James Harris Simons Quotes

James Harris Simons Quotes


I’ve always felt like something of an outsider, no matter what I was doing.


We started to think about a whole new way to look at futures.


To myself, I have said, ‘I’m 62; by the time I’m 65, I’d like to pass the baton.’


Our trading models actually tend to be contrarian often buying stocks recently out of favour and selling those recently in favour.


God gave me a tail to keep off the flies. But I’d rather have had no tail and no flies.

Teaching math and science ought to be a professional activity in which those professionals are well-paid and happy to do that as a career.

I was always interested in math, even when I was a very little kid.


Past performance is the best predictor of success.


It’s supply and demand. If gold is discovered, then it gets harder to make money mining gold because everyone’s competing with you.

It’s difficult to run a business and be so consumed with another passion.


We treat these funds as instruments. But unlike the deutsche mark, managers change their character over time. It’s messier to model those time series, but it’s not impossible. We do our best.


I’ve always believed if there’s going to be a hit – take it and then go on about your business.


Once in a while the phenomena we exploit are particularly present. We like a reasonable amount of volatility. In our business we want some action.


I wasn’t the fastest guy in the world. I wouldn’t have done well in an Olympiad or a math contest. But I like to ponder. And pondering things, just sort of thinking about it and thinking about it, turns out to be a pretty good approach.


There’s no such thing as the goose that lays the golden egg forever.


Everything is to some extent a compromise. Not everything can be perfect.


We are not a teaching organization. We are a research organization. We hire people to make mathematical models of the markets in which we invest.


Had nothing to do with mathematics. Happily, more things went for us than against us.


Inversion was the kiss of death. The fund was unhedged with respect to the yield curve.


I found this whole process of speculation quite interesting, in particular I had gotten interested in currencies.


I like big round numbers. The papers call me the $100 billion guy.


good atmosphere and smart people can accomplish a lot.


The things we are doing will not go away. We may have bad years, we may have a terrible year sometimes. But the principles we’ve discovered are valid.


It’s always nice to see your work picked up by someone else and carried on.


Churn-Simons offers a route to solve Poincare’s conjecture, but it’s a difficult route, and there are other difficult routes.


One can predict the course of a comet more easily than one can predict the course of Citigroup’s stock. The attractiveness, of course, is that you can make more money successfully predicting a stock than you can a comet.



We have three criteria: If it’s publicly traded, liquid and amenable to modelling, we trade it.


We decided that systematic trading was best. Fundamental trading gave me ulcers.


We don’t want to give away our big secrets here.


They are less likely to accept an apparent winning strategy that might be a mere statistical fluke.


It was fun and successful. I’ve never really looked back… It was just a new leaf in the book.


I’m supposed to be retired. But I’m juggling a lot of things.