For the Love of Money: A Memoirby Published 19 Jul 2016
|For the Love of Money: A Memoir.pdf|
“Part coming-of-age story, part recovery memoir, and part exposé of a rotten, money-drenched Wall Street culture” (Salon), Sam Polk’s unflinching account chronicles his fight to overcome the ghosts of his past—and the radical new way he now defines success.
At just thirty years old, Sam Polk was a senior trader for one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street, on the verge of making it to the very top. When he was offered an annual bonus of $3.75 million, he grew angry because it was not enough. It was then he knew he had lost himself in his obsessive pursuit of money. And he had come to loathe the culture—the shallowness, the sexism, the crude machismo—and Wall Street’s use of wealth as the sole measure of a person’s worth. He decided to walk away from it all.
For Polk, becoming a Wall Street trader was the fulfillment of his dreams. But in reality it was just the culmination of a life of addictive and self-destructive behaviors, from overeating, to bulimia, to alcohol and drug abuse. His obsessive pursuit of money papered over years of insecurity and emotional abuse. Making money was just the latest attempt to fill the void left by his narcissistic and emotionally unavailable father.
“Vivid, picaresque...riveting” (NewYorker.com), For the Love of Money brings you into the rarefied world of Wall Street trading floors, capturing the modern frustrations of young graduates drawn to Wall Street. Polk’s “raw, honest and intimate take on one man’s journey in and out of the business…really gives readers something to think about” (CNBC.com). It is “compellingly written...unflinchingly honest...about the inner journey Polk undertakes to redefine success” (Forbes).
For the Love of Money: A Memoir Reviews
Couldn't make up my mind on this book. The first half of the book was so depressing that I didn't think I would finish.
This is the true story of a fat kid who was bullied as a kid, was verbally abused by his father, was an alcoholic and a drug addict, and addicted to porn all before age 21.
Even after all this he made it to the top of Wall Street and was a multi millionaire by 25. Even with this and a beautiful popular girlfriend he was still miserable.
Fortunately he finally realized that money would not make him happy. I feel like I have heard this before, but it is true.
He finally left Wall Street, found his true love, and started a charity organization. Even so I don't think this will ever be made into a Disney movie.
Overall an interesting book, but not a happy beach read.
An interesting look at the hedge fund world from an outsider perspective. While this was less of an analysis of the industry itself and more of a personal memoir of someone who doesn't fit the typical trader perspective, it's unflinching honest and heart made it a compelling read. The book was a little unevenly paced spending more time on the author's childhood than his years in high finance but other books have already provided a window into that world.
It's sad to be that so often ambition seems to be a binary choice, either devote every last bit of yourself to a job and never think of yourself or drop out completely and strike out on your own. I'm hopeful that as our culture continues to evolve, we will find more workplaces that embrace a balanced ideal. Those workplaces however, will likely not be in finance. Given the trends in automated trading it will be interesting to see what the future holds for finance and those who have empathy and emotion might actually be better placed for a world in which computers have a greater role.
I borrowed this book (thankfully didn't pay for it) based on the reviews and my interest in finance. I hoped it would be along the lines of Michael Lewis' books, but instead it seems to be a rather boring autobiography. The first half of the book barely mentions finance as it takes you through the author's extremely depressing childhood (struggling with domestic violence, being an identical twin, not being the 'right' weight etc).
If you like reading about the lives of individual traders and their entire backstory, then this might be a good book for you. If you want to read about trading, Wall Street, the financial markets etc. -even from the perspective of just one person - there are far better books out there.
I have always found that in all my reading there was at least one character that I could find redeeming. I couldn't find one in this book. This was fast reading, but I was filled with such
disgust for Mr. Polk. Obviously, he never read memoirs such as Glass Castle or any number of books where people had such tragic lives. I know people that grew up in foster homes and had horrible
"Woe is me" got quite boring. I just wanted to scream at him to "GROW UP!" I have no compassion for this author at all.
I couldn't put it down. This book is so inspiring, and makes you think about what your greater purpose is.