The Days it Goes One Way

Today is one of those market days when the price goes basically one way. For some, these days can be their best money makers – they know how to push the pedal to the metal when the time is right. For others, they tend to be their worst days – the think they have missed [...]

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Discard What You were Taught about Your Brain

In the past few days, as the markets have swung wildly from the proverbial trees, I have had the occasion to be interviewed by a number of journalists. The questions underscore how much the general public has yet to learn about what the experts know about the brain. For example. 1) Your brain will NOT [...]

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The Vacuum of Context – the S&P Downgrade

As we get ready to watch markets on the other side of the globe open, it might be helpful to think about how we think. Our brains use both the social and emotional context of a situation to decipher its true meaning. But what happens when something completely new happens? For all practical purposes, no [...]

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The Affective Landscape of Trading

First, you start out with the fact that all incoming information of markets amounts to an ambiguous soup. In other words, no matter what you do, you can’t escape the ambient uncertainty… yet many researchers and thinkers (Keynes and Ellsberg for two) have shown that we shy away from ambiguity and uncertainty… Next, when you [...]

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An Infuriating Scam …. trader abuse.

THIS JUST CAME IN AN EMAIL TO ME…. makes me livid. For now I have removed the header…. is it just the relentless rain? 1) Turn on the computer in the morning (9:15 AM EST) 2) Place an order at the “Bounce Line” 3) Make money 4) Turn off computer at 11:00 AM EST 5) [...]

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Raj’s Possible Fractal Unconscious Psychology

Like Madoff, who one could argue wanted to be liked and to feel part of the in-crowd more than anything, if you ask yourself what would Raj’s unconscious motivation be, the ironic answer probably revolves around wanting to feel like an insider! Without talking directly to him, one can only speculate but when you ask [...]

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Subjective Expected Utility

How many traders realize that the better models of decision making rely on a foundation of subjectivity? In other words, don’t most of us on or around Wall St. think that we are supposed to be trading via a maximum value, maximum utility or “rational man” model? I mean that surely is what I thought [...]

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Rainy Day and Mondays….

Fortunately or unfortunately, I am old enough to remember this song. Unfortunately or fortunately, my memory however isn’t completely sure whether it was Karen Carpenter or not…. But in any event, the point I want to make is that Mondays and particularly Mondays after a holiday sit within one of the many special contexts of [...]

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“Reading” markets

Generally traders, analysts and expert commentators focus purely on numbers when it comes to markets. Rarely do they /really/ look at why they do. Take the news numbers – like consumer sentiment or housing starts… why does anyone care? Well because it gives a glimpse into what people are feeling or doing right? What if [...]

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Why Did I Do That? Again!??

Having had the privilege to coach hundreds if not thousands of traders in my roles as first a trading desk manager and then as a mental trading coach, I can promise you that not matter how much capital someone is trading – $10,000 or over a billion dollars – everyone regularly asks “why the H*() [...]

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