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The Luck Factor (Harriman Classics)

Why some people are luckier than others and how you can become one of them

By Max Gunther

Paperback £14.99 / $19.99
eBook £12.99 / $14.99
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The Luck Factor (Harriman Classics)

Why some people are luckier than others and how you can become one of them

By Max Gunther

Jacket text

Max Gunther’s classic text with a new foreword by Gautam Baid.

Luck. We can’t see it, or touch it, but we can feel it. We all know it when we experience it. But does it go deeper than this? And if it goes deeper, does it do so in any way which we can harness to our own and others’ advantage?

Taking us on a fascinating tour through the more popular theories and histories of luck – from pseudoscience to paganism, mathematicians to magicians – Max Gunther arrives at a careful set of scientific conclusions as to the true nature of luck, and the possibility of managing it.

Drawing out the logical truths hidden in some examples of outrageous fortune (and some of the seemingly absurd theories of its origins), he presents readers with the concise formulae that make up what he calls the ‘Luck Factor’ – the five traits that lucky people have in common – and shows how anyone can improve their luck.

About the author

On that original tulip exchange in Amsterdam, one of Max Gunther's ancestors bought a hundred dollars' worth of bulbs in 1632 and paid a witch to insure the investment's success. By 1636 (so the story goes), Gunther's ancestor's bulbs were worth $150,000. So much for pedigree.

Max Gunther was born in England and emigrated to the US when he was 11. He attended schools in New Jersey and received his B.A. from Princeton University in 1949. He served in the U.S. Army in 1950-51 and was a staff member of Business Week from 1951 to 1955. He then served as a contributing editor of Time for two years. His articles were published in several magazines and he wrote several books, including The Luck Factor, How to Get Lucky, The Zurich Axioms, Wall Street and Witchcraft, The Very, Very Rich and How They Got That Way, and Instant Millionaires.


“Timid people confine their thinking to hard facts. Lucky people exhibit boldness and act on well-founded hunches. This book puts luck on your side.”

Colin Nicholson, author of Think Like the Great Investors

“Max Gunther’s works were the original inspiration for my book’s chapter on luck, chance, serendipity, and randomness. I am sure that readers will enjoy learning from this classic text just like I did.”

Gautam Baid, author of The Joys of Compounding

Media coverage

From Master Investor:

In the final part of the book Gunter says, “It is unlikely that your own personal views of luck have been changed radically since you started the book…” He goes on to say that wasn’t the purpose of the book but nevertheless, in my case, he is correct. I continue to hold the belief that… Read more »

Read More…


Foreword by Gautam Baid
The Quest

Part One: The Breaks
Chapter 1 - The Blessed and the Cursed
Chapter 2 - Two Lives

Part Two: Speculations on the Nature of Luck: Some Scientific Tries
Chapter 1 - The Randomness Theory
Chapter 2 - The Psychic Theories
Chapter 3 - The Synchronicity Theory

Part Three: Speculations on the Nature of Luck: Some Occult and Mystical Tries
Chapter 1 - Numbers
Chapter 2 - Destiny and God
Chapter 3 - Charms, Signs and Portents

Part Four: The Luck Adjustment
The Quest
Chapter 1 - The Spiderweb Structure
Chapter 2 - The Hunching Skill
Chapter 3 - "Audentes Fortuna Juvat"
Chapter 4 - The Ratchet Effect
Chapter 5 - The Pessimism Paradox

Published: 11/08/2020
Edition: 2nd
Pages: 240
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9780857198808
ebook - ISBN 9780857198815
audio - ISBN 0000000000040
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