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Zurich Axioms

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,270 ratings  ·  141 reviews
The 12 major and 16 minor Zurich Axioms contained in this work are a set of principles providing a practical philosophy for the realistic management of risk, which can be followed successfully by anyone, not merely the experts.
Published September 17th 1992 by Souvenir Press (first published 1985)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  2,270 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2017
Of course, everyone wants to get rich. Who doesn't?

This book contains a bunch of 'axioms' or maxims on risk management (aka speculation). I first read this book 17 years ago. In my 17+ years of experience as an investor and casual punter, I've relied on books, experience, and several sleepless nights to get to where I am today. I read this book again. I can say I'm glad I read it before starting out as an investor. And I'm glad I read it again. You bet I will read it again. And again.

For anyone
Dec 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
A book based on a flimsy premise and hence, appealing to the masses.

Its a very engaging writing style and full of lessons - axioms - for how to grow wealth and blah blah.
It is for a novice trader or investor who invests without much diligence.

Stuff about not diversifying too much, no charting, how to bet heavily but not too heavily, etc.

Yuni Amir
The only reason I read this book is because one friend quoted a line from this book from memory. I thought it was impressive.

However, I totally forgot I can’t read books with millions of anecdotal evidence. For people like me, I suggest to just take note on the major and minor axioms. Those are descriptive enough.
Joshua Zhang
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Good principles for most Axioms.
Don't agree with all of them.

The First Major Axiom: ON RISK
Worry is not a sickness but a sign of health. If you are not worried, you are not risking enough.
- Minor Axiom I: Always play for meaningful stakes.
- Minor Axiom II: Resist the allure of diversification.

The Second Major Axiom: ON GREED
Always take your profit too soon.
- Minor Axiom III: Decide in advance what gain you want from a venture, and when you get it, get out.

The Third Major Axiom: ON HOPE
When the s
June Ding
Mar 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-read
There are some sound points, but mostly many ideas are wrong and could be risky indeed if following them. At the start, the book argues there is no difference in investment and speculation and gamble which I have to fundamentally disagree. Investment is about managing your risk. Speculation and gamble is about playing luck. When the author mixes the two, investment is like gamble.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Well, where do I start? Intrigued by the relevance of the axioms laid down by the Swiss for speculating in various asset classes.

The book is broadly divided into 12 axioms, which are thumb rules and many other sub -axioms that support these.Read together, they form the basis for evaluating speculative opportunities across various asset classes. While most of these are common sensical, the beauty in these axioms lie in the staggered explanation that Max Gunther gets into. You will face most, if
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good to brush up on the basics of risk taking and avoidance, role of luck vs. skill, and a few other principles. Though I might not agree with all the axioms, but definitely a good read.
Avadhoot Joshi
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Every investor/speculator should be introduced to these axioms at an early stage.
5th,6th and 10th major axioms offer insights which should be remebered throughout one's investing journey.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a tough read for me, since most axioms go against my (and most people I admire) investment philosophies. Mainly, Gunther recommends the following: don’t diversify (Axiom 1), don’t hold positions for the long term, but rather sell once you’re satisfied with your gains (Axiom 2), sale assets as soon as prices start falling (Axiom 3), etc... Imagine following Axiom #3 this year in March and missing out on the sharp market recovery or imagine following #2 and selling Amazon late 1990’s afte ...more
Kico Meirelles
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is the second time o read this book. The first time was more than 15 years ago and I really liked, however this time I loved. The book is simple, but provide you the best insights that you can have to develop a good especulativa behavior, in other word to pursue money and profits. I fully recommend it to everyone.
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
A few interesting points, but could be better...
João Sampaio
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Impressively enlightening. But some Axioms could be misinterpreted if the reader lacks some experience and other readings to build a base.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
At its core this is a book containing 12 rules – or axioms - for speculation in financial markets in the same vein as previous learning’s about risk, reward and human behavior that have been passed on by the likes of Jesse Livermore, Gerald Loeb and Bernard Baruch, i.e. the notorious financial speculators of the early part of the twentieth century. It is the investment philosophy of a former group of Swiss bankers.

The Zurich Axioms also comes with a quite fascinating background story. Max Gunte
Chris Esposo
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The “Zurich Axioms” are a good set of guidestones on investing, less axiom, and more dictums, these statements mostly focus on when to take profit, how to be a keen contrarian, and most importantly, how to govern your own decision-making to ensure you’re not being overly optimistic (or pessimistic). There are 12 major axioms and 16 minor ones. To be honest, I didn’t perceive much substantive difference to explain why a statement fell into “major” or “minor”, except that the author choose to orga ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very interesting take on money management problem.
Clear and inspiring, however not to be taken for granted. Well-recommended to anyone who is still searching for a personal financing strategy and wants to evaluate various angles. Tackles some of the key components related to money management:
1. worry - a sign of health; 2. greed - cashing out too soon; 3. hope -jumping immediately from the sinking ship; 4. forecasts - counting in inability to predict future; 5. patterns - how dangerous if it i
Dec 23, 2020 rated it liked it
The book 'Zurich Axioms' is about intelligent risk taking. The swiss are considered to be the best in the world at managing their risks and at the same time increasing their wealth. The book consists of 12 major rules (called axioms) and 16 minor axioms that helps one in managing risk.
I liked reading such bullet list kind of books. It makes you feel good that you have read so many number of rules and you feel like a wise person.
One crib for me is that this book doesn't consider investment. It
Jehan Chawla
Apr 04, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty good book for both novice and well acquitted traders. The Book mentions Axioms or rules followed by Swiss Bankers for making substantial profits and saving them from enlarging their losses on any kind of Investments. The book mentions many Axiom some of which on many parts I disagreed with too, But they did present a new perspective to my own Investing Ideologies. Reading this book also helped me to finally pen down the Investing rules that I want to follow. All in all a good one time r ...more
Colle Owino
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book that slaps you hard on the cheek, looks directly into your eyes and berates you for speculating/gambling the wrong way. I loved the characters and their financial misgivings, even the author admits to once believing in superstition but the axioms have have made him wiser. It spoke to my heart and I believe it can cleanse the soul of any would be speculator. To keep one on the straight and narrow where investing money is concerned.
Leonardo Figueiró
There's a lot of people complaining about the fact that this is so simple, easy and shallow. Is not. Is simple,easy to understate and comprehend, but the majority of people, i include myself in that list, don't apply to their daily life and in their own financial planning.
So... Stop complaining, spend 2-3 hours reading the book and try to be more pro-active while deciding on how to manage your finances.
Luiz Marques
May 22, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting stuff (that you probably already know if you have any experience investing), and some very arguable ideas, too.

Pretty readable and somewhat short, though. The anecdotal evidence is entertaining, but like the book itself mentions, one should be careful when taking stories about investments or any kind of speculation, for a single failure or win might be just an illusion of logic, instead of a important principle.
It is more like a 4.5 star, but I have it 5 because I think it doesn't deserve such low average rating.
The book is full of gems on luck, probability and other things from daily live, that you might be biased about. One minor remark is that it could have been 50 pages shorter with the same content.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's no gospel, but it is subversive and so, me like.

It is probably based around what mistakes people do, following conventional wisdom in investment and speculation and what one can do to avoid it.
It is a good read, some important practical things to keep in mind while speculating are written.
Good book, thumbs up.
GVSB Reddy
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unmissable. Simple to understand and follow.

Unmissable. Simple to understand and follow.

The major and minor Axioms can be collected at one place and reviewed everyday for reinforcement.
Bruno Teixeira
Great advice. Evey axiom has wisdom that you may not gain elsewhere or even if you have the opportunity to learn them by your own, each one may cost you more than if you have read this.
For me it did not add much new, since I've been living by most of these axioms already.
Akhil Jain
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
-“I’m keeping giraffes away”, the fellow explains. “But we’ve never had any giraffes around here”, says the cop. “Doing a good job ain’t I?” says the fellow.

-Cogito, ergo sum – “I think, therefore I am.”
Mauro Calixto
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book make you think about speculation in a rational way. As being rational is the number one requirement for an investor, the book is a must for everyone who seeks to understand some behavioral traps and work on it effectively.
Luan Fernandes
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Very compact book that emphasizes the most important ideias behind long-term investments and the importance to take risks in a intelligent way. Most billionaires talk about this book and it indeed go in the opposite of many mainstream recommendations. A must read.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Blantly written
Some greedy life philosophy
Contains some sound advice and some heavily opiniated as well but this is not bad at all.
Take it for what it is.. In general recommend (only) if you are into investing.
Kamlesh Patel
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book especially people who invests in stock markets

This books is recommended read for everyone who is involved in some kind of speculative activity like stock market, commodity market, etc where luck or uncertainty plays big role in outcomes.
Alexander Holzmann
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The smartest people I know think for themselves before they ask others. Zurich Axioms is a set of rational advice for how to think about investment opportunities and bulld your own speculating confidence.
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Max Gunther was an Anglo-American journalist and writer. He was the author of 26 books, including his investment best-seller, The Zurich Axioms.

Born in England, Gunther moved to the United States at age of 11 after his father, Franz Heinrich became the manager of the New York branch of a leading Swiss bank, SBC.

Gunther graduated from Princeton University in 1949 and served in the United States Ar

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