The Offense and Defense of Trading

Trading is hard. This far-flung, never-ending electronic poker game serves up a mental challenge unlike any other. Anything can happen at any time. It looks like a numbers game but it's really a people game. The data are numbers but the information is in the relationships between, and the implications…

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Develop the Instincts for Trading

“I got them all wrong” exclaimed one private equity portfolio manager. “Ha! Right!” said another Chief Investment Officer when I suggested that the pattern recognition skills embedded in succeeding with the Bloomberg Tradebook Trader Brain Exercise (TBX > GO) resembled private equity decisions. With almost ten thousand players, this exercise/game illustrates an underlying…

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Solve that Cleveland Sports Curse

UPDATE June 20, 2016: I am SO glad the Cavs won! Thrilled. Elated. Vindicated. Ecstatic. Relieved. Joyous. Shocked... not necessarily in that order. Maybe someday I will get to interview LeBron about the cycle of emotions he experienced and used to create this incredible historic victory! UPDATE June 17, 2016:…

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Recover from a Trading Mistake through Writing

A few weeks ago, I attended the annual meeting of The Social and Affective Neuroscience Society (SANS) - a seemingly unlikely place to figure out how to resolve a trading mistake! Those who follow me know I am not only a closet academic but that many of the advanced trading psychology…

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Nailing Better Trade Exits

Do you realize that almost no matter where you exit a trade, you are going to feel bad? If the trade is a winner, you wonder if you could have gotten more out of it or why you gave back part of what you had. It's like a winner is…

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Empathy and Intuition, Two Key Trading Thinking Styles

Two separate studies interviewing close to 200 successful portfolio managers and traders confirm what Jason Voss and Ravhee Mehta have reported in their books The Intuitive Investor and The Emotionally Intelligent Investor. Being able to read the feelings of other market participants, a form of empathy, and being able to…

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Brain Turns Statistics into Emotion!

In technical terms, the researchers call this projected emotion, "anticipatory affect". In simple terms, the results of this meta-analysis of the brain's reaction to probabilities in risk goes like this: 1. A trader or PM takes in information about the expected mean, variance or skewness of a trade. 2. The…

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