Steve Pearlstein's Washington
Post review of A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market
Published Sunday June 22, 2003 in Washington Post, Page F03
John Allen Paulos is a genius at translating the arcane and complex for the rest of us in ways that go down as easily, and enjoyably, as vanilla ice cream. A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market (Basic) is his peripatetic attempt to explain how he blew a small windfall on WorldCom and other hot stocks during the recent boom. His tour of the literature takes in all the paradoxes, fallacies and theories about markets, skillfully blending the math and economics and, most important, the psychology of it all. You won't come away with any surefire investment strategy, but you will understand why anyone who purports to have one almost certainly doesn't. This book should be required reading for anyone opening a brokerage account. -- S.P.