What is interesting about trading and investing is that its participants largely think that the things they experience are unique in some way when in reality they have simply found another mechanism for expressing all the foibles of being human (read stupid). These displays of being all too human result in traders being subject to a profound degree of magical thinking – even those who think they are evidenced-based. Each new indicator or tool is eagerly awaited and each new piece of software slavishly bought and installed because if your moving average is given a new name in the latest version of your charting package then it must be better than the last one.
Traders think that this sort of behavior is idiosyncratic to them in that wonderfully self-absorbed way that they think that they are special in some way. However, idiocy and the attraction of the novel is standard human behavior. Consider this odd contraption below which is apparently a piece of exercise equipment.
When you read the blurb for it you get the usual platitudes such as save time, save space, and the one that always gets people…..space-age technology. Chuck in an endorsement by a former astronaut and you have a recipe for people stumping up over $4M. So why is this sort of behavior similar to what traders do? It’s simple – everything that that this gizmo is supposed to do can be done using your body weight and a set of resistance bands you can get from Rebel Sport. The lure of the newfangled is not confined to traders nor is the search for magic. My guess is that the majority of these things will end up stored neatly away under the bed right next to the home treadmill which was last year’s big thing. Traders do the same thing when they scour forums looking for magic toys to make their trading better when they actually have the magic close at hand. They just don’t seem to know where to look to find it. Or perhaps more accurately couldn’t be bothered putting in the work to find it. Much like people who buy pieces of exercise equipment that they think will magically reverse years of not exercising with no work at all.
So if your after a magic piece of exercise equipment for Christmas and something that neatly sums up just how dim people can be look no further than this piece of vintage finery.