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A Stab at Fiction

I’m excited to announce the launch of my debut novel!

When I wrote my first book a decade ago, I didn’t expect it to get much attention, or sales. I was in the wrong country, of the wrong nationality, I had shunned social media and was nearly invisible on the internet. On top of these obstacles, I tried out a whole new style of writing trading books.

It was quite shocking when I saw that book take off and hit the number one slot on the international best seller lists. The best part of this was the doors it opened and the people I got to meet and hang out with.

Back in the 90’s, when I started trading, I read all the usual books at the time, by and about the top traders in the world. These people were rock stars to us young traders. And because of my book, a couple of decades later, I started finding myself hanging out with them over a dinner and drinks or sharing a stage at a conference. Back in 2019, when the world still had conferences, I was sitting by one of two tables up on a stage, signing books for a few hundred people. At the other table was someone featured in the original Market Wizards.  That made me pause and think.

My first book was meant to be a once-off, but it was simply too much fun to just stop. I followed up with my second books on stocks, and that too sold really well and got translated into eight languages. My third book was quite technical, explaining how to use Python for backtesting financial models. That’s a really narrow topic and now I was expecting quite low sales. To my surprise, Trading Evolved outsold both my previous books.

Most authors had at least one commercial or critical failure. I’ve been incredibly lucky to avoid that fate. I’m having fun writing the books and I’m having fun traveling the world to talk about them at conferences and events. I’ll probably keep writing for as long as it’s fun.

A few years ago I was speaking at a conference in New York, when someone during the Q&A session asked me if I make a lot of money from my books. My personal brand of humor being somewhat of an acquired taste, I deadpanned “To my knowledge, the only way to make serious money from books is to write about vampires, wizards or bdsm, and sadly I lack sufficient experience in either topic.

I figured it would be clear which three books I was referring to, in particular that last one which was annoying in the news all the time back then. But of course, my attempt at a joke fell flat and the room got dead quiet, and now I’m the weird European who just said that word on stage, in a recorded presentation… Oh well.

Inside Every Non-Fiction Author, there is a Fiction Author Trying to get out

If I had a penny for every time someone told me that they’re writing a novel, I would have… a lot of pennies. Writing a non-fiction book is fairly easy. If you know your subject matter, you just write down your thoughts. That’s why I picked an informal style of writing for my trading books. That way, I can type fast, by simply writing it as if I’m sitting across the table, explaining things to the reader.

Writing a novel is a whole different thing. There’s practically nothing in common with writing as simple as a trading book, and attempting an actual novel. It took a few years and it took a lot of time and effort. But now it’s finished, ready for the judgement of the readers.

I knew that I had a nearly inexhaustible supply of absurd anecdotes and experiences after a few decades in high finance, but I have no interest in compromising anyone out there, naming names and writing narrative non-fiction. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t do that as well as Turney Duff already did.

What I have written is a work of fiction. One which will introduce you to a very real high finance world, a place with rules of its own. A place that very few are ever admitted into, ever allowed to visit.

My novel plays out over a single week, in the financial center of the Zurich Old Town. It follows an American expat, a disgraced hedge fund manager who found the perfect place to set up his little family office. It was a great place to lay low, a place where no one cared about his past, a place where he could be a big fish in a small pond. Until she showed up. Until that Monday morning meeting that would change everything.

They say that you should write what you know. This is a world that I have lived and breathed for decades. And if you let me, I’ll take you on a ride and give you a tour of my world.


  1. Is Duff’s “Buy Side” still a relevant read having been written in 2013?

    Re naming names, etc…. how about Roger Lowenstein’s books? I’ve read several, and liked them all…

    I think your dry humor should make for an entertaining novel, so I’m interested… but as a 70 yr old with lingering ADD, can’t you find someone to read it for us Audible users? I’m not quite ready for the nursing home with a caretaker reading the print version yet… unless, or course, she’s… um… never mind…

    And, having corresponded with you on your website a few times, I hope you included Guybrush Threepwood as a character….

    • Buy Side is brilliant and perhaps the bravest book I’ve ever read. If you want to see the dark side of the seemingly glamorous hedge fund world, you’ll find no better source.

      I tried writing A Most Private Bank straight up, as a hard boiled mystery novel, but I wasn’t able to keep my weird sense of humor completely out of it. The jokes are hidden and I suspect many readers won’t even notice them, which is exactly what I aim for.

      Much of my new book is very true to life. Characters have been combined, events compressed and details changed, but for those who pay attention it may actually be a more valuable lesson in finance than my previous books.

      There’s actually a juvenile gag in one of my previous books that I’m guessing few ever found. If I recall correctly, I was making a point about how you shouldn’t buy stocks just because you enjoy the products the company makes. I illustrated this point with something like, “The fact that you enjoy their products has no impact on your ability to predict the direction of the stock price, as so many enthusiastic buyers of Private Media Group found out the hard way.”

      For those who don’t fall into the Venn diagram of being Swedish and older than 40, Private Media Group was a Swedish porn company which got a lot of attention back in the 90s when it was the first of it’s kind to get a Nasdaq listing. As far as I remember, they went belly-up in the dot com crash…

      Oh, and I’d love to do an Audible book. The issue I have is that Amazon hates Switzerland and won’t let any Swiss residents or companies sign up to ACX. That’s Amazon’s audiobook creation site, which has a de facto monopoly.

      Amazon’s war against Switzerland is getting increasingly ridiculous. A few days ago, I had to drive to Germany just to pick up author copies of A Most Private Bank, since Amazon refuses to ship to Switzerland…

      • “The fact that you enjoy their products has no impact on your ability to predict the direction of the stock price, as so many enthusiastic buyers of Private Media Group found out the hard way.”

        Haaaaa! As I read the remark, I thought you might be referring to Peter Lynch’s “One Up On Wall Street” book, wherein among other nuggets of (fools) gold he explained how he discovered one of his ten-baggers by noticing the L’eggs displays popping up in various stores…

        I had no idea Amazon had a vendetta against Switzerland… if it didn’t create a hassle for you Swiss, I’d say just consider it a badge of honor… unfortunately, the ultra wealthy and/or monopolistic enterprises (Amazon, MicroSoft, Google, Twitter, et al.) of our time can pick their enemies or adversaries, and punish/harass them, with impunity. So, alas, I’ll just have to read your book…

      • The Amazon war is taking rather silly proportions at times. The gist of it is that Switzerland asked Amazon to handle sales tax and customs duties when they ship to this country, just like every other company does with their imports. Jeff doesn’t like taxes, and… you see where that’s heading.

        Luckily for me, I have about 40 minutes drive to Germany where I have a c/o address with a logistics company.

  2. Hello Andreas,
    since I enjoyed reading your other books I thought of giving it a try, although I prefer non-fiction books.
    But I refuse to buy it on amazon, to be honest, I’m an Amazon-hater from the bottom of my heart. Will it be available on other platforms as well?

    • Hi Oliver,

      The book is available in most online bookstores, and hopefully many physical shops.

      As a Swiss (officially since half a year!), I have all kinds of reasons not to be entirely happy with Amazon, but as an author there’s little choice. In the past ten years of writing books, I’d guess about 90% of sales are through Amazon. Still, I can’t even get them to ship a copy of my own book to me here in Switzerland. I have to drive up north to your state to fetch them, in Konstanz…

      Anyhow, while I’d expect the bulk of sales to be via Jeff, you can buy the book from a whole bunch of other places.

      I have good experiences myself with this shop:

      Here’s a list of shops that should have it: (Some have in store, others seem a little slow to stock it)

      United Kingdom & Europe
      Book Depository Ltd
      Books Express
      Coutts Information Services Ltd
      Designarta Books
      Eden Interactive Ltd
      Trust Media Distribution (formerly STL)
      Mallory International
      Paperback Shop Ltd
      The Book Community Ltd
      Wrap Distribution

      United States & Canada
      E-commerce companies
      Barnes & Noble
      Independent bookstores
      Chapters / Indigo (Canada)

      Australia & New Zealand
      Amazon AU
      The Nile
      James Bennett
      Peter Pal

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