed state institution of higher learning, which we jokingly referred to as Harvard on the Mon, did not offer a finance degree. The best I could do was to listen to the erroneous efficient market hypothesis in my economics classes pursuing a degree in business administration and look forward to the times where I could learn more about the markets and even participate in a class stock market competition, my first introduction to how markets really worked.

Alas, life did not work out the way I planned and I ended up working in tech after I graduated from college. I think it was no coincidence that I read the original Market Wizards and New Market Wizards around the same time as I got the seven year itch being a network engineer. It was a time in my life when I realized that I would never live up to my potential working in IT, even owning and running my own firm, nor would I be satisfied if that’s what I limited myself to. I opened accounts to trade stocks, options and futures.

And it soon became clear to me that my purpose in life was to trade. I had never experienced something so challenging as going up against the smartest and greediest people and their computer programs and algos on a daily basis. I realized if I could find a methodology that worked for me, stay disciplined, remain patient and exercise sound risk control and money management, that I could have the penultimate career: a fulfilling, challenging endeavor where no two days were ever the same and where if I found success I could confidently say that I was living up to my potential and where the monetary rewards would enable me both to live the life of my dreams and enable underprivileged youth the ability to get an education for free by starting a scholarship, something I’ve wanted to do since I had to forsake going to a good college and racking up student debt to attend a third rate institution.

--

A big part of seeing that one could become successful as a trader, even more successful than one imagined, was due in large part to Jack’s books. Market Wizards, The New Market Wizards and Hedge Fund Market Wizards showed me that with determination, perseverance, finding a methodology which fit my personality and the use of savings, trading individually or through a prop shop or trading after obtaining an allocation of funds to manage as a CTA or at a fund was definitely possible and showed me multiple instances of where even traders who had initially blown out multiple accounts and gotten fired from multiple positions still ended up becoming successful.
Having read all of the aforementioned books of Jack’s in the Market Wizards series, along with others in the series not mentioned and some of his instructional material on actual trading strategies left me and I’m certain countless other readers asking some of the same questions:

How long could this format go on? Jack’s trademark interview style and chapter format has not changed much from earlier books. How many questions could one ask a trader before the books ceased to provide anything other than a re-hashing of material already presented, albeit in a slightly modified format or theme?
Were the successful track records of a number of the early market wizards simply a product of their time vis-à-vis the extreme bull markets in commodities of the 1970s and the much more predictable and usable chart patterns and Donchian style trend following in the 1970s, 80s and 90s that respectively simply aren’t present and don’t work as well today?

Has the geometrically increased computing power, network speeds and number and type of black box systems, proprietary algos and top tier vendors who collocate their servers in the exchanges and pay top fees to to peek at order flow for a few milliseconds before everyone else irrevocably changed the landscape such that someone with a discretionary or simple rule based systematic trading system could no longer compete with the computers?
These questions, or doubts, and others mean that Jack had a long way to go to equal or surpass the quality of his prior work. Yet, without reservation, Jack has done so masterfully and has demonstrated the following in Unknown Market Wizards:

--Not only are outsized returns possible to the individual trader, several of the traders interviewed in Jack’s latest book actually surpassed and surpassed by a wide margin some of the original market wizards whose enormous gains may have been attributed to exceptionally good markets.

--Several of today’s latest generation of traders either got into trading for the sole purposed of making a fortune or were simply unabashed as to their reason for entering the profession, as opposed to an almost universal responses of either love of the game or the challenge of the markets as opposed to wanting to become rich.

--Jack’s format has stood the test of time and continues to remain highly entertaining and decidedly instructional, remaining and potentially bringing more to the table and being even more intriguing than some previous works. Why? Because Jack is a masterful writer, superb selector of traders to interview, balances dialog with narrative, knows what questions to ask and despite the format being nearly unchanged, along with several market constants, enough has changed with the viewpoints of the next generation, the proliferation of technology and the creation of a new type of stock selection based on neither fundamental nor technical analysis in order to keep this latest book fresh and highly readable, without sacrificing any of the astute observations Jack makes in order to educate traders on what the principle tenets of each trader’s system is and how those methods may be applicable to one’s own training.

--Excellent chapter after excellent chapter. There was only one trader in this entire book whose story or rather character I found somewhat irksome and boring and really didn’t get anything out of. Of course, that’s my personality and personal preference which determines that some people I just can’t relate to or respect. There is one trader in this book like that, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same response as me. You may not get anything out of Chris Camillo’s story, whereas I immediately identified with him, having gone into rare and antiquarian (and later textbook) arbitrage, dropping out of college to pursue an online business and he had done something very similar with items at estate sales, specializing in certain pieces that he picked up cheaply and resold to someone who was willing to pay top dollar for that piece of merchandise.

--Not too much info and not too little: Jack strikes a balance between giving the reader the essentials and enough of the personal story to make for entertaining reading, without getting bogged down in minutiae and edits his interviews to omit content that goes too far out on a tangent—which I find is just enough to leave the reader wanting just a little bit more, but never drowning the reader with irrelevant or fluff content. It whets one appetite for the next volume of Unknown Market Wizards which Jack hasn’t confirmed will be forthcoming with 100% certainty, but definitely gives the reader something to look forward to, as Jack knows just how to hold enough back to keep the reader wanting more.

I’m giving this book 5 stars. The writing is superb. The selection of traders are the best of the best with insane metrics, mostly hitherto unknown and apart from one trader in the book whose chapter I nearly skipped, I don’t know how much better a Market Wizards book could have been than this one.

Now I can’t wait for Volume 2. Hurry up, Jack.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Spencer morneweck
  • 2021-01-26

Great book but one stupid remark by Author

The book was great like all Market Wizard books. I never take the time to comment but had to this time. In Chapter 11, the comment that former President Trump would not make a good trader because he can never admit he is wrong was stupid and petty and made me loose some respect for the author. I wonder if Jack had to put that in there to get the book published? Weaving your political opinions into this great book series cheapens it, so sad.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jay Mitchell
  • 2021-01-05

Liked the book but returned it

I liked the book but didn't like the derogatory comments. (Trump wouldn't make a good trader because he doesn't take responsibility for anything he does). I didn't buy the book for your opinion. It is President Trump by the way.

5 people found this helpful

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  • JP
  • 2020-11-09

Another amazing book to add to the series!

I finished it in two days, couldn’t put it down. I read the market wizards, new market wizards and hedge fund market wizards yearly. This one will be added to the list. If you make anymore great books I’m only going to be able to read market wizards books ;).

4 people found this helpful

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  • JRP
  • 2020-11-16

The usual market wizards fare

if you are a retail trader or aspiring to be one and have enjoyed the books in the market wizard series by this author- you will likely not be disappointed with this book.

Traders interviewed are based out of US and Europe. All are males.

I finished listening to the audio version during my daily walks. I plan to selectively read the Kindle version.

In the past I have read/listened repeatedly to the authors books- will do so the same with this one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • T. Corley
  • 2020-12-18

Still possible

Good stories of lesser known investors achieving stellar returns as recent as the start of the pandemic. shows it's still possible to become a market wizard!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bsy
  • 2020-11-04

a must read for a budding trader ...

I have always liked markets wizards books as they present the wisdom of professional in a nutshell.
this particular book is very interesting to me as I can personally relate to the traders profiled here which was somewhat difficult in the previous books..
this books doesn't teaches how to trade but it focus on much more importance part risk management and psycology..
all in all 10/10 for a budding trader...

2 people found this helpful

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  • MG
  • 2021-03-13

Great background on unknown traders but author just can’t help get the anti-Trump dig in

A really good overview and in depth book interviewing unknown traders. Main takeaway is always focus on minimizing risk and be patient until the right trade presents itself. Don’t trade just to trade. Really liked the book. I’m pretty much anti politicians in general, but was disappointed that the author could not help himself by taking a jab at Trump, which had nothing to do with the book. It showed a total disrespect to half of his audience that could be Trump supporters, which the comment ironically could be considered Trump like by taking unnecessary jabs at people he does not like. I’m hoping someday authors and influencers will focus on bringing people together as opposed to dividing them based on their political views. Other than that, a good book overall.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joe Davis
  • 2021-05-04

great narration of an okay read but...

I own all the market wizards books but this is the first time I noticed numerous unnecessary political slams. I didn't vote for the guy , but interjecting Trump insults makes me wonder if the book of investment information is also bias. Stick to the subject matter content. If you want to right a book on why Trump is a terrible person, do that separately. The narration was one of the top 3 that I have heard. Very well read.

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  • S B
  • 2021-04-20

On Par With The Rest-Some May Even Like It Better

I read negative reviews of the "Unknowns" before I bought it that, as I recall, faulted them for being...unknown!

I really liked this latest Schwager Wizard book because of the unknowns, because they're not famous and therefore more relatable.

There's so much great trading advice here, every interview brings something interesting to the table (social media trend trading!) and each of them confirm the common theme through all of Schwager's books, which are: figure out your own methodology, your own system that fits your point of view or specific interest -fundamental/technical/macro/long hold/short hold/etc - don't try to use someone else's system - and couple your system with risk managment methods that you have to stick to no matter what to limit drawdowns of capital and emotional energy, then let your system run to see if it works.

Even better for me was the narration by DJ Holte. Interviews can be tricky to catch the nuance of phrases, tone, etc. and DJ really does a great job capturing that nuance here, he even does accents that aren't cingey - they work! I liked the narration so much that I bought the Audible versions of other Wizard books that I already have that he narrates for that reason.

People also commented about Schwager's political posturing in this book, and yes it's there and it's jarringly out of place with the subject and will look kind of silly over time. I would have thought that he of all people would keep his emotions out of the great advice that's in these interviews, (or maybe it's virtue signaling?) but's it's so rare - maybe 1 minute total - that it doesn't matter and can easily be ignored.

Overall, highly recommended and even a better listen than a read because of the narrator, which is very rarely the case, in my experience!