I have often written that courage is an underrated commodity in trading. In fact it is rarely mentioned. Most of  the time the psychological toughness required to trade is ignored by people in the trading education business. It is spoken about by actual traders but those on the sell side of the business rarely if ever…

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When You Should Worry About Failure

We all fail, all the time. We might miss a call with a client because of an emergency work meeting, or miss that meeting because another project has suddenly become urgent. And then we (or our families) get sick, and we have to shift priorities around again. These unsystematic failures are benign, though. They reflect…

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The Delusions Of Others

Last year (been waiting a  few days to say that) I wrote about the lies we tell ourselves in order to successfully navigate our lives. Unfortunately, the propensity we have towards delusion means that we are also subject to the delusions of others. My guess is that this is part of the the in-built crowd…

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A Real-Life Trader Talks About “The Big Short”

What surprised you the most in the movie’s portrayal of the impending financial collapse?  It was surprising to me that some people, portrayed by Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale and others, actually got to the bottom of some of those mortgage products—figuring out that they were being fundamentally mispriced—when so many others didn’t. We had…

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Lies, Damned Lies And Ouselves

We all lie to ourselves – it is part of the human condition. Sometimes the lies are a simple  mechanism design to protect our ego’s. Sometimes they are  to create a more palatable or interesting narrative about our lives ala Walter Mitty. Occasionally they are designed to protect our psyche during turbulent moments when we…

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Being happy does not help you live longer

Call it the optimism fallacy. It’s widely thought that staying happy and stress-free helps keep you healthy. But a massive study on the link between mood and mortality suggests that happiness actually has no effect on death rates. Other research that has found the opposite must have been mixing up cause and effect, says epidemiologist…

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Music in the brain

Scientists have long wondered if the human brain contains neural mechanisms specific to music perception. Now, for the first time, MIT neuroscientists have identified a neural population in the human auditory cortex that responds selectively to sounds that people typically categorize as music, but not to speech or other environmental sounds. “It has been the…

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