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The Zurich Axioms (Harriman Classics)

The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers

By Max Gunther

Paperback £14.99 / $19.99
eBook £12.99 / $14.99
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The Zurich Axioms (Harriman Classics)

The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers

By Max Gunther

Jacket text

Harriman Classics with a new foreword by James P. O’Shaughnessy

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 not avoid risk, nor court it foolhardily, but learn how 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 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.

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.


Foreword by James P. O'Shaughnessy

Introduction: What the Axioms Are and How They Came to Be

The First Major Axiom: On Risk

The Second Major Axiom: On Greed

The Third Major Axiom: On Hope

The Fourth Major Axiom: On Forecasts

The Fifth Major Axiom: On Patterns

The Sixth Major Axiom: On Mobility

The Seventh Major Axiom: On Intuition

The Eighth Major Axiom: On Religion and the Occult

The Ninth Major Axiom: On Optimism and Pessimism

The Tenth Major Axiom: On Consensus

The Eleventh Major Axiom: On Stubbornness

The Twelfth Major Axiom: On Planning

[The 16 Minor Axioms appear within each of the chapters on the Major Axioms]

Pages: 192
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9780857198631
ebook - ISBN 9780857198648
hardback - ISBN
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