The Luck Factor by Max Gunther Reviewed

The Luck Factor by Max Gunther Reviewed
Do you believe luck only happens to other people? In The Luck Factor: Why Some People Are Luckier Than Others and How You Can Become One of Them, author Max Gunther explains that luck can be what you make it. While there still may be a component of chance, he tells us that there are certain factors that can be played upon to increase our good fortune.

Gunther conducted years of research and interviews with people in an attempt to understand why some are lucky and some aren't. He concluded that there were certain traits lucky people had in common. He describes these factors as set of five principles which he calls The Luck Adjustment which consists of:
  1. The Spiderweb Structure: Basically, we're people who need people. If you haven't created a network of some sort or several networks, the number of opportunities that could come your way are significantly less than someone who gets their name out there.

  2. The Hunching Skill: This skill can and needs to be honed. It will help you know when to assert yourself to go after what seems to be—if not a sure thing—at least the best thing going.

  3. Audentes Fortuna Juvat: Otherwise roughly translated as "Fortune Favors the Bold." After you've developed the spiderweb and sharpened your hunching skill, you're now ready to pounce on the opportunity in your path.

  4. The Ratchet Effect: You've heard of the gambler who couldn't quit because he just knew the next hand would be the winner. If all the signs and circumstances are telling you to cut your losses, you need to seriously take that into consideration.

  5. The Pessimism Paradox: Gunther's Pessimism Paradox is what I consider cautious optimism with action tendencies. Through his research, he found that the seemingly most lucky people were also pessimists, not doom and gloom depressives, but they weren't wish masters either. They know that bad things happen to good people and so they prepare for the worst. They didn't assume the worst would happen. They simply understood that it could and worked to lessen detrimental effects of bad times.
Max Gunther's humor and common sense style is infused in every one of the five points above. He explains these principles anecdotally by sharing examples of people he interviewed who either exemplify one of the luck factors or the opposite.

He also includes a brief introduction as to theories about luck including randomness, psychic events and synchronicity. He interjects some of his opinions but generally leaves it up to the reader to decide what the biggest influences are on lucky people.

About the Author

The author was born in England in 1927 and moved with his family to America as a child. He passed away in 1998 but has left a legacy of 26 books including the Zurich Axioms—a bestseller about investments and trading. His books about luck—this one and How to Get Lucky: 13 Techniques for Discovering and Taking Advantage of Life's Good Breaks were also extremely popular.

Even though the The Luck Factor was first published in 1977, I think his insights are still useful today. Gunther's practical, action-based approach to attracting, keeping and riding waves of luck—is refreshing even after decades. This is a fun, easy and engaging read which may help you reevaluate how you react to life events to tilt the odds of good fortune in your favor.

I checked this book out of my local library and have not been compensated by the publisher for this review. It is also available to purchase from

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