The Greatest Investor of All-Time

A secretive hedge fund you’ve likely never heard of has earned 66% A YEAR for its clients. It wasn’t done by superior stock picking. They never had a strong grasp on financial history. They use code, algorithms, and a quantitative investing approach honed over decades, which is explained in the book about Jim Simons and his team: The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution.

Book cover for The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution

I spoke to its author for the latest edition of the Wealthy Behavior podcast. Greg Zuckerman is a Special Writer at The Wall Street Journal and a 26-year veteran of the paper. He’s also a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb award – the highest honor in business journalism. He’s the author of multiple books, including this one about Jim Simons and his team.

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The Man Who Solved the Market

Available wherever you get your podcasts and through the above link

Our Discussion

Greg explains how Simons’s firm, Renaissance Technologies, succeeded through persistence, being run by the greatest manager long-time market watchers have ever seen, and an algorithm-based trading system and investment approach that has been refined over the years to extract returns from the market via short-term trades and 500,000 lines of code.

Simons was a brilliant geometer, government code breaker, and successful academic who built a world class university math department before pivoting to investments because he wanted to be rich and change the world.

One of his top lieutenants used his billions to influence politics, and along with his daughter installed Steve Bannon and Kelly Ann Conway into the Trump campaign when it was floundering in 2016. It changed history and damaged important relationships between long-time partners.

Be sure to listen to the end as Greg also explains:

  • What makes Jim Simons a brilliant manager
  • Lessons for individual investors on managing their own money even if they are not going to try quantitative investing
  • The value of persistence and working your advantages to get where you want
  • How he spotted the Madoff fraud and why he didn’t do more about it
  • An overview of his other books, which are also must-reads

Further Reads

Best Financial Literacy Books – a running list of the best financial literacy books broken down by category and expected takeaways that you can work through based on interest level and time.