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The Billion Dollar Mistake: Learning the Art of Investing Through the Missteps of Legendary Investors


Praise for

The Billion Dollar Mistake

"If you want to read only one book on investing this year, make sure it's The Billion Dollar Mistake. It reads like a novel, but the stories are all true. As an active investor, I will leave this book on my desk and use it as a reference. It's simply the best investment book in years. Stephen Weiss's insights blew me away."
—Roger Reinlieb, Private Investor, Retired Partner, Warburg Pincus, LLC

"The Billion Dollar Mistake is perhaps the most entertaining and insightful investment book I have read during my thirty-five years as a top-ranked analyst on Wall Street and my twelve years teaching a course on investing in retail stocks. Anyone with an interest in becoming a better investor would be well served by reading a copy of this book."
—Jeff Feiner, Hedge Fund Analyst; Professor, Columbia University, Graduate School of Business

"The Billion Dollar Mistake demonstrates very clearly that even some of the world's most successful investors can make big mistakes. The key is bouncing back and learning from them. Stephen Weiss's book shows us how."
—Joseph V. Amato, President, Neuberger Berman, LLC

"I'm new to investing and have tried to read other investment books, but they were either too technical or too dry. The Billion Dollar Mistake was perfect—fun to read and easy to understand."
—Bonnie Rose, Actress

"The Billion Dollar Mistake does a superb job of combining thoughtful advice and entertainment in a unique style that grabs the reader's interest and educates. This book should be required reading for every business school educating students in the art of successful investing."
—Carlton Martin, Vice Chairman, Blaylock Robert Van, LLC

"Read this book and learn how to avoid financially debilitating investing mistakes. Weiss has delivered a great investment tool within a very engaging book."
—Spencer Sherman, author of The Cure for Money Madness and CEO, Abacus Wealth Partners, LLC

"Weiss's extensive Wall Street experience allows him to extract investment insight in a constructive way, even though he is analyzing a series of huge investment disasters. A most fascinating read."
—Alain Decoster, Founding Partner, ABS Investment Management LLC

Stephen L. Weiss has spent the last twenty-three years on Wall Street working for some of the industry's most prestigious firms. He is currently a Senior Managing Director and Head of Equities at an investment bank in New York City. Weiss started in institutional sales at Oppenheimer & Co., then moved to Salomon Brothers, where he eventually co-managed the firm's 500 person global research department and became a spokesperson for the equity division. Weiss also worked at SAC Capital, co-managing the firm for legendary hedge fund manager Steven Cohen. Subsequent to SAC, Weiss joined Lehman Brothers in senior management, helping to restore the once prominent equity business to the pinnacle of the industry.


Chapter 1 Kirk Kerkorian: Due Diligence is Due Every Time.

Chapter 2 David Bonderman: Does This Mean I Also Overpaid for the Rolling Stones?

Chapter 3 Aubrey McClendon: Falling on the Wrong Edge of the Two-Edged Leverage Sword.

Chapter 4 Bill Ackman: Detour from Discipline.

Chapter 5 Nick Maounis: "Trust, But Verify…."

Chapter 6 Leon Cooperman: The Pirate of Prague Meets the Prince of Princeton—and the Boy from the Bronx Gets Squeezed.

Chapter 7 Richard Pzena: Fashions Change, History Persists—or Does It?

Chapter 8 Geoff Grant: Style Drift—It's Hot Till It's Not.

Chapter 9 Volkswagen and Porsche: The Hare Finally Wins and the Shorts Get Squeezed.

Chapter 10 Chris Davis: It Was Dressed Like an Insurance Company, but It Didn't Quack Like One…

Chapter 11 Madoff Investors: Hook, Line, and Sunk.

Epilogue: Me Too: Mistakes I've Made and Lessons I've Learned.



About the Author.