Blog Spotlight: Trader Feed

Another edition of our new series:  Blog Spotlight.

We put together a short list of excellent but somewhat overlooked
blog that deserves a greater audience. Expect to see a post from a
different featured blogger here every Tuesday and Thursday evening,
around 7pm.

Next up in our Blogger SpotlightTrader Feed, by
Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D. 

Brett is Associate Clinical Professor of
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University
in Syracuse, NY and author of The Psychology of Trading (Wiley, 2003).
As Director of Trader Development for Kingstree Trading, LLC in
Chicago, he has mentored numerous professional traders and coordinated
a training program for traders. An active trader of the stock indexes,
Brett utilizes statistically-based pattern recognition for intraday
trading. Brett maintains an archive of articles and a trading blog at Trading Psychology and a blog of market analytics at Trader Feed. His book, Enhancing Trader Performance,
is due for publication this fall (Wiley).




Today’s focus commentary looks at:   

Observations on Life and Markets   

• Investing is the most difficult of sports: nowhere else does one begin a career by opposing the world’s most accomplished professionals.

• Respect is the first casualty in lost love.

• Four industries dominate the economy:  hope, escape, protection, and convenience.

• Success is the point at which talent and skill meet opportunity.

• The aim of all trading education:  to encourage trading.

• The printing press democratized the acquisition of knowledge; the computer has democratized its dissemination.

• Date markets before deciding to marry them.

• Anatomy of a bad trade:  Hope, then despair.

• Love, once present, never dies.  It must be killed.

• Many a trader fears boredom more than loss, thereby experiencing the two in sequence.

• Work without talent is drudgery; talent without work is self-betrayal.

• Good traders master a market; great traders master markets.

• Goodness of character is measured in loyalty to others; greatness of character is measured in loyalty to principle.

• One encounters losing traders as often as one encounters losing golfers–and for much the same reason.

• Show me what a man loathes, and I will show you what he cannot accept in himself.

• Trading is the only sport in which the rules governing the players change constantly—and without notice.

• The essential message of Web 2.0:  Knowledge resides in minds, not just mind.

• Two traders: one increases size after a loss; the other gets smaller.  Both continue to lose.

• The absence of self-acceptance too often masquerades as the quest for self-improvement.

• Fidelity to purpose:  the mark of good investments and great investors.

• Talent is the better part of trading psychology.

• The foolhardy trade is the courageous trade held a few minutes longer.

• In all fields, performance belongs not just to the talented, but to the prepared.

• Self esteem is treating ourselves with justice, not kindness.

• Addiction:  when the desire to trade exceeds the desire to make money.






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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. whipsaw commented on Oct 17

    I don’t know Barry, this sounds like a lot of fortune cookie wisdom to me. The problem that these psychology guys have is that the insurance companies pretty much quit paying for them somewhere along the line since the way they see it, anybody who is screwed up but doesn’t need drugs can be handled by a MSW who works cheaper. So the psych’s didn’t have much of career path in the private sector unless they went into marketing or “performance coaching.”

    The performance coaching field seems fairly facile whether it involves athletics, sales, investing or something else. It’s one thing to pack the head of a 19 year old marine full of crap before he goes into combat and risks death, it’s another to use the same techniques cheer up some futures trader whose just had a bad run. If an adult is willing to pay to be told he is really okay, fine by me, but a lot of us might find the exercise to be needlessly silly.

  2. oldprof commented on Oct 18

    Whipsaw –

    I suggest that you spend a little time on the Trader Feed site before drawing such a facile conclusion.

    The site has a fascinating combination of market research, methods, and psychology. The psychology posts advance the behavioral finance literature in meaningful ways. It is important for traders to realize how these forces affect them…

    Take a look. I think you will find yourself agreeing that Barry is identifying a real winner here.


  3. Eclectic commented on Oct 18

    Those are fun to read. I’m a sucker for the philosophical and psychological stuff… I suppose it’s a reflection on my, to now, woefully short-changed life.

    Anyway, here’s one you can send back to the good doctor with my compliments:

    It’s often been observed here that Mr. Keynes stated that “markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

    Eclectic says: “…but they can’t remain irrational longer than a contented mind can stay resolute.”

  4. wcw commented on Oct 18

    With apologies to Joe Hayes and Jack Rhodes, I think you mean a “satisfied” mind.

    Whew — what a great song.

    Now, what were we talking about?

  5. ari5000 commented on Oct 18

    I bought Brett’s book. He’s a smart guy… but yeah — he kind of gives you that Holier-Than-Thou feeling.

    There’s a lot of gurus like Brett. He’s the anti-Cramer.

    Cramer is just pure emotion — the ID

    Brett intellectualizes every idea. His thoughts are all conundrums, onion layers, Yodaesque. – the superego

    In the end… I have no idea what he’s talking about.

    A typical statement is something like: Follow the momentum but master traders always fade the crowd.

    He loves the term “master” by the way. Like all these guys are sitting in castles making money while their serfs are out harvesting wheat.

    I give the book two and a half stars.

  6. Ben commented on Oct 18

    The good doc calls his blog Trader Feed. It’s hard to say exactly sure what it is he is feeding his traders. It tasted kind of like green peptibismol when I read it. I’ll definitely keep his blog in mind the next time I blow up a hedge fund.

  7. whipsaw commented on Oct 18

    per oldprof:
    “Take a look. I think you will find yourself agreeing that Barry is identifying a real winner here.”

    I have been to the site on several occasions in the past and never found anything especially useful or revealing there. I already have a behavorial finance tool, it’s called technical analysis and it tells me everything that I need to know about how traders act. I also do not need any assistance with introspection- if I get too carried away with myself, I lose money and if I lose discipline in the face of risk, I lose money- those very vivid events provide all of the boundaries I need.

    I would rate Trader Feed as “harmless” at worst, just not something I find compelling.

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