Fortune's Formula by William Poundstone
The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street

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Synopsis

In 1956 two Bell Labs scientists discovered the scientific formula for getting rich. One was mathematician Claude Shannon, neurotic father of our digital age, whose genius is ranked with Einstein's. The other was John L. Kelly Jr., a Texas-born, gun-toting physicist. Together they applied the science of information theory—the basis of computers and the Internet—to the problem of making as much money as possible, as fast as possible.



Shannon and MIT mathematician Edward O. Thorp took the "Kelly formula" to Las Vegas. It worked. They realized that there was even more money to be made in the stock market. Thorp used the Kelly system with his phenomenonally successful hedge fund, Princeton-Newport Partners. Shannon became a successful investor, too, topping even Warren Buffett's rate of return. Fortune's Formula traces how the Kelly formula sparked controversy even as it made fortunes at racetracks, casinos, and trading desks. It reveals the dark side of this alluring scheme, which is founded on exploiting an insider's edge.



Shannon believed it was possible for a smart investor to beat the market—and Fortune's Formula will convince you that he was right.



 

About William Poundstone

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William Poundstone is the author of twelve books, including How Would You Move Mount Fuji? and Fortune's Formula, which was Amazon Editors' pick for the #1 nonfiction book of the year in 2005. He has written for the New York Times, Harper's, Harvard Business Review, and the Village Voice, among other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.
 
Published June 1, 2010 by Hill and Wang. 386 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Humor & Entertainment, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fortune's Formula

Kirkus Reviews

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Kelly, and there are the colorful gamblers and crooks from Vegas to Wall Street like Bugsy Siegel and Ivan Boesky.

Sep 14 2005 | Read Full Review of Fortune's Formula: The Untold...

The New York Times

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From William Poundstone, tales of the quirky, greedy characters who exploited gambling formulas all the way to the bank — or prison.

Sep 25 2005 | Read Full Review of Fortune's Formula: The Untold...

Publishers Weekly

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(Thorp revealed the secret in 1966's Beat the Market , but investors proved harder to persuade than blackjack players.) Many other characters figure into Poundstone's entertaining saga: a forgotten French mathematician, two Nobel Prize–winning economists who declared war on the Kelly criterion, R...

Jun 06 2005 | Read Full Review of Fortune's Formula: The Untold...

Seeking Alpha

This is an outstanding book.

| Read Full Review of Fortune's Formula: The Untold...

Seeking Alpha

When I reviewed the book Priceless I thought I had reviewed “Fortune’s Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street" (Hill and Wang, 2006) by William Poundstone because I had written several pieces on the Kelly Criterion at the blog and at Real...

Jul 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Fortune's Formula: The Untold...

Ready Bet Go

[ More Gambling Book Reviews ] Fortune's Formula, The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Streetby William Poundstone In 1961, MIT mathematics professor Ed Thorp made a small Vegas fortune by 'counting cards';

| Read Full Review of Fortune's Formula: The Untold...

Ready Bet Go

[ More Gambling Book Reviews ] Fortune's Formula, The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Streetby William Poundstone In 1961, MIT mathematics professor Ed Thorp made a small Vegas fortune by 'counting cards';

| Read Full Review of Fortune's Formula: The Untold...

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