As a reminder, recently news broke out that a rogue genetically modified strain of wheat developed by Monsanto, had been found in an Oregon field late last month. But while modified food has long been a diet staple, this particular breed was the first discovery of an unapproved strain, and what made things worse is the lack of any information how the rogue grain had escape from a field trial a decade ago. As Reuters reports, “even after weeks of investigation, experts are baffled as to how the seed survived for years after Monsanto had ceased all field tests of the product. It was found in a field growing a different type of wheat than Monsanto’s strain, far from areas used for field tests, according to an Oregon State University wheat researcher who tested the strain.”
It seems like there has been a steady stream of information and opinion flowing on breaking rules. Originally I had planned to talk about the pros and cons of breaking rules. I realized that would be a disservice. The following is not negotiable.
Day trader vs professional trader.
Rules are what separate a day trader from a professional trader. The only good time to break a rule is never. Barriers are made to be broken not rules, you can have one or the other not both. If you break a rule, what power does anyone of the other rules have? Do you have a rule for breaking rules and what if you break those rules? It adds unnecessary levels of complication.
The most important rule.
Eventually I will back traders assuming there is not some horrible tax or regulation that makes it a stupid risk. A trader must create their own rules. They know themselves the best. The rule that cannot ever be broken is losing more than limit down. I will fire them that day. I do not even like to take clients who break that rule. They are destined to fail. Read More
Mr. Buffett argues that such highly complex financial instruments [derivatives] are time bombs and “financial weapons of mass destruction” that could harm not only their buyers and sellers, but the whole economic system. Some derivatives contracts, Mr. Buffett says, appear to have been devised by “madmen”. In his letter Mr. Buffett compares the derivatives business to “hell…easy to enter and almost impossible to exit”…
He might be rich, but let’s face it: he is one manipulative character.
Having read Kurzban’s Why everyone (else) is a hypocrite, I am convinced that the left brain/right brain split is a gross oversimplification of the brain’s functional organization. Nonetheless, sometimes simplifications work well enough. For today’s post I’m going to share some thoughts from Robert Koppel’s 1996 book The Intuitive Trader: Developing Your Inner Trading Wisdom. It’s an extended argument for and a series of illustrations of using the right hemisphere to expand trading prowess.
The bulk of the book is a series of interviews with traders and those who worked with traders, many of whom predate my active involvement in the markets. Among the cast of characters are Bill Williams, Richard McCall, Charles Faulkner, Edward Allan Toppel, Ellen Williams, Linda Leventhal, Howard Abell, Tom Belsanti, and Peter Mulmat.
Here are a few disconnected excerpts that I thought worth passing along.
“[T]he experience of successful trading is subjective, unself-conscious, and intuitive. This state of mind, it seems to me, has more in common with the spirit of jazz—improvisational, automatic, and responsive to the riff—than with a well-articulated and analyzed process of decision making.” (p. 6)
“Some traders are still of the opinion that we ‘make’ profits and ‘take’ losses. The simple answer is: we make both. Loss has to be assumed in trading as inevitable not accidental.” (p. 19)
On the importance of ritual: The author describes one of the most successful CME floor traders who “after completing his trading card, as he puts it in his pocket, … always says, ‘Yeah.’ … [H]e developed this ritual because he sensed the feeling of letting down after he would have a loser. And he had to figure out some way within himself to be able to go on to the next trade with the same level of energy, resolve, and motivation that he would get from one good trade to the next good trade.” (p. 63)
In response to the question “Have you ever figured out what percentage of your trades are profitable?” Peter Mulmat answered: “No, I haven’t. I just look in terms of monthly performance. That’s kind of the criteria I use to gauge my performance. I find to go any shorter period of time is just frustrating for me.” (p. 188)