What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is an auto-biographical book about the life of Jim Paul, by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynhian.
Although I very recently read this book, I can’t remember where I heard about it or why I picked it up. But either way, I’m very excited to write this review. Because this was one of the best finance books I’ve read in a long time. Can you guess why?
Basically, What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is all about failure. It stands in stark contrast to 99% of the other investing and trading books out there. Believe me, I’ve read a lot of them.
So this one was refreshing.
I can’t wait to tell you all about What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, so you can decide whether or not this is the right book for you. So let’s get into it, shall we?
A Summary of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars:
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is an autobiographical account of Jim Paul’s life as a trader and broker. It chronicles the exciting ups and downs in a fun and easy to read way. And as a bonus, the book is educational too.
The first part of this book, and probably the most exciting, is about the life of Jim Paul. It starts at childhood, and documents his exploits through adolescence, college and his nascent career. Since Jim’s such a good story teller, it makes for fun reading. You get a sense of what he was like growing up, and why he became the big shot futures trader that he did.
But then things take a turn for the worst.
The second part of this autobiographical section is the downfall of Paul’s trading career. It explains how he rode a big winner into an insanely large loser. And it’s amazing how quickly things unraveled. This part of the story is both gripping and unbelievable.
The third part of this book, and probably the most interesting, is the post-mortem. Paul takes a cold hard look at his downfall. He tries to learn where he went wrong, and how to succeed in the market. But then, he has a revelation.
Instead of trying to find a holy grail technique to conquering the market, Paul decides to become an expert on losing. He goes to great lengths to learn why people lose in the markets. And to his surprise, there are only a few key reasons. This is where things really get fascinating.
My Favourite Part of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars:
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is a great book overall. But for me, the last part of the book really stood out as the most educational and insightful.
The most interesting part for me, is that it turns out there are only a couple of ways to lose money in the markets. While there are innumerable ways to make a profit, losing comes in only one of two ways.
I don’t want to give away the book here, but it boils down to (1) losing money via your trading or investing methodology, and (2) losing money due to psychological mistakes that cause you to deviate from your methodology.
in the last section of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, Paul goes deep into the second factor. Because that’s where most people lose most of their money. Neat, isn’t it?
But to be honest, there’s one thing you should know before you buy this book.
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars – A Word of Warning:
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is a great book, don’t get me wrong. But it’s hard to overestimate how hard it is to implement the advice in the book. You see…
This is the same kind of advice I really enjoyed reading about in Trading in the Zone. And that was one of my favourite trading books of all time. I’m always encouraged when great books independently correlate each other.
But here’s the thing: I’ve read Trading in the Zone 5 times at least. And when reading What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, I combed over it with a pencil and paper. I do my best to absorb these lessons, and they’re still hard to apply.
The deep-seeded desires of the ego are hard to overrule. But with practice and conscientiousness, I believe it’s possible. So if you have trouble applying the lessons in the book, just keep trying.
Now, let’s bring this book review to a close.
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars – The Final Word:
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is a great book. I honestly can’t wait to read it again. For the reasons above, I highly recommend you check out What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars on Amazon for yourself.
If you want even more information though, you’re also welcome to watch the video book review below.