“I return from holiday rested and relaxed, to quote Ben Lichtenstein, “I have tasted the sweetest Mediterranean tomatoes brought to me by dusky maidens and washed down with oaky red wine in the shade of orange trees, I have felt real warmth from the sun on my skin again.” Pulling up a chart once more, and looking at the comments to my previous post, I am full of good will. I have set aside my weapons of war and my heart has turned to love.

I do not quite, however, see trading as some kind of sixties group hug, where there’s plenty of weed for everyone. The money has to come from somewhere after all. So where’s the love? There are so many beautiful trades, so little time. How to choose? I should explain that I am truly a romantic. I long for commitment, for a lasting relationship. I enter each trade with the same hopes, the same fervour, the same simple faith that our love might last forever, that we will trend and trend and never look back. Once the first flush of my passion is over and my first target filled, my second half is there for as long as my lovely companion continues to show interest. And I am quick to forget the sins of the past: if I have been hurt by Cupid’s arrows before, I myself have wounded too, and will happily embrace again yesterday’s lover.

On my return, I found that the languid Euro (I always see her as French don’t you?), has invited me to join her for the afternoon. Charmed, I accept her invitation, but find her at first quarrelsome then sleepy. I take what pleasure I can, but as she dozes, I notice the door push open and her pretty blond cousin from Switzerland winking at me and beckoning to join her. Perhaps all that mountain air gives her more energy, but I am pleasantly surprised by her enthusiasm while Euro sleeps, and even more so when she introduces me to a young American friend she has made, a certain Mini Dow from Chicago, who is eager for me to help her with her extraordinarily tight shorts. Naturally, we have met before. From the window I see that the fickle Miss Soy Bean has made other friends while I was away, and seems to have had a fine old time after kicking me out of her bed just before I left for my holiday. But I forgive her already. I love them all, and I know that despite our occasional tiffs, we will always make up.

Before I let my imagination go too far, or grossly offend anyone, I should perhaps say two things: first, I would like to assure you that I am neither a psychopathic killer nor a serial philanderer. This is all part of a game to engage the psyche with the human side of trading, to connect the flickering numbers and bouncing price bars with some of the real human feeling that this strange activity has such a capacity to generate. And yes, perhaps trading does touch on the darker side of our psyches. By acknowledging this I believe there is a chance we will become better traders.

Secondly, there are of course many metaphors for trading, and I certainly don’t see combat as the only one. I have found helpful comparisons with sailing (attention to currents, the tide, the strength of the wind etc), viticulture (trading is like harvesting a crop, a stroll through a vineyard in search of the ripest and juiciest grapes, much is wasted, but the wine at the end is worth it), skiing, paragliding, the list goes on. I am sure there are many ways of visualising the process, and each trader must find what rings his or her bell. Ultimately, trading is the Lottery of Babylon in Borges’s story – it is like life itself, filled with perverse rewards and punishments, a labyrinth of both startling simplicity and complexity. Recently, though, with Denise’s help, I have come to see a particular reality in metaphors that recognise the traders on the other side of my trade, and my attention to detail, my ability to use judgement to enter or exit a trade at the right moment is linked to that sense of my enemy’s strength or weakness, or of my lover’s enthusiasm or languor.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me, but I must go and get some flowers for Euro before she wakes up.”

Trader K