[UCP Books]: Noise: Living and Trading in Electronic Finance by Alex Preda

"What leads normal people to trade stocks with their own money, even though they are likely to lose? If they keep losing, why don’t they quit? And how do we connect with people for whom some of their most important actions consist of tapping at a keyboard and staring at a screen? Preda reveals the hidden abode of the ‘noise trader’ in a sympathetic first-person account of this durable and even essential part of our financial markets."
—Jerry Davis, author of The Vanishing American Corporation



Living and Trading in Electronic Finance


Publication date: April 17, 2017 978-0-226-42748-5
International publication date: April 17, 2017 $35.00/£26.50


We often think of finance as a glamorous world, a place where investment bankers amass huge profits in gleaming downtown skyscrapers. There’s another side to finance, though—the millions of amateurs who log on to their computers every day to make their own trades. The shocking truth, however, is that less than 2% of these amateur traders make a consistent profit. Why, then, do they do it?

In Noise, Alex Preda explores the world of the people who trade even when by all measures they would be better off not trading. Based on firsthand observations, interviews with traders and brokers, and on international direct trading experience, Preda’s fascinating ethnography investigates how ordinary people take up financial trading, how they form communities of their own behind their computer screens, and how electronic finance encourages them to trade more and more frequently. Along the way, Preda finds the answer to the paradox of amateur trading—the traders aren’t so much seeking monetary rewards in the financial markets, rather the trading itself helps them to fulfill their own personal goals and aspirations.



Alex Preda is professor at King’s College London. He is the author of Framing Finance: The Boundaries of Markets and Modern Capitalism, also published by the University of Chicago Press, and coeditor of the Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Finance.

Please contact Ashley Pierce at (773) 702-0279 or apierce@uchicago.edu for more information.


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