The Billion Dollar Mistake: Learning the Art of Investing through the Missteps of Legendary Investors

Overview

The Billion Dollar Mistake offers an up-close account of thecareer-defining mistakes that some of the world's most brilliantbillionaire investors have made?and a revealing look at whatyou can learn from them. These mistakes, while spectacularly largein amount, are commonly simple in practice, identical to the errorsin investment judgment made by everyday investors. Drawing onauthor Stephen Weiss's more than twenty years of experience at someof Wall Street's most prestigious firms, this book is based uponoriginal ...

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Overview

The Billion Dollar Mistake offers an up-close account of thecareer-defining mistakes that some of the world's most brilliantbillionaire investors have made—and a revealing look at whatyou can learn from them. These mistakes, while spectacularly largein amount, are commonly simple in practice, identical to the errorsin investment judgment made by everyday investors. Drawing onauthor Stephen Weiss's more than twenty years of experience at someof Wall Street's most prestigious firms, this book is based uponoriginal research and interviews with legendary investors whodiscuss the most significant trade or investment that went againstthem, the magnitude of the loss, and its effect on theirbusinesses—and their personal lives.

Page by page, this intriguing book skillfully examines thecausal relationship between the quirks of each investor'spersonality and the mistakes each committed. Along the way, Weissprovides you with a series of compelling narrative accounts of theindividual's road to success, the particular mistakes they made,the investing flaws that led to them, and the lessons learned.While some investors made errors of judgment, others made errors ofperception.

Engaging and informative, The Billion Dollar Mistake is aunique investment book. Each chapter entertains while imparting thewisdom that will help you become a better investor. Along the way,it:

  • Uncovers important lessons learned from the mistakes of some ofthe most enduring and accomplished investors, including KirkKerkorian, Bill Ackman, Aubrey McClendon, and Leon Cooperman
  • Discusses how to incorporate these lessons into your investmentdiscipline and avoid the same missteps
  • Reveals common mistakes made by the world's most skilledinvestors that the average investor can relate to—the onlydifference is the number of zeros attached to the loss
  • Includes insights on improving your investment results byrefining your approach to today's markets

Learning from the missteps of the best in the investmentbusiness can help you succeed. With The Billion DollarMistake, you'll discover how.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Concentrating on personal finance don’ts is a clever idea. Mr. Weiss writes about 11 big investors — from the very well known, like the billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, to others like Richard S. Pzena, who runs his own investment firm. The author zeros in on one enormous error that he says each of the 11 made — a mistake, in the words of the book’s title, that cost each $1 billion or more… the book is an intriguing reminder of what not to do when investing your money.”
—The New York Times

“Great investors are often put on a pedestal and worshiped by those trying to emulate them. This book removes the pedestal and allows you to truly learn from them. Author Stephen Weiss… has truly crafted a great read and has transformed the lessons of legendary investors into an entertaining and educational narrative. Definitely check out The Billion Dollar Mistake as you're bound to become a better investor from it.”
— Market Folly

Weiss creates a fascinating look at these cases with up close narrative reporting. In some instances the famous investors themselves review their mistakes and provide a surprising candor on how and why they failed. You almost feel like an eavesdropper in a closed door meeting learning untold secrets. Who knew investing could be so riveting! - 800 CEO Read (Dec. 2009)

When a great investor flubs it, everyone can learn a lesson. With that in mind, author Stephen Weiss delves into the biggest mistakes of such Wall Street luminaries as Bill Ackman, Leon Cooperman and Richard Pzena. – Barron’s (Dec. 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470481066
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/7/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 259
  • Sales rank: 835,292
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen L. Weiss has spent the last twenty-three years on Wall Street working for some of the industry's most prestigious firms. He is currently a Senior Managing Director and Head of Equities at an investment bank in New York City. Weiss started in institutional sales at Oppenheimer & Co., then moved to Salomon Brothers, where he eventually co-managed the firm's 500 person global research department and became a spokesperson for the equity division. Weiss also worked at SAC Capital, co-managing the firm for legendary hedge fund manager Steven Cohen. Subsequent to SAC, Weiss joined Lehman Brothers in senior management, helping to restore the once prominent equity business to the pinnacle of the industry.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Chapter 1 Kirk Kerkorian: Due Diligence is Due Every Time.

Chapter 2 David Bonderman: Does This Mean I Also Overpaid forthe Rolling Stones?

Chapter 3 Aubrey McClendon: Falling on the Wrong Edge of theTwo-Edged Leverage Sword.

Chapter 4 Bill Ackman: Detour from Discipline.

Chapter 5 Nick Maounis: "Trust, But Verify…."

Chapter 6 Leon Cooperman: The Pirate of Prague Meets the Princeof Princeton—and the Boy from the Bronx Gets Squeezed.

Chapter 7 Richard Pzena: Fashions Change, HistoryPersists—or Does It?

Chapter 8 Geoff Grant: Style Drift—It's Hot Till It'sNot.

Chapter 9 Volkswagen and Porsche: The Hare Finally Wins and theShorts Get Squeezed.

Chapter 10 Chris Davis: It Was Dressed Like an InsuranceCompany, but It Didn't Quack Like One…

Chapter 11 Madoff Investors: Hook, Line, and Sunk.

Epilogue: Me Too: Mistakes I've Made and Lessons I'veLearned.

Notes.

Glossary.

About the Author.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating account of legendary investors' biggest stock snafus

    You might expect that legendary billionaire investors like Kirk Kerkorian, Aubrey McClendon and Nick Maounis would not make the same mental mistakes as a weekend investor. But they do. These investment geniuses, among the world's smartest - and richest - investors, have lost billions of dollars through boneheaded stock picks. Author Stephen L. Weiss reviews a stack of big investment blunders by these and other renowned financial wizards. Weiss's vast Wall Street experience backs up his analysis, but you'll have to decide if he's correct that people learn more from their mistakes than their achievements. getAbstract thinks you'll enjoy his instructive saga of investment woes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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