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Summary

As today's preeminent doomsday investor Mark Spitznagel describes his Daoist and roundabout investment approach, "one gains by losing and loses by gaining." This is Austrian Investing, an archetypal, counterintuitive, and proven approach, gleaned from the 150-year-old Austrian School of economics, that is both timeless and exceedingly timely.

In The Dao of Capital, hedge fund manager and tail-hedging pioneer Mark Spitznagel - with one of the top returns on capital of the financial crisis, as well as over a career - takes us on a gripping, circuitous journey from the Chicago trading pits, over the coniferous boreal forests and canonical strategists from Warring States China to Napoleonic Europe to burgeoning industrial America, to the great economic thinkers of late 19th century Austria. We arrive at his central investment methodology of Austrian Investing, where victory comes not from waging the immediate decisive battle, but rather from the roundabout approach of seeking the intermediate positional advantage (what he calls shi), of aiming at the indirect means rather than directly at the ends. The monumental challenge is in seeing time differently, in a whole new intertemporal dimension, one that is so contrary to our wiring.

Spitznagel is the first to condense the theories of Ludwig von Mises and his Austrian School of economics into a cohesive and - as Spitznagel has shown - highly effective investment methodology. From identifying the monetary distortions and non-randomness of stock market routs (Spitznagel's bread and butter) to scorned highly-productive assets, in Ron Paul's words from the foreword, Spitznagel "brings Austrian economics from the ivory tower to the investment portfolio."

The Dao of Capital provides a rare and accessible look through the lens of one of today's great investors to discover a profound harmony with the market process - a harmony that is so essential today.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2013 Mark Spitznagel (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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The roundabout way

A very enjoyable book to read and again this is not a marketing book but a book written by a finance practitioner and not just a theorist. It is intently long winded so that if you can follow the trail of thought you have a chance at following the investing principles.

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  • Cully
  • 28-01-22

Brilliant

This is possibly the greatest book on investing ever written. Please do not read this.

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  • Gloria Park
  • 23-04-21

Thought provoking. Not my reader.

The material was very valuable, but the reading was a bit monotonal for my taste. I’m glad I listened to it twice. Great insights into investing as a patient reader of economic indicators, not as an impatient gambler. Become the one in no hurry to profit in the short game, who can profit from the impatience of the shortsighted gamblers all around us.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-03-22

Prerequisite: Hardline Free-Market Capitalist

You may get something out of this if you’re willing to go with the assumption that government intervention in the markets is always a net negative on the economy. Otherwise, you’ll quickly realize that the author has no intention of allowing for deniability of this “fact”, and you may therefore find the author difficult to take seriously as an intellectual. This is all pretty obvious from the outset, with Ron Paul’s embarrassingly biased denunciation of government involvement in capital markets, which is sadly not accompanied by even a trace of a contrarian argument. Anyone claiming to be an authority that refuses to give a fair treatment to other dominant opinions is an armchair intellectual at best and a charlatan at worst.

All that said, the information in this book is obviously useful, so thanks for that I guess.

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  • Vaughn E.
  • 15-01-22

Principle and Maxim Driven

Thoroughly enjoyed this piece on Austrian economics and what it aims to accomplish. I'm I'm fan of philosophy so I liked the stoic form of delivery.

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  • Jay Doran
  • 18-09-21

Enlightening.

This book stands out as unique, engaging, thoughtful and useful for the investor interested in going beyond emotional projection when deciding upon investments.