New YorkerMany have indicated to me that they read the New Yorker article and after reading of my infamy felt impelled to see or communicate with me before I died. It is inappropriate, I believe, after losing as much as I did to offer a hornet's nest of excuses, explanations and defenses in response to such well-meaning people. I have great sadness about the money I recently lost for some of my customers, and great regrets about the far, far greater amount than their total that I lost myself. But I am not the total loser that the article depicted. Certain publications love to write about a formerly successful man who goes to the bottom, and their readers love the Schadenfreudian sensations derived from such material. I was a perfect target for their article at the time but I am not now, nor would I have been at any other time in my rather full life except for October 1997 and the time shortly before my forced retirement from squash in 1964, after my many defeats. Nothing in the New Yorker article should detract from the idees fixes that I have communicated in my books, website, and day-to-day activities in business. The major lessons to be drawn from my recent losses are "never get in over your head" and "never play in a game where your opponent controls and can change the rules and exit points" and "the mouse with one hole is quickly cornered." I knew these lessons before, but I was remiss in not balancing the gains that arise from taking risk and buying during panics against the vulnerabilities that arise playing on such a field.

Neil Raphel writes:

Neil RaphelOne aspect of Victor's business career the New Yorker article failed to adequately portray is his willingness to instruct and inspire. When I joined his commodities trading firm in the early 1980s as an extremely green recruit, he bought me copies of Entrepreneur magazine, encouraged me to study horse-racing books, and regaled the office with tales of the nefarious exploits of so-called "pres-ti-gi-ous" Wall Street firms. He graciously replenished my house trading account after my ill-advised initial forays into the market. My experience was not unique. He has mentored countless other traders and business people. Despite the vagaries of Victor's trading results, many people, including me, are grateful for his encouragement.

Arman Agdaian adds:

Victor changed the way I look at the markets, and I thank him. I am a commodity broker to clients and trade my own money. After reading Education of a Speculator, I have become a better speculator.


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