19 Quotes from the Book “Hedge Fund Market Wizards”

1. As long as no one cares about it, there is no trend. Would you be short Nasdaq in 1999? You can’t be short just because you think fundamentally something is overpriced.

2. All markets look liquid during the bubble (massive uptrend), but it’s the liquidity after the bubble ends that matters.

3. Markets tend to overdiscount the uncertainty related to identified risks. Conversely, markets tend to underdiscount risks that have not yet been expressly identified. Whenever the market is pointing at something and saying this is a risk to be concerned about, in my experience, most of the time, the risk ends up being not as bad as the market anticipated.

4. The low-quality names tend to outperform early in the cycle, and the high-quality names tend to outperform toward the end of the cycle.

5. Traders focus almost entirely on where to enter a trade. In reality, the entry size is often more important than the entry price because if the size is too large, a trader will be more likely to exit a good trade on a meaningless adverse price move. The larger the position, the greater the danger that trading decisions will be driven by fear rather than by judgment and experience.

6. Virtually all traders experience periods when they are out of sync with the markets. When you are in a losing streak, you can’t turn the situation around by trying harder. When trading is going badly, Clark’s advice is to get out of everything and take a holiday. Liquidating positions will allow you to regain objectivity.

7. Staring at the screen all day is counterproductive. He believes that watching every tick will lead to both selling good positions prematurely and overtrading. He advises traders to find something else (preferably productive) to occupy part of their time to avoid the pitfalls of watching the market too closely.

8. When markets are trending up strongly, and there is bad news, the bad news counts for nothing. But if there is a break that reminds people what it is like to lose money in equities, then suddenly the buying is not mindless anymore. People start looking at the fundamentals, and in this case I knew the fundamentals were very ugly indeed.

9. Buying low-beta stocks is a common mistake investors make. Why would you ever want to own boring stocks? If the market goes down 40 percent for macro reasons, they’ll go down 20 percent. Wouldn’t you just rather own cash? And if the market goes up 50 percent, the boring stocks will go up only 10 percent. You have negatively asymmetric returns.

10. If a stock is extremely oversold—say, the RSI is at a three-year low—it will get me to take a closer look at it.8 Normally, if a stock is that brutalized, it means that whatever is killing it is probably already in the price. RSI doesn’t work as an overbought indicator because stocks can remain overbought for a very long time. But a stock being extremely oversold is usually an acute phenomenon that lasts for only a few weeks. (more…)

Four Common Emotion Pitfalls Traders’ Experience and How to Solve Them

 

Peak performance in trading is frequently hindered because of the emotions a trader feels, and more importantly how their trading behaviors change based on those emotions. I have found that the following four emotional experiences have the greatest, direct impact on a trader’s ability to achieve higher levels of success.

 

1)      Fear of Missing Out

2)      Focusing on the Money and Not the Trade

3)      Losing Objectivity in a Trade

4)      Taking Risk Because you are Up (or down) Money

 Fear of missing out occurs when a trader is more afraid of missing an opportunity than they are of losing money. As a result, traders tend to overtrade in a desperate effort to ensure that they do not miss out on money-making situations. This overtrading can then potentially trigger an undertrading response if the traders experience a “trading injury” such as a big loss along the way. The way to solve this is first to accept the reality that you’re always going to miss out on something, somewhere. The second step is to establish game plans on paper and hold yourself accountable to executing those plans.

 Focusing on the money and not the trade limits performance because the trader quantifies their success based on their profit and loss data. As a result, when he or she is up or down a certain amount of money that they view as significant, they alter their trading behaviors regardless of what the actual, real trading opportunity is that is presented to them. The way to solve this is to quantify your success based on HOW you traded not HOW much you made on the trade. Did you have edge? Was it your pitch? Did you make a high-quality trade?

 

Losing objectivity in a trade occurs because traders develop emotional ties to their previous entry levels. The trader is no longer making trading decisions based on the trade, but rather based on how much they are up or down in the trade. The key to overcoming this is for the trader to continually ask him/herself, “Why am I in this trade?” and “If I was not in this trade right now, would I enter this trade long, short or do nothing?” (more…)

‘Trading To Win – The Psychology of Mastering the Markets’

1. Learn to function in a tense, unstructured, and unpredictable environment.
2. Be an independent thinker versus a conventional thinker.
3. Work out a way to handle your emotions and maintain objectivity.
4. Don’t rely on hope and fear in the conventional sense.
5. Work continuously to improve yourself, giving importance to self-examination and recognizing that your personality and way of responding to events are a critical part of the game. This requires continuous coaching.
6. Modify your normal responses to certain events.
7. Be willing to face problems, understand them, and recognize that they are in some way related to your behavior.
8. Know when problems can be resolved and then apply methods to solve them. That may mean giving up some control in order to gain a different control. It may mean changes in your personality, learning self-reliance, or giving up independence and ego to become part of a trading team.
9. Understand the larger framework in which trading occurs—how the complexity of the marketplace and your personality both must be taken into account in order to develop the mastery of trading.
10. Develop the right mind-set for trading—a willingness to commit to the kinds of changes in personal habits and beliefs that will drastically alter your life. To do this requires a willingness to surrender to the forces of the game. In order to be able to play at a maximum level, you have to let go of your ego and your need to have things your way.

7 Different common emotional mistakes:

7emotion

1. Emotional bias: the tendency to believe the things that make you feel good and to disregard things that make you feel bad. In trading terms, this means ignoring the bad news and focusing on the good news. It’s called losing objectivity; you don’t recognise when things go wrong because you don’t want to.

2. Expectation bias: the tendency to believe in things that you expect. In financial terms this means not bothering to analyse, test, measure or doubt the conclusion you expect or hope for. It is also known as the law of small numbers – believing in something with little real evidence.

3. The disposition effect: the tendency to cut your profits and let your losses run – the opposite of what a trader should be doing. Making small profits and big losses is a recipe for disaster.

4. Loss aversion: the tendency to value the avoidance of loss more highly than the making of gain. (more…)

Objectivity and Subjectivty in Trading

Trading forces us to interact with the market, where price is objective – everyone can see the same thing. But human nature makes us subjective, that’s just part of being human, seeing the world (and the market) through our own filter of beliefs, hopes, and fears.  

The way to maximize performance in a situation where the objectivity of the market interacts with human subjectivity is to understand how your own subjective filter operates.

We have to do this for a number of reasons, with the big one being that the market will trigger our psychological vulnerabilities – sometimes I refer to them as our unmet developmental needs….the need  for approval, etc.  As traders  we must  understand how our personal filter operates and how it shapes our view of the market. (more…)

5 Trading Pitfalls and how to Solve Them


Pitfalls
1. Focusing on the P & L

2. Losing objectivity while in a trade

3. Becoming emotional about a trade

4. Lacking confidence: exiting early, failing to put a trade on, not sizing up

5. Difficulty adapting to a changing market

Solutions
1. Quantify success base on the caliber of the trade (i.e. high quality entries/exits).

2. Continuously ask yourself, “is my original reason WHY I entered this trade still there?”

3. While you are in a trade, ask yourself, if I had no position on right now, what would I do? Buy? Sell Short? Do nothing? Then re-evaluate your trade size and direction.

4. Confidence should always come from within. Step#1: Write bullet list of data points proving WHY you are a skilled trader. Step #2: Prime yourself each morning by reading it over to yourself. Could be the most valuable 30 seconds you spend each day.

5. Flip your perspective by keeping track of what is not working (by default this tells you what IS working).

Keep your eye on the ball and your head in the game!

Ari Kiev – The 10 Cardinal Rules Of Trading

The Ten Cardinal Rules

1. Learn to function in a tense, unstructured, and unpredictable environment.
2. Be an independent thinker versus a conventional thinker.
3. Work out a way to handle your emotions and maintain objectivity.
4. Don’t rely on hope and fear in the conventional sense.
5. Work continuously to improve yourself, giving importance to self-examination and recognizing that your personality and way of responding to events are a critical part of the game. This requires continuous coaching.
6. Modify your normal responses to certain events. (more…)

9 Skills to be Acquired by Traders

1)Learning the dynamics of goal achievement so you can stay positively focused on what u want-not what u fear.

2)Learning how to recognize the skills you need to progress as a trader and then stay focused on the development of those skills,instead of the money ,which is merely a by product of your skills.

3)Learning how to adapt yourself to respond to fundamental changes in market condtions more readily.

4)Identifying the amount of risk you are comfortable with -your “risk comfort level”-and the learn how to expand is in a way that is consistent with your ability to maintain an objective perspective of market activity.

5)Learning how to execte your trades immediately upon your perception of an opportunity.

6)Learning how to let the market tell you how much s enough instead of assessing the potential from your personal value system of how much is enough.

7)Learning how to structure your belieds to control your perception of market movement.

8)Learning how to achieve and maintain a state of objectivity.

9)Learning how to recognie “true ” intutive information and then learning how to act on it consistenly.

FEAR

Fear has a way of making us focus on unfavorable headlines and price action. Fear impacts our ability to evaluate alternatives as it clouds objectivity. Fear is why profits are taken too quickly. Fear is a four letter word that comes in many flavors.

Fear of losing: Nobody wants to lose—doesn’t matter if it’s a spelling bee in the 5th grade or a newly entered long position in a stock that just broke through resistance. Losing sucks. Losing reminds us that perhaps we aren’t as good as we thought (hoped).

Fear of being wrong: Remember that time you blurted out the wrong answer and everyone laughed? Still sticks with you after all these years and screws with your mind. That new short position you just took is about to get squeezed—or at least that’s the thought running through your mind, right?

Fear of missing out: This is where we can really let our imperfections shine as we buy at the top and sell at the bottom. But hey, we didn’t miss out on the action!  Succumbing to the fear of missing a potential move and jumping in mid-stream trumps any good trading plan or preparation. This is a lack of self-discipline and causes much of the psychological damage seen in the markets.

Fear impedes our ability to be creative. Fear suffocates, debilitates, and causes many to wonder “what if…” rather than “why not…” Hope is used as a remedy by the fearful, but often gets smashed and is soon replaced with self-help books, talk therapy and medication.

Courage is what’s needed—the courage to fail.  With proper planning, risk can be managed and success can be found. Having the courage to step off the curb lends itself nicely to creating who you are as a market participant. Define your risk, adhere to your trading plan and fear becomes a fleeting thought rather than a debilitating one.

It’s OK to lose.  Just make sure that it’s within your defined risk/reward and move on.

It’s OK to be wrong. What’s not OK is to be stubborn and stick with a losing
position.

It’s OK to miss out. There are thousands of other names out there, find your trade.

If you want to become a better trader you need to realize that fear cannot be eliminated. It can, however, be used as an edge in your market participation. For me, one of my favorite times to sell premium is after a large, quick move—puts for fear and calls for greed.

“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Four Common Emotion Pitfalls Traders’ Experience

Peak performance in trading is frequently hindered because of the emotions a trader feels, and more importantly how their trading behaviors change based on those emotions. I have found that the following four emotional experiences have the greatest, direct impact on a trader’s ability to achieve higher levels of success.

 

1)      Fear of Missing Out

2)      Focusing on the Money and Not the Trade

3)      Losing Objectivity in a Trade

4)      Taking Risk Because you are Up (or down) Money

 

Fear of missing out occurs when a trader is more afraid of missing an opportunity than they are of losing money. As a result, traders tend to overtrade in a desperate effort to ensure that they do not miss out on money-making situations. This overtrading can then potentially trigger an undertrading response if the traders experience a “trading injury” such as a big loss along the way. The way to solve this is first to accept the reality that you’re always going to miss out on something, somewhere. The second step is to establish game plans on paper and hold yourself accountable to executing those plans.

 

Focusing on the money and not the trade limits performance because the trader quantifies their success based on their profit and loss data. As a result, when he or she is up or down a certain amount of money that they view as significant, they alter their trading behaviors regardless of what the actual, real trading opportunity is that is presented to them. The way to solve this is to quantify your success based on HOW you traded not HOW much you made on the trade. Did you have edge? Was it your pitch? Did you make a high-quality trade?

 

Losing objectivity in a trade occurs because traders develop emotional ties to their previous entry levels. The trader is no longer making trading decisions based on the trade, but rather based on how much they are up or down in the trade. The key to overcoming this is for the trader to continually ask him/herself, “Why am I in this trade?” and “If I was not in this trade right now, would I enter this trade long, short or do nothing?”

 

Taking bad risk because you are up or down money

People do not like to lose – especially money. Normal solid risk/reward thinking becomes skewed once a trader is up a large sum of money. They begin to experience something called “mental accounting” and they treat money differently based on how they made money or how quickly they earned it. On the flip side, when traders are down money, they tend to be consumed with trading for revenge and trying to make it back, oftentimes as quickly as they lost it. As a result, they may take “shots” or do the “screw it” trade because they feel helpless. To solve this destructive behavior, the trader should use their trading journal to document their emotional highs and lows and what triggered it so they can be in tune with when they are feeling over-confident or angry/frustrated. Once they recognize these emotions, they should immediately call a time out and step away from the computer or reduce the risk they are taking until they can bring themselves back to center court.

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