Summary of The Alchemy of Finance

Reading the Mind of the Market

First Edition: 1987 more...

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The Alchemy of Finance book summary
George Soros offers a new way of looking at the markets and at everything you think you know about them.


8 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


This is a remarkable book by a remarkable man. Billionaire George Soros is one of the most notorious, successful speculators of the 20th century and one of the most freehanded philanthropists. Here he outlines a theory that leads to the conclusion that markets are not morally good, that the financial system is rigged to protect the interests of the rich and powerful, and that economics is a spurious science. Much can be said in criticism of this book. It is replete with logical fallacies, muddies the arguments of those with whom the author disagrees, sets up straw men, and does not take adequate account of work done by philosophers and psychologists in some of the areas the author explores. But, getAbstract finds that there is also a great deal of good that can be said. Soros is an original thinker, at his best when he is talking about his own direct experience. He is straightforward about how his ideas have changed, and about his trading and forecasting errors. And why shouldn’t he be, when, as he says, his errors are the keys to his success?

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why everything you think you know about economics, trading and the world-at-large is wrong;
  • How a master trader used awareness of his own ignorance to make billions; and
  • Why markets are not moral or stable, and do not really seek equilibrium.


The Power of Perceptions
George Soros once told a Princeton University seminar on international finance that the economic notion of equilibrium is irrelevant to financial markets and pernicious to traders. Because traders profit when they follow trends – that is, they make money when they...
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About the Author

George Soros chairs Soros Fund Management, the principal investment adviser to the multibillion-dollar Quantum Group of Funds. His charitable foundations give nearly half a billion dollars annually in 50 countries for projects in education, public health, civil society development, human rights and other areas.

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    George Soros
    What does a famous, liberal, smart, extremely philanthropic, well-informed multi-billionaire say about politics, economics and the stock market: anything he wants.

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