About Victor Niederhoffer and Laurel Kenner

Victor Niederhoffer has specialized in trading futures and options since 1979. He began his business career after studying statistics and economics at Harvard (B.A. 1964) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D. 1969), and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley (1967-1972). In 1965, he founded Niederhoffer, Cross and Zeckhauser, Inc., which became one of the leading finders involved in selling privately held firms to public companies. With Dan Grossman, his partner for 40 years, Niederhoffer also bought many privately held firms. In the 1960s and 1970s, he wrote numerous academic articles about markets that led to the founding in 1980 of a trading firm, NCZ Commodities, Inc. (aka Niederhoffer Investments, Inc.).

Niederhoffer Investments became one of the top financial advisers in futures, options and stocks. George Soros said in one of his books that Niederhoffer was the only one of his managers who retired voluntarily from trading for him while still ahead. Niederhoffer Investments returned 35% a year from inception through 1996, when MAR ranked it the No. 1 hedge fund manager in the world. Disaster struck the following year, mainly because of excessive speculations in Thailand. Since that time, Niederhoffer has been crawling back up the stairs, not entirely without success. He began trading for his own account in 1998, after mortgaging his house and selling his collection of antique silver trophies. He began managing money for offshore clients in February 2002, investing his own money pari passu with the fund. The firm employs proprietary programs that predict short-term moves based on the interactions between multivariate time series. From 2000-2003, Niederhoffer wrote a widely read weekly column on the markets with financial journalist Laurel Kenner for CNBC MoneyCentral (www.moneycentral.com). Their book, Practical Speculation (John Wiley & Sons, February 2003), was called “the best trading book of the young millennium" by Active Trader magazine. Niederhoffer’s life story, tips for studying markets and love for his father, Arthur, were detailed in a previous book, the 1997 best-seller Education of a Speculator.

Niederhoffer is proudest of having a benevolent influence on people that came in contact with him. At least a dozen employees whom he started out or taught became billionaires or multi-centimillionaires, including Monroe Trout, Stu Rose, John Hummer and Roy Niederhoffer, all of whom are famous in money management or M&A. Niederhoffer’s interests include the study and implementation of counting, ecology, electronics, entrepreneurship, free markets, music, sports, statistics, and strategy in checkers and chess. Favorite authors include Patrick O' Brian, Cervantes, Galton, Rand, Jack Schaeffer, Hugo, Melville, and Twain. He is well known in the field of racquet sports, where he was the undefeated national squash champion for a decade (1965-1975) and claimed the world squash title in 1976. Victor Niederhoffer is married to Susan Cole Niederhoffer and has seven children. Victor Niederhoffer believes the purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness and achievement, and that the voluntary transactions that flow naturally out of an enterprise system are the key to material and personal freedom, and peace.

Media coverage

"The Re-education of Victor Niederhoffer" by Deepak Gopinath in "Bloomberg Magazine," July 2006)

"Resurrected" (Profile of Victor Niederhoffer by Bob Hirschfeld in "Registered Rep," Nov. 1, 2005)

Refco Notes: Victor's Statements on Refco; Media Coverage; News Story Correction Tally; Letters From Readers (September-October 2005)

Victor Niederhoffer on The Biggest Market Cons (Interview by Dave Goodboy of Real World Trading). RealWorld routinely posts its interviews with traders on Yahoo — but not this one! Read it and see for yourself why we were censored. Was it our comments about trend following? Technical analysis? Ben Graham? Warren Buffett? Read Vic's review of "Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets" by Michael Covel "Thanks to Vic Niederhoffer and Laurel Kenner, for teaching us all how to fish" (Jon Markman, CNBC Money, Sept. 10, 2003). Our weekly column, "The Speculator," appeared on the CNBC/MSN Money site from April 2000 to September 2003, during one of the wildest rides in stock market history. We tested investment theories of every conceivable provenance, both in and out of the test tube. We both regard these columns as the best work of our lives. MSN editor Jon Markman — writing coach, critic and friend — memorializes our run. Global Investing: A Renaissance Man's Nine Lives (The Financial Times profile of Vic, May 1, 2003) "The Iconoclast of Brooklyn" (Navroz Patel, Risk.net, March 2004) Victor Niederhoffer: Opened Up Squash ("Squash Talk" profile, 1978, updated July 2001)

Key writings:

The Speculator as Hero (The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 10, 1989). Vic explains the speculator's crucial economic role. Education of a Speculator (New York: John A. Wiley & Sons, 1997). In his first book, Vic tells the story of his rise from a Brooklyn childhood to groundbreaking financial academic, world squash star and top trader, and shares lessons from a remarkable series of mentors beginning with his father, Artie. Practical Speculation (New York: John A. Wiley & Sons, 2003). While recouping from a devastating fall in 1997, Vic takes a Rabelaisian survey of the panorama of investment ideas and shows the reader how to avoid being prey in the market ecology. With financial writer Laurel Kenner. Academic articles by Victor Niederhoffer Daily Speculations posts by Victor Niederhoffer 60th Birthday Congratulations to Vic from the many friends we met through our writings and this site.

Laurel Kenner runs the Daily Speculations Web site with Victor Niederhoffer and Steve Wisdom. She and Victor co-authored Practical Speculation. From 2000 through 2003, they wrote several hundred columns together for CNBC Money, Worldly Investor, Active Trader and thestreet.com. She and Victor founded the SpecList, an interest group of natural philosophers that has grown to include more than 300 people around the world. Before working with Vic, Kenner was chief U.S. stock market editor at Bloomberg News (1995-2000), where she wrote a column on the stock market and managed a team of reporters engaged in daily market coverage and features. She began her journalism career in 1983 with an internship at M. Stanton Evans's National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., writing a series on gambling for The Alexandria Gazette and an analysis of Federal Reserve policy from 1974 to 1984. She subsequently worked as a reporter at the Los Angeles bureau of the Associated Press (1987) and at Copley Los Angeles Newspapers (1988-1994), where she won awards for her coverage of the military space industry. Kenner was born in Santa Monica, California. She earned an undergraduate degree in classical piano performance at UCLA, where she studied with renowned teacher Aube Tzerko and won numerous competitions. She performed in chamber orchestras and worked professionally as a pianist and accompanist before becoming a journalist. She and Victor Niederhoffer are the parents of Aubrey Darwin Niederhoffer, born May 3, 2006. Ms. Kenner's pursuits include chamber music, tennis, trading and the study of evolution, geology, history, economics and markets. What is Daily Speculations? We believe that perhaps the most important part of the scientific method is asking the right questions — rich questions that if properly validated or refuted give information of a fruitful nature. We find the classic metaphor as to what a speculator does in The Wealth of Nations. Smith points out that the speculator plays the same role as the ship captain who when confronted with a voyage that's going to last longer than anticipated starts reducing the rations so that there will be enough food for any contingencies. Another nice example is contained in Jane Marcet. She says, consider a farmer with just one blade of seed corn left. What would best be done with this? Consume it? Or plant it, so that more corn will be available in the future? The speculator does the same. Heyne and Boettke in the Economic Way of Thinking extend the analogy with discussion of what farmers would do in a corn blight. People will expect a higher price. They'll pull some corn out of current consumption in order to carry it over to the fall when they believe the price will be higher. "The effect of all these activities is to reduce the quantity of corn currently available in the market. The price consequently rises, but that is only part of the picture. These speculative activities cause corn to be transported over time from a period of relative abundance to one of greater scarcity."

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