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Diary of a Hedge Fund Manager: From the Top, to the Bottom, and Back Again


An unvarnished look at how Wall Street and hedge funds really operate, offering real-world lessons that you can put to good use

"An engaging and fascinating memoir of a Wall Street insider who foresaw the crisis and lost his job for it. McCullough has written an insightful firsthand account of our modern Rome before—and after—its fall. The author stands head and shoulders above his peers with his phenomenal trading track record, personal integrity, and skill at communicating his unique experiences."—Richard L. Peterson, MD, Managing Director, MarketPsy Capital, LLC; author of Inside the Investor's Brain

"If an unholy offspring of Lester Bangs and Don Cherry traded and wrote a financial market diary, it might be something like the smart, hip, and crunching commentary hedge fund manager Keith McCullough delivers every day. Keith is on a short list of must-reads in a business filled with also-rans."—Dr. Paul Kedrosky, Editor, Infectious Greed; Managing Director, IG Holdings; Senior Fellow, Kauffman Foundation

"Diary of a Hedge Fund Manager should be added to the list of must-read books on Wall Street. It is very rare that readers get this kind of insight into the world of what Wall Street calls the 'smart money.' McCullough's exciting and inspirational story reinforces the fact that hard work pays off. The book does a great job of pointing out that, on Wall Street, common sense and hard work trump a PhD—without actually saying it. His honesty is refreshing and reminds us all that the giants of the hedge fund world are mere mortals. This story is one that both Wall Street and Main Street can relate to and learn from."—Douglas M. Famigletti, CFA, Managing Director, Griffin Asset Management, Inc.

Keith McCullough is the founder of Research Edge, the go-to source for analysis and trade recommendations among savvy money managers. A Bloomberg TV Contributing Editor, he started in the business in 1999. Since then, he has held positions at Credit Suisse First Boston, Dawson-Herman Capital Management's Millennium Fund, and Carlyle–Blue Wave, as well as launching his own fund, Falcon Henge Partners LLC, which was integrated into Magnetar Capital.

Rich Blake was cofounder and executive editor of Trader Monthly magazine. He frequently contributes to CNBC's Power Lunch and to Alpha and Portfolio magazines. He is the author of two books, The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up and Talking Proud: Rediscovering the Magical Season of the 1980 Buffalo Bills.

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Catch a Wave 9

Chapter 2: Shipping Out 17

Chapter 3: Welcome to the Jungle 29

Chapter 4: Snapshots from the Dot.Com Bubble 39

Chapter 5: Discovery 61

Chapter 6: Flying with the Giants 79

Chapter 7: Shifting for Myself 97

Chapter 8: Sucked In 115

Chapter 9: Worlds Collide 123

Chapter 10: Exile on Wall Street 139

Chapter 11: Lifting the Curtain 157

Chapter 12: The Great Squeeze 185

Epilogue 197

Acknowledgments 205

About the Authors 207

Index 209