Throughout his storied career at The Wall Street Journal, Gregory Zuckerman has spoken to many of the most fascinating names in the world of finance. Zuckerman has spent more than 20 years at the paper, during which time he has won the Gerald Loeb Award for his distinguished journalism.
Zuckerman is also the author of a number of acclaimed books, including The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind the Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History, and The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters. However, it is the protagonist of his latest book, The Man Who Solved the Markets: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution, who has fascinated Zuckerman the most.
“He's got the record-breaking track record when it comes to Investing but he's also a math prodigy and has accomplished a lot in the world of mathematics. As an academic, he has come up with a lot as a philanthropist,” Zuckerman told Opto on the subject of legendary investor Jim Simons.
“He's a fascinating guy and he's also interesting because he does the investing on the math side, but he's also a really good manager. He understands people and that's a rare quality,” Zuckerman explained.
“He's a fascinating guy and he's also interesting because he does the investing on the math side, but he's also a really good manager. He understands people and that's a rare quality”
In more than 400 interviews with those involved with Simons’ firm, Renaissance Technologies, Zuckerman was able to get to the bottom of what made Simons tick.
Although the book is not a biography, it includes biographical elements to explore the most fascinating aspects of the famed investor.
“If you write about investors on Wall Street, you keep hearing about this individual Jim Simons, largely because his returns are just absurd – 66% a year on average since 1988, which is just incredible,” Zuckerman said.
During his decades of work reporting on Wall Street, Zuckerman had certainly heard of Simons, and had always wanted to write about him. But there was one issue, Zuckerman had been told Simons wouldn’t speak to him.
“In some ways that sort of presented a challenge that I wanted to embrace — maybe I shouldn’t have,” Zuckerman recalled.
“Everyone wants to know how they did it. So, I set out to try to explain how they get it,” Zuckerman said.
“Everyone wants to know how they did it. So, I set out to try to explain how they get it”
To hear more of Zuckerman’s tales from Wall Street, listen to the full episode, here:
Or for more ways to listen: