O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

The Zurich Axioms: The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers

Book Description

If you want to get rich, no matter how inexperienced you are in investment, this book can help you. Its message is that you must learn neither to avoid risk nor to court it foolhardily, but to manage it - and enjoy it too. The 12 major and 16 minor Zurich Axioms contained in this book are a set of principles providing a practical philosophy for the realistic management of risk, which can be followed successfully by anyone, not merely the 'experts'. Several of the Axioms fly right in the face of the traditional wisdom of the investment advice business - yet the enterprising Swiss speculators who devised them became rich, while many investors who follow the conventional path do not. Max Gunther, whose father was one of the original speculators who devised the Axioms, made his first capital gain on the stock market at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Now the rest of us can follow in his footsteps. Startlingly straightforward, the Axioms are explained in a book that is not only extremely entertaining but will prove invaluable to any investor, whether in stocks, commodities, art, antiques or real estate, who is willing to take risk on its own terms and chance a little to gain a lot.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Publishing details
  3. Follow us, Like us, Add us
  4. Introduction
    1. What the Axioms are and how they came to be
  5. The First Major Axiom: On Risk
    1. Worry is not a sickness but a sign of health. If you are not worried, you are not risking enough.
    2. Minor Axiom I
    3. Minor Axiom II
    4. Speculative Strategy
  6. The Second Major Axiom: On Greed
    1. Always take your profit too soon.
    2. Minor Axiom III
    3. Speculative Strategy
  7. The Third Major Axiom: On Hope
    1. When the ship starts to sink, don’t pray. Jump.
    2. Minor Axiom IV
    3. Speculative Strategy
  8. The Fourth Major Axiom: On Forecasts
    1. Human behavior cannot be predicted. Distrust anyone who claims to know the future, however dimly.
    2. Speculative Strategy
  9. The Fifth Major Axiom: On Patterns
    1. Chaos is not dangerous until it begins to look orderly.
    2. Minor Axiom V
    3. Minor Axiom VI
    4. Minor Axiom VII
    5. Minor Axiom VIII
    6. Speculative Strategy
  10. The Sixth Major Axiom: On Mobility
    1. Avoid putting down roots. They impede motion.
    2. Minor Axiom IX
    3. Minor Axiom X
    4. Speculative Strategy
  11. The Seventh Major Axiom: On Intuition
    1. A hunch can be trusted if it can be explained.
    2. Minor Axiom XI
    3. Speculative Strategy
  12. The Eighth Major Axiom: On Religion and the Occult
    1. It is unlikely that God’s plan for the universe includes making you rich.
    2. Minor Axiom XII
    3. Minor Axiom XIII
    4. Speculative Strategy
  13. The Ninth Major Axiom: On Optimism and Pessimism
    1. Optimism means expecting the best, but confidence means knowing how you will handle the worst. Never make a move if you are merely optimistic.
    2. Speculative Strategy
  14. The Tenth Major Axiom: On Consensus
    1. Disregard the majority opinion. It is probably wrong.
    2. Minor Axiom XIV
    3. Speculative Strategy
  15. The Eleventh Major Axiom: On Stubbornness
    1. If it doesn’t pay off the first time, forget it.
    2. Minor Axiom XV
    3. Speculative Strategy
  16. The Twelfth Major Axiom: On Planning
    1. Long-range plans engender the dangerous belief that the future is under control. It is important never to take your own long-range plans, or other people’s, seriously.
    2. Minor Axiom XVI
    3. Speculative Strategy
  17. Other titles by Max Gunther
    1. All available from Harriman House