The Alchemy Of Finance: Reading The Mind Of The Market
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Alchemy Of Finance: Reading The Mind Of The Market

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  672 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Soros reveals the investment strategies that have made him the most powerful and profitable investor in the world today. He provides an excellent guide of the marketplace, along with the specific economic and political history of recent times.
Published (first published 1987)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,619)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Riku Sayuj
Finally an expert who admits that he is shooting in the dark, mostly.
Stirling Mortlock
This is a book I read and re-read on a regular basis.
Soros has the greatest track record of any money manager, ever. This should give anyone who is interested in managing money, or managing their own money, a reason to read the book in which he describes exactly how he has made his billions.
It surprises me how many people have read the book, and yet, so few put the actual theoretical framework to use. Despite Soros's introduction of the ideas of reflexivity in financial markets nearly 30 years...more
U-ming Lee
I read and listened to this book multiple times. This is, at various times, a personal reflection of the author's life, philosophical ruminations and accounts of some of the investment activities that Soros had been engaged in throughout his life.

The central idea of the book is Soros' theory of reflexivity. Soros spends some time excoriating the "efficient markets" advocates that have proliferated in academic finance. The premise that markets know best and that securities prices reflect all curr...more
jeremy
Excellent book. His theory on the markets, reflexivity, experience with volatility, and reflection on the global system are insightful and the best of anyone I've read.
Samiur
The original masterpiece - original (and first) in Soros' discussing his theory on Reflexivity. Over the years, he's repeated his theory over and over and over...and over, and over again as primers, intros etc. -- which is beyond absurdity and pointless. But, yes this'd be the original masterpiece for what it's worth. Herd behavior, Irrational Exuberance (by Shiller) among other topics and authors have presented similar views -- but no one to my knowledge has attempted to milk the same cow as ma...more
Waseem
WOAH! am sorry but this book is WAY over my head

No doubt it must click for others with its glowing references and reviews ...but for me, unfortunately..i had to give it 1 star, i find books by harvey dent, robert kiyosaki and so on a much easier and more human like conversation to explain this area of finance

...but for hardcore fans and in depth researchers and fllowers of the topic, this seemingly does seem the next level, but i cant keep up nor grasp the style its written or honestly how one...more
Brian
Terrific book for those studying Economics and Finance. Read the introduction and Part 1--everything else is fluff.
Anix
I will save you time reading this good book: reflexivity = feed back loops.
Jiri Kram
Complicated but essential read on financial markets.
Mike
Jan 17, 2008 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone curious about Soros
Shelves: non-fiction
This was my first Soros book, I liked it because it's a good introduction to how he thinks, both about the market, and about his philosophical outlook on psychology, philanthropy, and himself, which I found very interesting. He comes across as intelligent, honest, and very concerned about current events.

The Epilogue in the book is only a few pages long, if you decide not to read the entire book, the Epilogue is definitely worth the read. I liked it so much I typed it up and saved it as a pdf.

I...more
Matt Kelty
A very smart, successful man is now a billionaire, but in his heart would rather be a philosophy professor. He realizes, along with many other people, that feedback loops exist in financial markets. He calls said feedback loops "reflexivity" and writes 200 pages. It's actually kind of fun to read, but there isn't much meat beyond this one concept. If he was able to make his fortune solely through an edge based on identifying feedback loops, there is a better book to be written eventually.
Warren Mcpherson
Reading this now, it is important to remember that it was originally published quite a while ago and is likely to have been informing many of the best investors for many years. Many of the ideas we have about market stability are clearly false, yet they linger in popular understanding of finance. Soros does like to drift off into softer philosophical discussions, take from them what you like. "Thinking is one of the things we need to be thinking about."
Joseph
a very interesting book!

The central idea is about reflexivity (i.e. the circular relationships between cause and effect, how one feeds onto the other), i.e. something like game theory to a lesser extent.

some of the chapters are on international debt issues, macroeconomics, currencies etc which I don't really have a good grasp . Nevertheless, other readers may appreciate the contents better.

John
Pretty deep stuff .. but more of a philosophy treatise than a dry finance text ... the title is the giveaway .. Alchemy means that finance and market are a strange irrational science .. forget the fundamentals ... even though GS is routinely vilified by many fellow conservatives for his political leanings and activities, he is an impressive writer and thinker who any serious studen of markets should read
Arthur
Apr 02, 2008 Arthur marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Hard to understand from the intial pages since Soros does not do a good job of laying out the principle thesis. However I like what he says about the "participant afffecting outcome". This turns the theory of the anthropologists and "objective" minded scholars on it's face. Nothing can be objective in the pure sense - except abstract physics and mathematics!
Vincent
Where philosophy converges with finance. It's hard to imagine, but Mr. Soros ties in philosophy with financial markets very eloquently. I do believe that the foundation of the book, Soros's theory of "reflexivity", can be a pragmatic aid when incorporated into one's own investment analysis. There's no doubt that this is book is a one-of-a-kind.
Kulveer
His real-time documenting of his trades makes for an interesting read, but overall I couldn't finish this book because I'm not that interested in finance.

His 'markets are reflexive' theory is an easy lesson to learn and you don't need the whole book to teach you that. Still, if I ever get back into finance I'll try and finish it off.
Cecilia Massura
Interesting ideas, but grueling to read. Even Soros suggested readers skip several sections that went into the details of his day-to-day trading activity. The bulk of the concepts and worthwhile reading was in the intro and the last couple chapters. With liberal editing, this book would be much better.
Raylene
So I thought I could tap into Soros' genius by reading this book...but my cursory knowledge of finance could not keep me afloat through a complicated discussion of his perspective. I didn't finish the book (it probably deserves more stars), but came away w/ some meditations on group behaviors.
Rob
I just finished listening to this the first time. I'll most likely listen to it again to further learn from Soros. I see him as an important investment leader to understand and I see much more right than wrong in his predictions of the current financial market.
Mitchell
A good book but insanely detailed. This book is based on the philosphy of the author and not grounded in micro-economic theory but worth reading since Soros has made BILLIONS from making bets built on his own philosophy of the market.
Audrey
Stock prices and trading is only loosely based on "research" but is more driven by a herd mentality. Soros figured this out years before Game Theory was applied to the financial markets, and did well with that knowledge.
Cullen
Interesting read. In the first section Soros put forth his theory on the market, then in the second it follows his diary through a trading year where he explains the reasons for his trades.
Phil
Not for the uninitiated - probably an unfair rating for that fact that I'm not in the field. I give two stars for the effort I can imagine that was expended in writing this.
James O'donoghue
Brilliant philosophical take on financial markets. Lots of talk of the Heisenburg Principle and the sheer non-science of trading.
Bernd
Great insights, but often in hard to digest prose. The self-centered approach of the author stands in the way of conveying the message.
Joel Wright
Soros is a fascinating person, but this text is almost a direct opposite of the man - awkward, overly long and scattered in its approach.
Nicolai
this was good until it got to the core ideas that underpin his philosoph and then i could not understand how his ideas mapped out.
Franco Arda
Boy, I remember when I read it the first time 20 years ago ... it's so complicated. He's a rare genius in the investment world.
srdjan
Read this over the summer in Belgrade (or possibly right before). Dharma Bums was a good companion peice that made it accessible
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 53 54 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means
  • Financial Shenanigans: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports
  • The New Market Wizards: Conversations with America's Top Traders
  • When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change
  • Inside the House of Money: Top Hedge Fund Traders on Profiting in a Global Market
  • Security Analysis: Principles and Technique
  • Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises
  • Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings
  • Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor
  • Buffettology: The Previously Unexplained Techniques That Have Made Warren Buffett the World's Most Famous Investor
  • Stocks for the Long Run
  • Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
  • The Money Game
  • Irrational Exuberance
  • Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
  • The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America
  • Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short (and Now Complete) Story
  • Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond
76751
George Soros is a Hungarian-American financier, businessman and notable philanthropist focused on supporting liberal ideals and causes. He became known as "the Man Who Broke the Bank of England" after he made a reported $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crises. Soros correctly speculated that the British government would have to devalue the pound sterling.

Soros is Chairman of...more
More about George Soros...
The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve The Soros Lectures: At the Central European University Bubble Of American Supremacy Open Society Reforming Global Capitalism Reconsidered

Share This Book