Your standard investor puts his money where his mouth is. A hedge-fund manager, on the other hand, puts someone else’s money where his mouth is, playing a high-risk, lightly regulated brand of stock-market poker. The potential rewards are huge. Ditto the potential disaster if the manager vaporizes millions of his clients’ bucks.

According to Andy Kessler in Running Money: Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Markets and My Hunt for the Big Score (HarperCollins Pub­lishers), hedgies endure years of red-eye flights, sudden palpitations, and sweaty palms — even if they succeed like Kessler, who averaged over 50 percent annual returns before closing the fund in 2001. Bouncing in and out of Inktomi, RealNetworks, General Magic, and other late-’90s bubble puppies, Kessler nicely conveys that omigod! rush of buying 50,000 shares at $3, watching the stock leap past $50, and bailing out at $80. Not for the faint of heart.
— Chris Tucker