18 Oct 2002 Bram   » (Master)

I'm interested in getting into hedge funds, so I'm reading up on finance. Currently I'm reading 'Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives' by John Hull. I haven't finished it yet, but I'm going to post a review anyway.

This is the classic book for beginning traders to learn the basics from. Its structure is what you would expect - very simple, clear prose, and comprehensive coverage of all the basics.

My problem with reading this book is that it keeps making me fall asleep. After a few pages I have to take a nap. After enough naps I can't sleep any more and go into a trance-like dissociated state with the words passing through my brain with no comprehension. All the formula derivation in this book is spelled out in painstaking detail, with whole sections devoted to formulas anyone with a decent mathematical background could re-derive in a few minutes. Also, key bits of math are dropped out, presumably because they're too difficult. According to the reviews on amazon those derivations are actually misrepresented and the formulas given are approximate, even assuming that the underlying model is perfect. I think all readers would be better served with a treatment which simply gave the formulas, without burying them at the end of tedious derivations which are either too hard or too boring for any given reader.

I'll post a review of another, much more promising book I'm reading in the future.

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