Chapter 1

Mark Yusko

What It Takes to Be the Best

IN 2004, a twenty-one-year-old New York University student named Hakan Yalincak told the world he was going to run a hedge fund. With his mother, Ayferafet, he rented office space in Greenwich, Connecticut, and filled it with computers, fancy furniture, and Bloomberg terminals. They hired temps to man the screens. Wealthy investors paraded through the offices to check out the boy wonder and were told the story of a young stock-picking genius born into a wealthy Turkish family worth $800 million. The mother-son duo raised more than $7 million.

Yalincak never bought any stocks. Instead, prosecutors said he used the money to purchase a Porsche and expensive jewelry and gave $1.25 million—the first ...

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