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“Fascinating, often amusing… one of those much-needed reminders that we are the architects of how we live.”

General Stanley McChrystal

Author, Risk, A User’s Guide

Soul in the Game is a beautiful way to search for the lost value of happiness, strength and health.”

Wim Hof

Author, The Wim Hof Method

Soul In The Game by Vitaliy Katsenelson

“Vitaliy knows how to tell a story. This book reads like a conversation with Vitaliy: deep, insightful, inquisitive and civilized.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Author, The Black Swan

“Vitaliy Katsenelson has been singled out by financial media for his brilliant investment strategies, but perhaps even more impressive are his philosophical writings.”

Carl Bernstein

Author, All the Presidents Men

Order today to get
4 entirely new chapters
(not found in the book)

Step 1: Order your copy of Soul in the Game

or order on Bookshop.org

Step 2: Claim your free bonus

Just forward your order receipt to bonus@soulinthegame.net to receive 4 new pieces (25 pages of content!)

  1. Fiddler on the Roof and Value Investing:
    A reflection on the creative process through the story of one of my favorite value investing pieces.
  2. On Why:
    The difference between wanting to accomplish something and the process of getting there + the importance of knowing your “why”.
  3. Data-Driven Hiring:
    A story of how we tried to turn an incredibly subjective and ineffective task into a data-driven process.
  4. The Chess Saga Continues:
    How Hannah’s growing passion for chess has led to friendships we  would have never otherwise made.

“Vitaliy knows how to tell a story. This book reads like a conversation with Vitaliy: deep, insightful, inquisitive and civilized.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Author, The Black Swan

Soul in the Game is a beautiful way to search for the lost value of happiness, strength and health.”

Wim Hof

Author, The Wim Hof Method

“Vitaliy Katsenelson has been singled out by financial media for his brilliant investment strategies, but perhaps even more impressive are his philosophical writings.”

Carl Bernstein

Author, All the Presidents Man

Wow! This is surprisingly good. Honestly I was suspicious (why should I listen to a money guy talk about life?) but I liked it a lot! Vitaliy brings an insightful, fresh perspective to the question of how to live life. He is caring and considerate, with a really engaging writing style.

Derek Sivers

Author, How To Live

About the book

Soul in the Game is a book of inspiring stories and hardwon lessons on how to live a meaningful life, crafted by investor and writer Vitaliy Katsenelson. Drawing from the lives of classical composers, ancient Stoics, and contemporary thinkers, Katsenelson weaves together a tapestry of practical wisdom that has helped him overcome his greatest challenges: in work, family, identity, health – and in dealing with success, failure, and more.

 

Part autobiography, part philosophy, part creativity manual, Soul in the Game is a unique and vulnerable exploration of what works, and what doesn’t, in the attempt to shape a fulfilling and happy life.

or order on Bookshop.org

A fascinating, often amusing, occasionally jarring journey – just like life itself. Vitaliy Katsenelson’s Soul in the Game is one of those much-needed reminders that although we have no control over when we’re born or when we’ll die, we are the architects of how we live.

General Stanley McChrystal

Author, Risk: A User’s Guide

I vividly remember the moment when I decided to write this book. Now, looking back at it, I am very proud of this moment as it was a completely selfless one.

Let me tell you what happened. It was early in the morning of August 10th, 2020. I had just finished writing an essay. At the time I didn’t have a title for it, but in the book it’s called “Creative Rollercoaster”.

This essay started out as a short note about Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence that was going to accompany one of my investment articles. As I started reading about this piece, I was touched by the emotional rollercoaster Tchaikovsky suffered when he composed it. I caught myself thinking that Tchaikovsky’s emotional journey looked very familiar. I don’t compose music, but I write. Both are creative processes where you try to fish content out of your subconscious. What started as a short piece that was going to accompany music started to turn into a lengthy essay about creativity and writing. After I finished writing it, I realized that this essay could actually help others. But this was not the only life (non-investment) essay I had written. What if I put the life essays I had written over the last fifteen years into a book? This selfless thought “it could help others” is the one I am proud of.

I started looking through my essays. I was going to self-publish them. Nine days later I received an email from Craig Pearce, an editor at Harriman House, a British publisher that had published books by my friends Lawrence Cunningham and Morgan Housel. Craig and I had communicated a few years earlier about possibly publishing an investment book I was working on, Intellectual Investor. (I have yet to finish it.)

I told Craig that I was working on a very different book and sent him a sample. I was expecting a very polite (he is British, after all) response along the lines of “Vitaliy, this looks great. Good luck!” To my surprise, Harriman House expressed interest in publishing it. Now I was a bit confused. I started to question their sanity. I thought there must be something wrong with them. What kind of joint could they be running if they wanted to publish this?

I reached out to Lawrence and Morgan and asked them about their experience with Harriman House. Harriman House had just published Morgan’s Psychology of Money, which became an international bestseller and quite deservingly sold a million copies. Both gave Harriman House glowing reviews and confirmed that there was nothing wrong with either Craig or the publisher.

I was excited to get the book out into the world, and we agreed to a publishing date of March 2021. We were in the middle of the lockdown, so I had plenty of time on my hands. I worked mornings, evenings, and weekends on the book. At first, I was mostly rewriting existing published and unpublished essays. Then the writer in me took over and I wrote many new ones.

Everything was going according to plan, and then…

Well, I stumbled on Stoicism. It was love at first sight. I wanted to learn and to write about it and share it with the world. I told Craig that this detour might take a few months. I read everything I could get my hands on. This ended up delaying the book by about a year, but I don’t regret it. I ended up writing a book inside a book about Stoic philosophy.

Soul in the Game – The Art of a Meaningful Life ended up being a very personal and autobiographical book. But I truly hope that despite its being personal, Soul in the Game becomes not my but your book. I can only hope that I carried the selfless intention that triggered me to write it throughout the book.

I am finally directly impacted by the pandemic. Normally it takes four weeks to do a print run of a book. Thanks to Covid, and for reasons that are still unclear to me, it now takes four months. If the hardback sells out in June it will take until September to get new copies printed.

That’s why I strongly encourage you to order it now – otherwise you may need to wait until September.

Plus, if you order and send your confirmation to bonus@soulinthegame.net, I’ll send you four entirely new chapters (25 pages of content) to read now.

or order on Bookshop.org

Nothing less than a manual on how to live a good and meaningful life and achieve those most elusive and yet desirable of all states: balance and selfmastery. This book has changed me, and it will change you as well.

Robert Greenberg

Composer and Author,
How to Listen to Great Music

Vitaliy has captured much of the awe I hold for composer creators and he uses that insight to offer positive, constructive steps for us today who want to live life to the fullest.

Marin Alsop

Music Director Laureate,
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Vitaliy Katsenelson’s engagingly readable life-a-log, Soul in the Game, parses so many spirits it will benefit most everyone. Wisdom, life-long learning, human capital, struggles, music composers, immigrant life, philosophy, family life, stoicism and so much more—presents for everyone in 76 enjoyable bite sized bursts. Have fun!

Ken Fisher

Founder & Executive Chairman,
Fisher Investments

Superb guidance on how to unravel what’s really important in life. There’s a gem of wisdom in each short, snappy chapter.

Professor Jeremy J. Siegel

Professor of Finance, Wharton School, and Author, Stocks for the Long Run

Touching, honest and insightful—it’s hard to put this down

Morgan Housel

Author,
The Psychology of Money

Part eclectic autobiography of a diverse life, part endorsement of critical thinking, part investing principles, and part how-to guide on how to be a complete human. Soul in the Game is always interesting, often funny, and at times profound.

Greg Maffei

CEO, Liberty Media

Vitaliy Katsenelson has been singled out by financial media for his brilliant investment strategies, but perhaps even more impressive are his philosophical writings. Soul in the Game is no ordinary self-help tome. I’ve never read anything quite like it: a collection of wonderful observations and insights about Vitaliy’s native Russia (he emigrated to the US in the 1990s), parenting, living one day at a time, and – especially – creativity: in business, classical music, and art. Vitaliy’s life is an integrated one, from which we can all draw some surprising and (like his investment approach) contrarian notions. This book is worth anyone’s time.

Carl Bernstein

Author, All the President’s Men

Reader Reviews on Amazon

Kindle Customer
Kindle Customer
August 24, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: Inspiring Inspiring book and great author
actorbat
actorbat
August 19, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: Art, philosophy, finance It took me a moment to get into the rhythm of this book and I am glad that I invested the time to stick with it, because it is worth it. Mr. Katsenelson follows his own path in the story and structure of this book. Since the path is his own some may choose to step off because it does not heed the norms of the market. When I reached the end I had the realization that Mr. Katsenelson compiled this book with the insights of his stoic philosophy practice. The book is insightful and well worth the investment of time. I would definitely recommend this to friends.
Rahul S.
Rahul S.
August 16, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: I could not put the book down I had heard Vitaliy on the Hidden Forces podcast and found the conversation very informative and enjoyable. I was a bit skeptical about whether I would like the book since it was more than just about investing. I should have know. I could not put the book down. My wife started reading it too and she too could not put it down. Loved the stories that gives insights into who Vitaliy is as a person and what made him.
jeff wilson
jeff wilson
August 8, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: One of the best books I have read in a while Recently I subscribed to Vitaliy’s blog, contrarianedge.com. Expecting an investment blog, it tuned out to be much more. I purchased his book, “Soul in the Game”. I was so impressed with “Soul”, that I started to read all of the books he mentioned.
Al Cors
Al Cors
July 31, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: A fine book that you will enjoy reading and re-reading. Soul in the Game is a fine book that you will enjoy reading and re-reading. The author, Vitaliy Katsenelson, is a well-respected, value-oriented investment manager. His first two books, Active Value Investing and The Little Book of Sideways Markets, are both well worth reading as well. This book, unlike many investment books that promise to make you rich, will almost certainly make your life richer.Soul in the Game is not an investment book per se, although there are various parts of it that will help you to become a better investor. Rather, Soul in the Game is a fascinating mosaic that begins with Vitaliy’s personal and family story (Born in Russia, Made in America), and continues with deep insight about being a better person in every respect. The book highlights a very useful grounding in the history and daily application of the Stoic Philosophy; great parenting stories; interesting and inspirational chapters about the creative process of a collection of amazing writers and composers of classical music; and a beautiful selection of his father’s paintings. This is a thoughtful book written with passion. I urge you to read it.
J. Lalonde
J. Lalonde
July 28, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: Great book Looking to live a meaningful life? Vitaliy helps you understand what it takes in his latest book. Highly recommended.
wndsrf
wndsrf
July 24, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: Gain wisdom and feel good at the same time Vitally is a money manager. His hobby is writing. I admire his money managing skill but I’m envious of his writing. I can’t even keep a journal. Over the years that I’ve followed him he has shared his pithy articles with his clients. Now he has gathered them into this very readable book so we can binge.He combines his money wisdom with his focused attention to family. A tale of the challenges of early life in Russia to the success story of coming to America. My children are grown but I wish I had read this when I was much younger. I will strongly encourage my children to read this for some pearls on how to live life and cherish family. Thanks Vitally for great lessons and delicious chicken soup.
J.N.
J.N.
July 24, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: Very enjoyable read - entertaining and informative The short chapters make it easy to pick up and read in short bursts. I liked learning about the author's life and how he came to his current position in the investment world. Also liked the introduction to Stoic philosophy, in laymen's terms.
bbrown
bbrown
July 24, 2022.
Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life: Personable insight to a challenging life Great read, highly recommend ,

About Vitaliy Katsenelson

Vitaliy Katsenelson was born in Murmansk, USSR, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1991. After joining Denver-based value investment firm IMA in 1997, Vitaliy became Chief Investment Officer in 2007, and CEO in 2012. Vitaliy has written two books on investing and is an award-winning writer. Known for his uncommon common sense, Forbes Magazine called him “The New Benjamin Graham.”

 

He’s written for publications including Financial Times, Barron’s, Institutional Investor and Foreign Policy. His articles are also published on his website, ContrarianEdge, and in audio format on his Intellectual Investor Podcast. Vitaliy lives in Denver with his wife and three kids, where he loves to read, listen to classical music, play chess, and write about life, investing, and music. Soul in the Game is his third book, and first noninvesting book.

Vitaliy Katsenelson

Soul in the Game is a wonderful compilation of cogent observations and life strategies, derived from the author’s unique personal journey. From classical music to the Classics themselves, Vitaliy Katsenelson both educates and inspires.

Jim Chanos

President, Kynikos Associates

A rare read worth relishing. Taking threads from markets, music, art, philosophy, personal history, and universal humanity, Vitaliy weaves a tapestry worthy of kings and teaches us how to “go long” the scarcest asset of all: making meaning.

Josh Wolfe

Founding Partner & Managing Director, Lux Capital

Vitaliy Katsenelson’s craft is investing, his art is writing and his passion is to live a meaningful life. All are abundantly in evidence in Soul in the Game. Part memoir, part meditation, part self-help, with mini courses on Stoic philosophy and classical music, this book is personal, quirky, and marvelous. Invest some time with Vitaliy and you will be richer for it.

Bill Miller

CIO, Chairman and Portfolio Manager,

Miller Value Funds

A wise and irreverent narrative, replete with humor, life lessons and philosophical insights, which amply demonstrates that being a successful investor and a compelling writer are not mutually exclusive.

Leon G. Cooperman

Chairman and CEO,

Omega Family Office

Table of Contents

01

Introduction – How to Read This Book

05

Student of Life
  • Born in Russia, Made in America
  • Soul in the Game
  • Speechless (Future) Father
  • Here She Is
  • This Is What Happiness Feels Like
  • Why Do I Torture My Kids… with Classical Music?
  • Reading and Listening
  • There Is No I in Hannah (But There Are Two in Vitaliy)
  • Girls’ Gambit
  • My Russian Book
  • Parents of La Mancha

57

Inhaling the World
  • I Left My Heart…
  • Santa Fe: “Remember This”
  • Inhaling Europe

77

One Day at a Time
  • I Don’t Eat Desserts
  • The 8%
  • My Crash
  • I Don’t Eat Pork
  • Attend a Party in Your Own Head
  • Dale Carnegie – Better Late than Never
  • You Are Responsible for What You Have Tamed
  • Set Your Egg Timer to Six Months
  • Personal Finance Advice That Changed My Life

113

Stoicism – The Philosophy for Life
Stoicism: Part 1 – Operating System
  • Knowing and Doing
  • Dichotomy of Control
  • Event, Judgment, Reaction Framework
  • Negative Visualization
  • Last Time
  • Reframing
  • Temporary Insanity
  • Each Day Is a Separate Life
  • What Others Think
  • Insults
  • In Beta
  • Go Ahead, Covet Your Neighbor’s Wife
  • The False Sophistication of Sophists
  • Creating Stoic Subroutines in the Subconscious
  • Cold (and Warm) Showers
  • You Want to Be? Do

172

Stoicism: Part 2 – Values and Goals

  • Material Success
  • Always Being Right
  • “If This, Then…”
  • A Twist: Applying “If This, Then…” to Form Habits
  • Good Values Start with Good Problems
  • What Pain Are You Willing to Sustain?
  • Good Values
  • Tranquility in Motion
  • A Story of Four Books
  • One More Thing

197

Soul in Creativity
  • Don’t Let Your Environment Control You
  • Time Does Not Scale
  • Abracadabra
  • Opera. Pain. And Investing. (Or, What We Should Learn From Pain)
  • On Writing
  • The AC/DC Effect
  • Creative Rollercoaster

243

Melody of Life
  • Why I Write About Composers
  • Tchaikovsky – Master of Emotions
  • In the Shadow of Others
  • How Franz Liszt Revolutionized the Piano and Classical Music
  • The Two Sides of Chopin
  • Fantastic Fantastique
  • Bruckner – Humble, Odd, Sex-Deprived Religious Fanatic

268

The Art of a Meaningful Life

279

Intermission –
Stop Eating Sugar

Order today to get
4 entirely new chapters
(not found in the book)

or order on Bookshop.org

A treasure trove full of bite-sized actionable wisdom.

Rolf Dobelli

Author, The Art of Thinking Clearly

The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself and in your
relationships. Vitaliy’s book is a big step forward in that direction. A must read!

Gautam Baid

Founder, Stellar Wealth Partners; Founding Creator, Chapter; and Author, The Joys of Compounding

Katsenelson is a learning machine. You will be inspired. Congratulations Vitaliy on your latest (and best) book.

Guy Spier

Author, The Education of a Value Investor

Vitaliy Katsenelson’s book is a delight to read and contains a great deal of sound advice, including some nice tips on applying Stoicism in daily life.

Donald Robertson

Author, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

I thought it would take me a week to read the book, but when I started I could not stop and finished it in a day! After reading, I feel like I have spent one day of my life together with Vitaliy conversing with him through his warm words. His writing style is entertaining and at the same time it engages with the mind of the reader, making you think deeply about your own life. In every chapter, in every sentence and word, you can feel Vitaliy really put his SOUL into it.

Héctor García
Bestselling Author, IKIGAI and A Geek in Japan

Contact Vitaliy