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How Paul Samuelson Really Got Rich

Over at Economic Principals, David Warsh reveals little-known facts about Paul Samuelson‘s acuity as an investor and his involvement in an early hedge fund called Commodities Corp.: “Long famous for the fortune that his pioneering textbook earned him after 1948, it turns out that Samuelson may have made more money as an investor than as an author. He was both smarter?and richer than is generally understood: as an investor, a bigger winner, perhaps, than the more volatile John Maynard Keynes.” In addition to his involvement as an investor, Samuelson researched the industry. “He learned that most stock-pickers were not very good; hence his growing and widely-communicated enthusiasm for index funds. He learned not to influence with his macroeconomic view the good traders with whom he dealt, for the best of them somehow had the knack to go beyond what was already in the financial pages. In time, he learned how at least some of them did it.” [%comments]