Apr

8

I'm holding a snap contest with a $ 1,500 reward. I ran a piece called "What is a Trader" about terrible and typical things in our ken. I'll give a 1500 reward to the best augmentation to this by the end of next week. Award to be determined by open vote. Send your entries to me here on Dailyspeculations or to my twitter @VicNiederhoffer .


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Speak your mind

111 Comments so far

  1. Paul Vaicik on February 26, 2015 4:42 pm

    1.

    What is a Trader?

    A trader is someone who balances supply and demand, strength and weakness, fear and greed. A trader is someone who keeps the cup swirling to dissolve the sugar for better or for worse, in life and on the screen.

    Regards,
    Paul V.

  2. Alex Currie on February 26, 2015 9:04 pm

    2.

     What is a trader?

    A tortured individual!

    Alex C.

  3. Vini on February 26, 2015 10:55 pm

    3.

    Vic, in one of the older posts, A Critique and a Reply, there was the following comment by someone with the initials gpc:

    "Trading is an inherently insecure profession. The ability to perform is different than it is in other fields. In sports, you might know perfectly well what to do, but fail to execute due to age or physical limitations. Losing your fastball doesn’t cause your knowledge of the game to disappear. A plumber or craftsman rests secure on a solid body of know-how: accumulated wisdom often survives a decline in technique. Doctors have to keep up with new advances, but even the newest breakthroughs rarely invalidate entire fields.

    Trading makes you question whether you really know anything at all."

    While not exactly a definition, it would be nice if you could include it in the competition. Maybe you can contact the person and ask him/her if he/she would like to participate. I find the comment closer to the real definition of a trader, if there is any. - Regards V

  4. Jeff Watson on February 27, 2015 6:00 am

    4.

    Nobody ever summed up and defined our noble profession better than Ayn Rand. She talked about traders quite a bit and below are a few of her comments.

    "The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread—a man of justice."

    "There is no conflict of interests among men who do not desire the unearned, who do not make sacrifices nor accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving value for value."

    "The principle of trade is the only rational ethical principle for all human relationships, personal and social, private and public, spiritual and material. It is the principle of justice."

    "A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. He does not treat men as masters or slaves, but as independent equals. He deals with men by means of a free, voluntary, unforced, uncoerced exchange—an exchange which benefits both parties by their own independent judgment. A trader does not expect to be paid for his defaults, only for his achievements. He does not switch to others the burden of his failures, and he does not mortgage his life into bondage to the failures of others."

    "In spiritual issues—(by “spiritual” I mean: “pertaining to man’s consciousness”)—the currency or medium of exchange is different, but the principle is the same. Love, friendship, respect, admiration are the emotional response of one man to the virtues of another, the spiritual payment given in exchange for the personal, selfish pleasure which one man derives from the virtues of another man’s character. Only a brute or an altruist would claim that the appreciation of another person’s virtues is an act of selflessness, that as far as one’s own selfish interest and pleasure are concerned, it makes no difference whether one deals with a genius or a fool, whether one meets a hero or a thug, whether one marries an ideal woman or a slut. In spiritual issues, a trader is a man who does not seek to be loved for his weaknesses or flaws, only for his virtues, and who does not grant his love to the weaknesses or the flaws of others, only to their virtues."

    "The trader and the warrior have been fundamental antagonists throughout history. Trade does not flourish on battlefields, factories do not produce under bombardments, profits do not grow on rubble. Capitalism is a society of traders—for which it has been denounced by every would-be gunman who regards trade as “selfish” and conquest as “noble.”

  5. admin on February 27, 2015 2:43 pm

    5.

    The pit market is 5 bid/10 offered. After some consideration you agree that the 5 bid is a good level to sell. You IM the broker on the floor to sell that 5 bid who passes your sell order to another broker who happens to have the order for the 5 bid. Instead of crossing the orders, this other broker decides that he in fact would like to sell that 5 bid. You get an IM back from the floor broker. No Fill. That's the last time you try and send an order to the pit.
    sent to us by Sam @j.samii

  6. armidal7 on February 27, 2015 2:55 pm

    6.

    And with the electronic market by the time you want to hit the bid at 5, the market goes 5 sellers around 2 milliseconds before your order hits the market and you can't get it off at that price either. Happens all the time. Nothing has changed, it's just a bit different yet the same. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    Sent to us by Jeff Watson

  7. admin on February 27, 2015 2:55 pm

    7.

    He executed the trades. A piano man. The small country index, the dax, the bund, the spoo. For big clients, for small clients. It didn't matter. All the same for him. He had seen clients get rich, get poor and then rich again, and back to poor. He knew the clients favorites and could even guess sometimes what order they'd put in and where He had developed a sense of who might win and who might lose in this wicked game. He'd be a rich man if he followed the wins and avoided the losses. That's for sure. But this game reset every day and he'd lose count. Every now and then he'd put his mask on and become one of them. One of the winners. One of the losers. It didn't matter.

    Sent to us by George Papas

  8. armidal7 on February 27, 2015 2:56 pm

    8.

    Thank you for hosting. My submission:

    It is said that trading is about fear and greed. I disagree. Trading is 80% pain and 20% relief. The steady state of a trader is one of mild pain amidst a backdrop of high alertness. That base state is interrupted by bouts of acute pain as the market twists one's wrist, and seemingly fewer periods of pleasurable relief, as a trade works out in one's favor. The immense difficulty of endeavor lies not in handling the wrist twisting. Rather, it is the understanding that the relief of each winning trade will inevitably be followed once again by the gut-wrenching, anxiety-inducing, unresolved pain of the waiting game.

    Sent to us by Enis Taner

  9. admin on February 27, 2015 2:57 pm

    9.

    reconciliation

    flat everything

    the outcome was profitable

    not pleased with the process

    the trade was executed well

    yet i’m way off off my game

    out early - didn't get back in

    got twisted

    timed the move perfectly

    self-doubt got in-the-way

    of making a good decision

    neither short cost me money

    should never have reversed

    lost focus

    second-guessed - covered

    when i should have added

    allowed myself to "over-think"

    imagine negative scenarios

    instead of managing the trade

    reconciliation

    dichotomous ideas

    bifurcated emotions

    confidence, humility

    the paradox that is trading
    the ambiguity that is yourself

    (sent to us by Gary Phillips)

  10. JC Fortu on February 27, 2015 3:32 pm

    10.

    "I have seen this before. The market will rally after this sell-off. We are in a bull market. I'm buying 100 contracts just before the close." The next day, sure enough, the indexes opened 20 ticks up, and the trader closed his position at a nice profit. This month was looking like the best trading month of his career. Just after eating a heavy lunch, the trader, feeling bloated, looks at his screen and sees the indexes are now up by 50 ticks since the last trading day's close. "This is a bit overdone. I'm shorting this and doubling my usual contract size." After an hour of light consolidation, the trader checks his position and sees that he's up by 3 ticks. "Not enough, i'll wait a bit", he tells himself. The trader checks the clock, 1:58PM EST. At 2:00PM EST, the trader notices that volume has picked up, and checks his position. He is now down by 20 ticks. He immediately close out his position as it has exceeded his risk tolerance. He then checks Bloomberg for the news, and the headline says "The fed will remain 'patient' on keeping the rates low." The trader mumbles to himself, "Whatever, I was playing with house money anyway". YTD P&L is down to 15% from 30%.

  11. alejandro on February 27, 2015 6:07 pm

    11.

    a trader is a person who think can be fast and smarter and earn money from others, is fighting against her own allucinations, who trust in herself, who think has the ability to be objective but she does know it is imposible, who does not care to be wrong with the biasses and flip as a coin, increase the bet as the soul tell, and know that the heaven is too high

  12. HHY on February 27, 2015 6:53 pm

    12.

    A trader is a person who helps to build the continuity of the economy by struggling to foresee the discontinuity and to profit from it.

  13. Dick Chan on February 28, 2015 11:12 am

    13.

    If there are 100 traders in a room, 10 may be making money. The majority, 90, would not be. Some will have degrees from the best colleges in the world and some will have none. Age, background, personality, and any other traits will be different.

    If I open the doors to the room 3 hours prior to the market open, the traders would proceed to do different things. Some will go about normally, some rushing back to their computers, some grabbing a quiet place to plan their day, and some checking the stars for guidance.

    I realized that the definition for a trader may not be so simple. How can I describe the people in that room that had so little in common? A definition of a trader cannot be based on those that make money. That is just a small portion of the group.

    Perhaps a trader can not be described by what is seen. It must be something that occupies their minds or it may be something that they produce as a collective.

    Using the mind, a trader is trying to predict the future.

    As a collective, traders redistribute wealth.

    So what is a trader? It can't be defined by what you see because of the vast differences. It can't be defined by what you hear because it would be coming from one portion of the group. It can't be defined by what you think because what a trader thinks and what he/she does can be greatly different.

    A trader is indescribable.

  14. Not in it for money on February 28, 2015 1:12 pm

    14.

    The actions in response to surprises will define a trader. The market will constantly try to
    seduce a trader into breaking his own rules. A good trader knows not to budge.

    A Trader follows his system. A system designed to profit over a series of trades and not just one trade.

    A Trader has to essentially drown his dream which start parallel at the time he enters the trade and perform as if it was just another trade.

    A Trader is better known for managing stops. He will not be known for taking profits.
    Profit taking is not a mandatory skill required for trading.

    A Trader manages Risk and Disaster not only from finance, trading but also from brokers,
    technology (setups,software,internet,power) employees, emotions.

    A Trader learns more from failure than success.

    A Trader maintains a diary as an extra cranial memory.

    A Trader is a marathon runner not a sprinter.

    A Trader is a process specialist. Must practice minimalism.

    A Trader is the parent of his trade ideas. It is a personal extension of himself.

    A Trader inevitably discovers that there are old traders and bold traders but no old ,bold traders.

  15. Andrew Ramponi on February 28, 2015 2:05 pm

    15.

    A trader is both noble, and vulgar; a quintessential academic, analyst and actor; a touchstone for intelligence and a tombstone for audacity, a treasurer of usefulness and a fabricator of disaster. An enigma.

    reworked from 1688 definition in Confusion de Confusiones by Joseph de la Vega.

  16. Sav on February 28, 2015 4:10 pm

    16.

    A trader is metaphorical term for a medium, who's purpose is to acquire or attain an asset or commodity for which they believe will either gain or lose value in relation to the 'general market's consensus'. This 'general market consensus then places a numerical value relative to the asset or commodity at hand, which ultimately negates or adds value to the position held by the medium…..called a 'trader'

  17. Predictor on February 28, 2015 4:26 pm

    17.

    What is a trader?

    Let's think about the a more fundamental question, the question is how do people make money? Everyone everywhere is eager to teach skills that can be used to make money but no one teaches how to actually make money. For example, there are boot camps that teach students how to program or build websites with the promise of big bucks upon graduation. Indeed while it is true that there are many programmers who make good money, there are many other expert programmers who do not. Colleges justify steep tuition and fees based on what students can make after graduating. Yet, they never teach students how to actually make money, and they never guarantee a given return. Indeed, it is true that many college students make more then their high school counterparts, it is not universally true.

    In fact, it is possible to be an expert in virtually every other field and yet not make money. For example, a great doctor who spends a lot of time with his patients may not make very much money for his efforts. If it is possible to practice or partake in other professions without risking money then we have to question if trading should be defined by the actual act of trading or something deeper. In fact, some people place trades that would not consider themselves traders.

    As such, while it seems natural that a trader is one who trades: a trader is defined as one who thinks about markets and one who predicts markets and seeks out the reality of his convictions in a truthful way.

    Many think science is defined by the scientific method. Yet, hypothesis are tested based on their ability to make accurate predictions. Science is thus valued based on its ability to make accurate predictions.

    Markets are not believed to be universally or fundamentally predictable. But, they do seem to be able to be predicted at some times. A trader is in essence one who predicts markets. Prediction and causation are close cousins.

    The ability to predict the future is a fundamental skill for survival. Trading is thus inherently rewarding. Markets provide just enough predictability to give traders the real potential for significant rewards However, unlike man's natural environment, markets are constantly shifting and changing in ways that often cause traders to be wrong or wrong enough.

  18. armidal7 on February 28, 2015 5:41 pm

    18.

    To "be" a trader is to have had your butt kicked and then gotten back up. Before that you are nothing. To "be" a trader is to know how to manage or avoid those "terrible and typical" things and that only comes with knowledge and experience. They are all different.

    The Delphian was speaking to the trader when She said: "γνῶθι σεαυτόν." A trader knows thyself and uses that knowledge to avoid the next knockout. Learning the rules of the market you are trading is easy. Don't be fooled into thinking that knowing the rules makes you a trader.

    Trading is ultimately about you.

    The market is always probing for your weaknesses. Only you know them; yes, you *do* know them, don't you? The one weakness you are most vulnerable to is the one the market is always - ALWAYS - after. That's the one which will kill you.

    Thus this existential imperative: γνῶθι σεαυτόν ! "Being" a trader is a true Sartrean experience.

    Kipling knew:

    If-

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175772

    (submitted by humble1)

  19. armidal7 on February 28, 2015 5:50 pm

    19.

    Dear Mr. Niederhoffer,

    Throughout my career I have dealt with many different types of traders, in many different capacities. My perspective of "what a trader is" has been formed through my roles as an interbank FX broker, assistant trader, sales person, head of sales, MD of Money Markets, Bonds and FX operations and Partner in an Investment Firm. You will however note, never as a trader.

    Nevertheless, Marshall McLuhan once observed, "we don't know who discovered water, but we know it wasn't a fish" and it is because of this original observation that feel I can offer my insight.

    There is no definition of a trader that is absolute. However there are four major categories that I would place the majority of traders within. Quixotic, Arthurian, Faustian and Stalinist. The categories are self explanatory however I will offer a summation.

    Quixotic: They see compromise as a dirty word. Do not see that he/she has romanticized what is actually a timeworn profession (the hawkers of the bazar being second only to prostitutes). They believe in their clarity of vision and in the idealistic nature of their role as the purest form of capitalism (well ok, the second purest). Quixotic traders either burn out in the near term or last for the long term and become legendary, rarely is there a middle path.

    Arthurian: They see their team as their strength. Their vision less important than the best that their team can offer, but far more important than most. They are excellent at building a cult of the personality by simply bettering their team. They take the grief and pass on the glory. They often move quickly through the trader phase into the C suite.

    Faustian: Yes they believe that they have or will shortly have to make a deal with the devil in order to beat what is obviously a rigged game that they desperately need to win. Their actions often end up being just shy of criminal in their quest for success. (Side Note: Failed Faustian traders are often called criminals). They are often solo, mercenary and intemperate beings.

    Stalinist: In University during the 80's I read a translated pro-Soviet history that said something to the effect of "Stalin was an exemplary leader of the Soviet people and would have been universally loved if not for some minor character flaws". I think this characterization could also describe traders of his namesake category. They are brutal, avaricious, bellicose, ill-educated and uninterested in improving the people around him. Every one hates them. Those that are in the entourage fear them. The reality that often faces and I feel best describes Stalinist traders is that once their winning streak inevitably ends, they are quickly fired and are never again re-hired because no one will work with them.

    Finally I would like to add that I understand sales people better. Often the best traders were also the best sales people. The best traders/sales people were like elementary children who came to school without lunch. They were clearly able to delineate the kid in one corner of the cafeteria with just a PBJ and the kid in the other with just a Twinkie. They unflinchingly asked the kid with the Twinkie if he would trade half for half a PBJ. They then asked the kid with the PBJ if they would trade half for half a Twinkie. Once they had fashioned an agreement they simply facilitated the trade and took a bite of each on the way through.

    Thanks for all the interesting reads, tweets and books. bon appétit!

    (submitted by Franklynn Phan)

  20. armidal7 on February 28, 2015 5:52 pm

    20.

    @Franklynn Phan It's a funny perspective on traders as rendered from the sell side. I know of many traders who come across very differently to the sales coverage than they do to their friends, families, and colleagues. And I suspect the categories in the post capture that!

    My unofficial entry: I would define a trader as "an intellectual entrepreneur: one who generates ideas and manages their risk and reward within a competitive financial marketplace." This is why the term "speculator" is an accurate one. The derivation of "speculator" is from the Latin meaning "contemplation, observation" and by the mid 15th century came to mean "pursuit of the truth by means of thinking". Ayn Rand regarded the trader as an ideal, as one who offers value for value, rather than living off the efforts of others. The trader also represents Rand's ideal of man as a thinking animal: one who relies on his/her perception in pursuit of the truth and is willing to accept the risks of that reliance to achieve superior returns.

    (submitted by Brett Steenbarger)

  21. armidal7 on February 28, 2015 5:54 pm

    21.

    @J.Samii

    And with the electronic market by the time you want to hit the bid at 5, the market goes 5 sellers around 2 milliseconds before your order hits the market and you can't get it off at that price either. Happens all the time. Nothing has changed, it's just a bit different yet the same. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    (submitted by Jeff Watson)

  22. armidal7 on February 28, 2015 7:18 pm

    22.

    @ Brett Steenbarger
    Brett's comments regarding my sell side perspective are very accurate. They also, I think speak to a subtle difference that may exist between traders working for sell side and the buy side firms which has not been addressed.

    As an addendum, I box every Saturday at a club with men and women half my age and I need to stay focused in order to survive. This morning I took a well deserved beating because of my distinct lack of focus. It was not all in vain however. During an unwelcome uppercut, I was reminded of a simple quote which I think applies elegantly to anyone who chooses to risk anything…

    "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth" Mike Tyson

    Best regards.

    (sent to us by Franklynn Phan)

  23. Predictor on February 28, 2015 8:53 pm

    23.

    Why are prediction and causation (volition) close cousins? First, it is generally impossible to prove that one doesn't cause what one predicts. One can claim to predict what one can cause and one can claim to cause what one can predict. If one believes they can cause a certain outcome then they'll be compelled to predict the actions they need to take to make the outcome happen. Did the accurate predictions lead to the outcome? If so did the predictions become the cause? If so what order did it happen in? Did the brain predict what it can cause and then infer back that it caused it?

    There are really 2 ways that science is treated, the first is a functional view. The second is a means of understanding what is actual reality. The functional view has proven itself while using science as a means toward discovering the true reality is a work in progress.

    If something is said to exist then where does it exist?

    Imagine a toilet. Pretty simple. A toilet is a system for transferring waste. If you say a toilet exist where you see a toilet then take a sledge hammer to the toilet and the toilet as a system no longer exist. But the concept of the toilet still exist. So, where did the system exist? It never existed "there". But, what about consciousness, the brain can't create consciousness unless consciousness exists independent from the brain for to do so would be to stretch fundamental understanding of science, namely something existing that does not exist (anywhere else?) in the universe.

  24. Hana on March 1, 2015 9:34 am

    24.

    Who is a Trader?
    It depends on the viewpoint.
    IMHO, "traders" described in the artcle are not Traders.

    A Trader is a person who is able to clear his/her mind in order to stalk the price and strikes only when he/she knows that he/she has bigger chance of getting his/her prey. And even if he/she is not successful in his/her attempt, he/she waits for another perfect situation and strikes irrespective of what happened before.

    Regards,
    Hana

  25. Conor on March 1, 2015 5:30 pm

    25.

    A Trader is anyone who posted a comment here trying to make $1500.

  26. James Erdmier on March 1, 2015 6:41 pm

    26.

    A store clerk who I have gotten to know at the pantry I frequent is on his laptop when I approach the counter. I set down my Vitamin Water, chocolate bar, and coffee. “How is your day going?” “It’s going well, thanks,” I reply. Ankush is a very eccentric college student who is always exploring some new topic. He knows that I am a trader but we’ve never spoken about it much. I notice that he is looking at an educational site about stock options. Yesterday he wanted to be an architect; today he wants to be a trader. “Hey man, I want to ask you, what is it like to be a trader. What is a trader?” “Well, Ankush, the reason I am buying coffee at 7 PM is because I was up at 4 AM damn near having a panic attack over a position I had on. I still have work to get done tonight. So I guess I can start there.”

    I am short FEYE overnight after it has run up to a potentially important resistance level. I go home feeling confident in my guesswork. This $44.60 level should hold, I am thinking. A profit-taking move could bring this stock back down a buck or so. Yeah, I’m good. S&P futures are down a little, I’ll get to bed. Fast forward to 4 AM and I am all of a sudden wide awake. God damnit! What the f*ck was I thinking shorting a stock that has been trending so strongly higher lately? I am totally screwed on this trade. Ok, relax. Maybe, but even if I am wrong here, there is nothing I can do about it now. Just get some sleep and deal with it in a few hours. Cue another 30 minutes of self-berating and then I finally fall back to sleep.

    The market opens flat, but FEYE is up 80 cents. That is a big loss for me. I knew this was a stupid idea. I knew it. Why did I do this? Was it self-sabotage? Was it a technical mistake? What did I miss? Is this the end for me? Well now I am starting the day down 80 cents per share, and it is going to be a day of playing to get back to breakeven. My least favorite type of day. By 3 PM I am wiped out, but I have scratched and clawed my way back to breakeven. Despite my sins the day before, I feel okay. OK so I was up on Monday and Tuesday, and scratched today. I am on track for a decent week, which means that the risk manager will probably give me some more money to work with.
    Thursday oil is making big moves as it struggles to find its new identity at $50 a barrel. Up 5% before the open. My friend who trades in the building next door had a long yesterday going into the close but got shaken out overnight. “God damnit,” he says to me over Gmail chat, “that would have been my month if I didn’t have my stop in such an obvious spot.” “Well, don’t just try to trade to get back to your P/L peak. Trade the market, not your P/L,” I urge. He does and ends up with a tidy day. Same for me. OK, time to get home and get some good sleep. Tomorrow is a big day. I have to have a good day and then I should be good for an increase in risk capital.

    Alright, let’s do this. 6 AM, no way I can get back to sleep. Quick run, then a shower and off to the office. GDP comes out at 7:30, slightly beating expectations. I’m watching the SPY before the release. It’s trading 204.50. The dollar/yen is up overnight and since the 2 normally correlate, I’m thinking I should get long if the GDP print is good…and it is. 204.55, 204.60. Alright do it. DO IT. 204.65. Shit, too risky now. 204.80, 205.00, 205.10, 205.30. Holy crap. I missed the entire move. That would have been my day right there. I would have been good for getting that bump in size. Shit. Ok, well relax, it’s only 7:40, and I have all day.
    P/L is fluctuating on the open a bit. I am bobbing and weaving, parrying and jabbing, waiting to throw that KO punch. This INTU looks interesting. Up nicely today and pulling back toward VWAP from its high. This looks like it might be the move. Get in, no hesitation. 95.33 fill. Immediate gratification as the stock gives me a quick 30 cents. I’ll take 2 out of 5 tiers off here. If the rest reaches my profit target, I’ll have a nice day in the bag, plus a bump to boot.

    This should be a good weekend. Fast forward 15 minutes, the stock is trading 95.90-96. It should break through 96 and get to 96.30 where my limit is. 96.14 bid, 96.20 offer. Alright come on. 96.20 bid, 96.24 offer. OK, this is a done deal. Well maybe not now, it’s dropping back toward 96. No big deal though, the trend here is still intact and strong. 95.80. What the f*ck! Where did that seller come from? Hang tight, should be good. Stop on my the rest of my position moved up to 95.50. Selling continues and I am out for a drastically smaller profit than I had anticipated. How disappointing. How unlucky. That was the second chance I had to make my day. Now I am only up a little and I am going to need another solid trade. It is already 10:50 on a Friday.
    Okay, KORS is up on the day, sitting below VWAP. 68.80, 68.82, 68.83, 68.81…just hovering here. If I can scoop 15 cents from this on some size, I am good. Bidding 68.81. Crap I am going to miss this thing. 68.84. Arghhhhhh. Wait, it’s coming back. Ok. Ok I’m in. 68.78. Shit, I am too big. 68.76. The feeling of utter despair sets in, I am for sure getting stopped out at 68.75, I am way too big, and I am going to go negative on the day. One of my cardinal rules broken. Why am I even in this stock? I am trading my P/L. 68.80. Well, maybe this won’t be such a bad trade. I mean, KORS is up on the day and I might have had a decent read on the tape…or not. 68.78. 68.76. Yep, I’m an idiot. 68.75 and I am out. Negative on the day. What a screw up. What a worthless idiot. Why didn’t I just exit INTU when I had the chance? Or buy SPY after GDP? Why did I take this idiotic KORS trade.
    I did it again. I’m going home.

    4 PM I am leaving the office. I can’t allow myself to leave early, no matter how good or bad the day was. I just feel too guilty that I didn’t maximize the day. I am still fuming at myself. The self-hate has not let up for a minute. What could have been a great end to a good week will not be a dark cloud hanging over my weekend. Maybe I should just do something else. I stop at the pantry. Great, like I want to talk to anyone right now. “Hey Ankush.” “Hey man, how was your day.” “It was good, yours?” No way he doesn’t know how badly I screwed up today. Ice cream and a bottle of wine sounds like good comfort food.
    Wake up from a nap at 7 PM. My girlfriend is cooking dinner. “Hey, do you want a glass of wine?” “Eh, maybe with dinner.” I read for a bit, eat, and then think about what I want to do. No, I can’t relax and have a glass of wine tonight. Not until later. Plug in the USB drive and load up my screen recording from today. 10:01:11, when I entered INTU. OK, time to see what I could have done differently.

  27. James Erdmier on March 1, 2015 6:41 pm

    27.

    A store clerk who I have gotten to know at the pantry I frequent is on his laptop when I approach the counter. I set down my Vitamin Water, chocolate bar, and coffee. “How is your day going?” “It’s going well, thanks,” I reply. Ankush is a very eccentric college student who is always exploring some new topic. He knows that I am a trader but we’ve never spoken about it much. I notice that he is looking at an educational site about stock options. Yesterday he wanted to be an architect; today he wants to be a trader. “Hey man, I want to ask you, what is it like to be a trader. What is a trader?” “Well, Ankush, the reason I am buying coffee at 7 PM is because I was up at 4 AM damn near having a panic attack over a position I had on. I still have work to get done tonight. So I guess I can start there.”
    I am short FEYE overnight after it has run up to a potentially important resistance level. I go home feeling confident in my guesswork. This $44.60 level should hold, I am thinking. A profit-taking move could bring this stock back down a buck or so. Yeah, I’m good. S&P futures are down a little, I’ll get to bed. Fast forward to 4 AM and I am all of a sudden wide awake. God damnit! What the f*ck was I thinking shorting a stock that has been trending so strongly higher lately? I am totally screwed on this trade. Ok, relax. Maybe, but even if I am wrong here, there is nothing I can do about it now. Just get some sleep and deal with it in a few hours. Cue another 30 minutes of self-berating and then I finally fall back to sleep.
    The market opens flat, but FEYE is up 80 cents. That is a big loss for me. I knew this was a stupid idea. I knew it. Why did I do this? Was it self-sabotage? Was it a technical mistake? What did I miss? Is this the end for me? Well now I am starting the day down 80 cents per share, and it is going to be a day of playing to get back to breakeven. My least favorite type of day. By 3 PM I am wiped out, but I have scratched and clawed my way back to breakeven. Despite my sins the day before, I feel okay. OK so I was up on Monday and Tuesday, and scratched today. I am on track for a decent week, which means that the risk manager will probably give me some more money to work with.
    Thursday oil is making big moves as it struggles to find its new identity at $50 a barrel. Up 5% before the open. My friend who trades in the building next door had a long yesterday going into the close but got shaken out overnight. “God damnit,” he says to me over Gmail chat, “that would have been my month if I didn’t have my stop in such an obvious spot.” “Well, don’t just try to trade to get back to your P/L peak. Trade the market, not your P/L,” I urge. He does and ends up with a tidy day. Same for me. OK, time to get home and get some good sleep. Tomorrow is a big day. I have to have a good day and then I should be good for an increase in risk capital.
    Alright, let’s do this. 6 AM, no way I can get back to sleep. Quick run, then a shower and off to the office. GDP comes out at 7:30, slightly beating expectations. I’m watching the SPY before the release. It’s trading 204.50. The dollar/yen is up overnight and since the 2 normally correlate, I’m thinking I should get long if the GDP print is good…and it is. 204.55, 204.60. Alright do it. DO IT. 204.65. Shit, too risky now. 204.80, 205.00, 205.10, 205.30. Holy crap. I missed the entire move. That would have been my day right there. I would have been good for getting that bump in size. Shit. Ok, well relax, it’s only 7:40, and I have all day.
    P/L is fluctuating on the open a bit. I am bobbing and weaving, parrying and jabbing, waiting to throw that KO punch. This INTU looks interesting. Up nicely today and pulling back toward VWAP from its high. This looks like it might be the move. Get in, no hesitation. 95.33 fill. Immediate gratification as the stock gives me a quick 30 cents. I’ll take 2 out of 5 tiers off here. If the rest reaches my profit target, I’ll have a nice day in the bag, plus a bump to boot. This should be a good weekend. Fast forward 15 minutes, the stock is trading 95.90-96. It should break through 96 and get to 96.30 where my limit is. 96.14 bid, 96.20 offer. Alright come on. 96.20 bid, 96.24 offer. OK, this is a done deal. Well maybe not now, it’s dropping back toward 96. No big deal though, the trend here is still intact and strong. 95.80. What the f*ck! Where did that seller come from? Hang tight, should be good. Stop on my the rest of my position moved up to 95.50. Selling continues and I am out for a drastically smaller profit than I had anticipated. How disappointing. How unlucky. That was the second chance I had to make my day. Now I am only up a little and I am going to need another solid trade. It is already 10:50 on a Friday.
    Okay, KORS is up on the day, sitting below VWAP. 68.80, 68.82, 68.83, 68.81…just hovering here. If I can scoop 15 cents from this on some size, I am good. Bidding 68.81. Crap I am going to miss this thing. 68.84. Arghhhhhh. Wait, it’s coming back. Ok. Ok I’m in. 68.78. Shit, I am too big. 68.76. The feeling of utter despair sets in, I am for sure getting stopped out at 68.75, I am way too big, and I am going to go negative on the day. One of my cardinal rules broken. Why am I even in this stock? I am trading my P/L. 68.80. Well, maybe this won’t be such a bad trade. I mean, KORS is up on the day and I might have had a decent read on the tape…or not. 68.78. 68.76. Yep, I’m an idiot. 68.75 and I am out. Negative on the day. What a screw up. What a worthless idiot. Why didn’t I just exit INTU when I had the chance? Or buy SPY after GDP? Why did I take this idiotic KORS trade. I did it again. I’m going home.
    4 PM I am leaving the office. I can’t allow myself to leave early, no matter how good or bad the day was. I just feel too guilty that I didn’t maximize the day. I am still fuming at myself. The self-hate has not let up for a minute. What could have been a great end to a good week will not be a dark cloud hanging over my weekend. Maybe I should just do something else. I stop at the pantry. Great, like I want to talk to anyone right now. “Hey Ankush.” “Hey man, how was your day.” “It was good, yours?” No way he doesn’t know how badly I screwed up today. Ice cream and a bottle of wine sounds like good comfort food.
    Wake up from a nap at 7 PM. My girlfriend is cooking dinner. “Hey, do you want a glass of wine?” “Eh, maybe with dinner.” I read for a bit, eat, and then think about what I want to do. No, I can’t relax and have a glass of wine tonight. Not until later. Plug in the USB drive and load up my screen recording from today. 10:01:11, when I entered INTU. OK, time to see what I could have done differently.

  28. Eric on March 1, 2015 9:46 pm

    28.

    An old trader hired a new young trader to work at his firm. Every day they trade cans of sardines for companies in Italy and America, always settling the contracts before physical delivery is required. One day, the young trader gets engaged to his girlfriend and takes three cans of sardines home from the firm's warehouse to have a celebratory dinner with her. Upon opening a can, he finds that it contains no sardines, only sand. He opens the other two cans and is surprised to find they also contain only sand. The next day he tells the old trader about this. The old trader smiles and says, "those cans are not for eating, just for trading."

  29. Bob on March 2, 2015 2:16 pm

    29.

    A trader, unlike an investor, is he who attempts to profit from probability and chance.

  30. Sam Awad on March 2, 2015 3:20 pm

    30.

    A trader is a tightrope walker, where the rope is electrified and the safety net is barbed wire. When he's able to remain on the rope, it is excruciatingly uncomfortable; when he falls, though he hasn't died, he often wishes he had.
    A trader believes beyond rationale that he will become immune to the discomfort of each and every trade, while withstanding the death by a thousand stops. Ultimately a trader is an extreme optimist; always expecting the best, and forever surprised by the worst.

  31. Norm Winski on March 2, 2015 5:24 pm

    31.

    A trader is somone who buys and sells.

  32. Brian Cauthen on March 2, 2015 5:30 pm

    32.

    Chop – Dip – Rip

    You finally did it. You put on your big boy pants and put size on the position you have been contemplating for about 4 days after the fact that it really was a good idea.

    Your long the individual stock of a micro sector. The technicals are good because the internet forum group says it is. The fundamentals are good because it made it into IBD. The statistics… well you don’t understand the t- test or correlation so you just did a quick regression model on excel of open and closing prices and assume the number make sense.

    The stock is doing nothing (CHOP) but the complimentary stocks are all going up. The divergence suggests weakness. You are screwed and you know it. Out of nowhere the stock drops (DIP) putting your paper loss at the biggest of the year due to your new pants size.

    In an instance you see your life change in your mind. Country club membership gone, the kids are going to have to go to public school and you will attempt to get a 3rd mortgage on the house notated for “personal use”.

    You sell out like a Boss, realizing your loss as you sit in a cold sweat. The pain is gone but the post trade rage arrives. The keyboard is smashed and you curse your “profession.” You are never doing this again. Time to get an 8-5.

    You sit back in despair and glance at your Level 2 to see the price bounce from the lows and take out the High of day (RIP).

    You grab drinks that night with a few buddies from the desk. You talk about the trade that got away no differently than the tuna you almost reeled in on your fishing trip.

    6:00 AM the next morning your alarm goes off and you are ready to get to the trading desk with a brand new shiny keyboard.

  33. G man on March 2, 2015 6:31 pm

    33.

    Most traders are unemployed waiters.

    How do you call a trader in NY? Hey, waiter!

  34. Ross Derozier Alves on March 2, 2015 7:36 pm

    34.

    A trader is one of the chosen, one of the perpetually faithful : he believes his new top-of-the-line laptop will compete with the hedge fund algorithms, that working harder and doing his research is the same thing as insight, and that when the capitalist rapture does come, the dark pools of iniquity will be torn asunder and the loving transparency of the market, like the markets he studied in school, will reign.

  35. Charalampos on March 2, 2015 7:37 pm

    35.

    A trader.
    1 Trader is a dreamer at first, he dreams about money.In hes dreams he is trying to find the best ones in game he plays, and understand what he can learn from them.
    2 At second , Trader is a looser, he tries to put all his ideas of other people to work, and he loose money.
    3 At third trader is person that can put him in a state where all his mistakes are lessons to hem, without regrets.All is experience, and all is lessons.so he can loose more, and say that it is experience and learning curve.
    4 At FORTH Trader is scientist in a way,he Criticize his ideas more than any other person does.(Most others can say things, with out having any prove that it is true) But not trader- Trader need to have the most objective info, proven by tests.
    5.At fifth, is a biggest risk taker in the world( making 10-50, trading decisions a day trade, is not the same process in other income generation fields.

    6 Trader is lonely person.
    7 Trader is Gambler some times ideally, all the time-(worst case)
    I think traders is who we are, with all the stories we have, and the only thing that can say we are traders, is that we can make decisions that can cause effect on our wealth, without being sure that it will make economical sense.We are willing to risk, at time that other people panic,we are wiling not to risk at time when other people greedy, and get read of our inventory.
    And the most important thing, we are traders because we are still in this game, when we are out we are not traders any more.Traders are good inventory managers.And I hope good people in general.
    At least what i found reading this blog for years.
    Good trades to All.

  36. Yvan Byeajee on March 2, 2015 9:24 pm

    36.

    The answer can be vast. A trader is a trader, and that regardless of whether he deals with goods, services or financial instruments. A trader is also a trader, regardless of his level of expertise, just like a glass of wine is a glass of wine, no matter in what angle you stare at it. However, a good glass of Bordeaux is specified by its taste. So I guess, the real question should be, "what is a good trader?" Here is my answer in a nutshell: Financial markets are counter-intuitive by nature. Therefore, no one is born a trader. Instead, one becomes a trader through repeated mistakes and failures. A good trader is someone who flows with uncertainty in such a beaitiful and efficient way that it baffles the mind of the layman. He assumes mastery over fear and greed, right and wrong, good or bad. To put it another way, self-knowledge has some pretty amazing liberating qualities.

    Yvan Byeajee

  37. Gary Rogan on March 3, 2015 1:49 am

    37.

    A trader is a gambler who believes the odds of coming ahead are in his favor and who is not engaged in a game of luck or skill played in the realm of abstract rules but in an activity involving an exchange of money or a commodity for something else someone wants or needs. The trader believes that either the rest of the world isn't properly valuing the situation or that by expending effort he can create value via the exchange in such a way that some of it find its way to his pocket.

    Traders are excited by the unpredictability of what they engage in. Some of them say that they can be cool and calculating but they are still gamblers for whom the unpredictable nature of the outcome is what it's all about. If they liked a steady, predictable life they wouldn't do what they do. As long as they trade, they have hope. Hence trading is life itself for them, for if there is no hope there is no life.

    They are also excited that by sheer power of thoughts and words, mostly thoughts in this computerized age, they can create wealth out of nothing. Still many of them are conflicted about the true value of what they do. They are thoughtful people so they can't help thinking about the meaning of spending their lives exchanging things without creating any physical output. Are they heroes or clever parasites? Does it matter? If they were to write their own epitaph, what would say? "Here lies Joe who exchanged computer entries for other computer entries with variable success and laughed and cried while doing it", "It was me against the world and I won, but now I'm dead" or "I made the world a better place although it would take a while to explain it and myself richer but that takes wouldn't take much of an explanation".

    A trader has to be good at what he does. There are occupations in this world where you can be good or bad but as long as you can convince someone to pay you'll do OK. There are others where if you don't perform you will fail, and pretty quickly. I suppose there are bad traders who are really good salesmen who can get more and more capital while failing, but those are really con men. A normal trader has to succeed otherwise he is weeded out by the cruel arithmetic of bad trades. It's satisfying for a trader to now he is good, especially because they are almost always highly competitive. The ones who have failed hard never fully get over it, but the stronger ones find a way to change strategies and go on. Can't do it too many times, but what doesn't break them indeed makes them stronger.

    So a trader is a magicians who takes the situations he finds in the world and though his magic turns them into money. Some acquire their skill with a lot of practice, and others seem born to do it. If they are not careful, every day can be their last, but if they are too careful the game isn't wroth the candle. So they are like the explosive disposal experts: if they do their job and don't blow up they get a chance to do it again. There are worse ways to make a living.

  38. AG on March 3, 2015 8:00 am

    38.

    A Trader is someone who can skilfully and successfully sail his Ship of Capital through the Seas of Ever-changing Market Cycles.

    His equity increases consistently over time (though not without drawdowns) as he is able to expertly manoeuvre through bountiful calm seas as well as the monstrous storms and terrible tidal waves that slaughter many around him, from small new fishermen in their bright and shiny speedboats to the Titanic 100 year old Institutions, who’s demise was inconceivable prior to their last poorly managed trade.

    In the end, he will reach his desired monetary destination and find that this journey has not only increased his financial wealth, but has enabled him to grow and evolve intellectually, psychologically, spiritually and emotionally, hugely adding to his "inner wealth" that benefits many other areas of his life.

  39. Matt K. on March 3, 2015 1:16 pm

    39.

    A trader is an optimist who fears they are going crazy and often try to check one's own sanity.

  40. Sergio Videla on March 3, 2015 8:55 pm

    40.

    There is a person who stares at a monitor eight hours straight, then he goes home and every ten minutes keeps watching some form of screen, a TV, a computer, a tablet. He knows he can go anywhere in the world but he cannot escape the markets no matter what. He can't sit still without analysing new information because the markets are in his head, because markets are his passion and ultimately the markets are his ticket (or so he thinks) to financial and personal freedom.
    So this person endures all the phychological hardship that comes with an open position, he has to stay in control fighting greed and fear every minute. But because all of this is only clear inside the head of that person, to the rest of the world he is not doing "real" work. To everybody else what he does is easy.
    That person is a trader.

  41. armidal7 on March 4, 2015 2:14 pm

    41.

    I think ultimately the biggest hindrance in trading, if not the biggest hindrance in anything, is oneself or one's own mind. Your thinking is your opponent. Is the market mechanistic or competitive? I think it depends on the situation. I tend to imagine that the market has the following participants in any day:
    1. bulls and bears
    2. primates. The former are big and have their views decided for that day or the following period. They mostly fight fiercely. The latter are small and are simply ready to join either the bulls' camp or the bears' camp at anytime depending on their own views of which side is stronger. The fight between the bulls and the bears are competitive. But for the primates in this case, it is not competitive (or at least not in the same sense). To them, it is simply making a choice. The bulls and bears both understand the nature and tendencies of these primates, so they try to take advantage of the latter whenever possible. So, in this case, the primates have to compete with the big ones. This might only be possible when the two big sides are not fighting fiercely between themselves. The primates are controlled by their innate nature of fear and greed (let's just say that the bulls and bears are less prone to fear and greed), so their combined behavior is quite predictable. So when either the bulls or the bears (when one side is absent or subdued) attack the primates, it is quite mechanistic.

    (submitted by leo jia)

  42. Melynda Nuss on March 4, 2015 2:26 pm

    42.

    A trader understands risk. An ordinary person lives in a world where everything is solid. House, family, friends, job – the familiar landmarks on the way to work. For the trader, nothing is certain.

    A trader wakes up every morning looking at the wide open sea. The path to riches lies there, just as it has for centuries. But the sea is full of monsters. And so the trader makes himself coffee, opens up his trading programs, sets his pencils in a row. He has all the tools of modern probability at his disposal. But probability can only tell you where the monsters are likely to be, not where they actually are.

    A trader can get up at 4 AM, work his butt off, and still lose money.

    A trader should look the same whether the market is up or down. But in his first year trading, he was curled in the corner of his office on the day of the government shutdown, sobbing giant snotty tears because he was triple long, because he knew that they wouldn’t do it, because they were patriots, and hadn’t it always worked out before? Because he had just quit a good shitty job because he had a system, and now his girlfriend will kill kill kill kill kill him, and then bring him back to life so she can kill him again.

    But when it works out, it is like the heavens opening up and playing Jimi Hendrix, like twenty-five beautiful girls showing up at your doorstep with sparklers and chocolate cake and it isn’t even your birthday. It is the bounty of the earth showing forth its glory, just for you.

    Trading is a business, and so he keeps his journal and learns from his trades. He watches the curves and eddies of the market and tries to keep the monsters at bay. It is a way to make a living.

    They say that with time, it eventually gets boring.

  43. David Stewart on March 4, 2015 9:40 pm

    43.

    A trader is like a lion trainer in the circus in the old days. He needs to "Rule The Beast"! He should follow these guidelines religiously as if he is dealing with a hungry 600 pound African lion.
    (1) Predetermine strategy based on market opinion
    (2) Predetermine point of entry based on an attractive price level and include implied volatility and historical volatility levels as well as term structure and skew.
    (3) Predetermine profit and loss levels
    (4) Enter the market (5) Ongoing "live" reassessment of the position at current market levels.(6) Redetermine strategy based on new market opinion. (7) Predetermine point of entry for adjustment based on new market opinion. (8) Predetermine a new profit and loss objective. (9) Exit or adjust the position.
    Remember the lion is hungry. Indecision and hesitation are luxuries that traders can ill-afford. If you catch yourself smiling after a trade, it might already be too late to get out (the lion takes a bite out your ASSetts. In another reference to the old days of the circus a trader is like a performer in the circus that tries to get eight plates spinning all at once on top of eight poles. They get a few started, but before they get to the fourth or fifth one, they have to go back, give numbers one and two another spin, and then proceed to the next. They must continually monitor the activity of all of them as they go along, because plates start to wobble, fall and crash to the floor. Rule the lion, respect the old circus performers, always be learning new things. That is what makes a trader.

  44. scott athorne on March 5, 2015 1:39 am

    44.

    What is a trader?

    A bookish definition would probably read something like this: 'someone who buys and sells financial securities and/or assets to make a profit in a relatively short period of time’. Others might call a trader 'a dreamer', 'a spiv', 'a fool'… But neither of these definitions begin to do him justice. To me, a trader is essentially an opportunist, someone who believes he can spot a good deal. Price is the teacher who tells the trader when he is right and wrong. Price is also his judge and executioner. The pain of past losses have taught the trader to respect price above all things, even the news. He understands that price can never be wrong, any more than the natural laws can be wrong. Occasionally price will whisper sweet things into the ear of the alert trader. This is 'the message of price', and few things in life will fill a trader with more joy and confidence than hearing her speak - even more than making a profit, which is incidental. A good trader will follow her downstream, never fight the current, and always keep a clean stroke (implement his plan, which includes using his edge and risk management skills.) A trader is not perfect, far from it, but he invariably strives to be: buying high and selling higher; selling low and buying lower; buying low and selling high; selling high and buying back lower… A trader is always moving, always searching for the next opportunity, the next trade…

  45. Ralph Di Fiore on March 5, 2015 8:41 am

    45.

    A trader is someone who attempt to buy low and sell high without the market mistress interrupting him.

  46. Adit Trivedi on March 5, 2015 9:43 am

    46.

    What is a trader?

    'For those who know, do not know and for those who do not know, know'

    This quote taken from Dr Van Tharps book: ' Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom' and perfectly defines what a trader is.

    For me, a trader is a metaphorical term whereby a normal individual such as you and I has the tenacity to perform to extraordinary lengths at the peak of one's game. Being able to start as an amateur, develop a framework to build one's competence and expertise and training hard for your passion to be the best within that niche field.

    For me a trader isn't someone who just deals with the financial markets. A trader is one who is able make the impossible, possible and go beyond the lengths whereby most individuals would give up on the first hurdle. One who learns constantly and consistently to gain knowledge within a field that they have a passion and obsession for. Therefore, defying all means to ensure that success is only a heartbeat away whereby a heartbeat is your own function and the time taken to it varies dependant on the individual.

    (A lot more could have been written on this question just how trading is an exponential field to learn from).

    I hope you have enjoyed this short post and would appreciate any open debates or feedback on this topic as it is very dear to me and something I believe I have an obsession for; thus meeting my own holy grail.

  47. Mark McIntosh on March 5, 2015 10:08 am

    47.

    Traders create a free flow of commerce. They buy and sell when they believe they can make a profit. Their buying and selling activity helps create a market with as close to a fair value as possible at any given time. Traders create a balance between supply and demand. Without traders, buying and selling becomes more difficult for everyone Someone must be on the other side of the transaction after all.

    Yet, most who the encounter the trader don't seem to understand who the trader is, what the trader does, and why they are important. You can tell the outside observer that in times of panic the successful trader buys when others are selling out at any price. He is assuming risk and his willingness to buy helps stabilize a plunging market. Yet, to the outside observer, the trader caused the panic and must be reviled. When the trader buys the bottom and sells out as the market rises, he is called a lucky gambler. Or he is said to be unfairly exploiting the weak. When a trader buys and the market continues against him, a sense of satisfaction seems to appear among those who think the trader
    is being rightly punished for his gambling. And even when the role of the trader is explained, it only seems to be grasped on surface level.

    Traders are the life blood of a free enterprise system and at times it is their own blood greasing the skids. They compete for profit by assuming risk which will cause emotions that only another trader
    will truly understand. Traders experience uncertainty, questioning their methods. The 8th losing trade in a row will cause even the most confident and seasoned trader to experience a twinge of doubt. And the less seasoned trader will feel pain and wonder if they will ever win again. Maybe they were previously lucky, they will tell themselves. Maybe the world has changed. When their methods work, traders will experience joy, though the joy of winning never seems to rise to the pain of losing. Traders will feel grandiose overconfidence and superiority after a winning streak. They will wonder if it is even possible to lose again and inevitably that question will be answered. They will be rewarded for that hubris with the pain of loss. And at sometime or another every trader will feel a sense of alone. The trader alone is responsible for his decisions and he alone lives with the consequences. And he alone will experience the intense emotion from what the outside observer views as a trivial pursuit. Seemingly, the only people who will ever understand the trader are other traders who have been through the fire themselves.

  48. armidal7 on March 5, 2015 11:00 am

    48.

    What are the odds of playing Texas hold'em, getting a pat straight flush on the flop and losing to a higher straight flush? What are the odds of driving a new car out of the car dealer's lot and having it totaled by a truck? What are the odds of your wife, who has never made a bet in her life, sweeping nine trifectas in a row(3 of them paid four figures) at the dog track? What are the odds of seeing four people get bitten by sharks within thirty minutes while surfing at New Smyrna Beach? What are the odds of playing the best golf game of your life with a hole in one, three eagles, two birdies, yet still losing by a stroke? What are the odds of both grandmothers dying exactly a year to the day apart, same time of day, in the same hospital room? What are the odds of losing forty two copper trades in a row? What are the odds of standing in line to buy a scratch off lotto ticket, and the person ahead bought the same ticket the wife requested and it paid $120,000. What are the odds of going to Publix, and within ninety minutes, running into three people from different periods of your past? What are the odds of running into a guy from first grade while waiting for a train in Morocco? What are the odds of winning two first prizes in two separate drawings at the grand opening of a mall?

    None of this is good luck, bad luck, or is unusual because people beat long odds all the time and it's easy enough to explain. Life presents thousands of opportunities/happenings/events every day. Multiply that by thousands of days, and there are millions and millions of opportunities/happenings/events every lifetime, and the total distribution will show a number that could be described as long shots.

    One's chance of facing and beating long odds(for better or worse) in one way or another during a lifetime is near 100%. Repeating the mantra that beating odds is not always favorable, as failure has odds too.

    The markets offer the player all kinds of odds, changing all the time, all day long, every trading day of the year. For every few thousand 3:2 plays, there will be some that offer 50:1, 100:1, 1,000:1 or maybe more. It is likely that the participant will stumble across many of these long odds scenarios in a career. Looking at the chart where an option traded for a quarter, it is important to remember that someone bought that option which immediately went to $85, and somebody also bought beans at $6.00 that doubled. Conversely, someone sold that option, and sold the beans which possibly caused them great harm.

    All in all, it's important for the spec to develop good skills and learn to handicap everything in life and the markets. Although cliche, it's necessary to expect the unexpected. Keep to the high ground when the 100 year flood shows, and don't get cocky when three inches of gold unexpectedly rain down on the street.

    (submitted by Jeff Watson)

  49. ingmar brouwer on March 5, 2015 5:02 pm

    49.

    someone who knows himself.

  50. Simon M on March 5, 2015 5:27 pm

    50.

    In my blood

    From as young as 5 years old I can remember hustling and trading baseball cards with other kids on the school yard. The thrill of a good trade at below market value grabs a speculators soul from a very young age.

    The love affair we have with the markets is as much to do with mastering our inner self destructive death drive as it is to do with sharpening our daily battle skills. Every day we choose to step up to battle the speculation "dragon". Limiting and avoiding the bigger waves that can lay us to eternal sleep we battle forth hunting the few trades that make our year.

    To eat what we kill and to risk our reputation year in year out.
    Many may say it's the definition of insanity but to a true speculator it's the very fabric of our being.

  51. moshe liber on March 5, 2015 7:29 pm

    51.

    What is a Trader?

    A naive hero who thinks he can overcame randomness.

  52. @_gammalicious on March 6, 2015 12:28 am

    52.

    A trader is a degenerate gambler in pursuit on Self-actualization.

  53. Anthony Bittman on March 6, 2015 12:24 pm

    53.

    WILLE ZUR MACHT! … MACBETH AND NIETZSCHE

    Chaos is come again!
    When all that glisters is not gold,
    Often you have heard that told:
    See, sons, what things you are,
    How quickly nature falls into revolt
    When gold becomes her object.

    When we are born, we cry that we
    Are come to this great stage of fools.
    We can easily forgive a child
    Who is afraid of the dark;
    The real tragedy of life is
    When men are afraid of the light.

    Stars hide your fires;
    Let not light see my
    Black and deep desires.
    Earth provides enough
    To satisfy every man's needs,
    But not every man's greed.

    Wilt thou be lord of the whole world?
    This above all: to thine own self be true.

  54. Anthony Bittman on March 6, 2015 2:00 pm

    54.

    When all that glisters is not gold:
    Wilt thou be lord of the whole world?
    This above all: to thine own self be true.

    Bman.

  55. Ed on March 6, 2015 2:55 pm

    55.

    A trader is a fellow who works twice as hard to win money the easy way than most do to earn it the hard way.

  56. kalyan on March 7, 2015 11:42 am

    56.

    “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” - Sigmud freud.

    Market by definition should trick the majority of traders and when the markets go against us we do feel the pain but rarely express our pain. It has got something to do with men being providers for their families for millions of years and this instinct does not change easily. When a trader loses he implodes inside as he not only lost money but most importantly a part of his manhood as well and that is not easy to admit and he fights to retrieve it back with the same wrong tactics and this cycle continues.

    In my experience the biggest issue for all traders is leverage, the lesser the leverage the lesser the issues and we can keep our manhood intact!)-

  57. armidal7 on March 8, 2015 9:05 pm

    57.  

    A trader is that economic agent who hazards the future most fearlessly and who also gives the most attention to history. Balancing these two large vectors over stretches of time, the trader is also therefore the economic agent who responds to the present moment with the highest alacrity.

    A trader is that economic agent who minimizes differences in prices over different places and over different times. Therefore, a trader is that economic agent whose profits come, not at the expense of others, but truly by creating utility of time and utility of place.

    A trader is that social agent whose goal is to steer clear of opinion and place his bets on expected facts. Trading activity has the largest incentives arising from anticipation and therefore a trader is that social agent whose responsibility it is to anticipate better than everyone else, including the governments.

    A trader is that thinker and that doer, whose mandate is to not allow his train of thoughts to execute actions at a positive relative velocity to reality. A trader's mandate is to reach the least possible relative velocity to reality. Therefore traders are those economic agents whose incentives arrive from achieving the least distortion perception of reality. Trading therefore, is a profession exercised by those who reflect reality sooner and better than all other social and economic agents.

    A trader is one who can despite the credentials to live in ivory towers, chooses to hobble down on a cane when all others have broken theirs.

    A trader is the one who knows better than all other economic agents when to hold them and when to fold them, whether playing cards or economic bets.

    A trader is the one who pays least price by way of humiliation brought about by adverse economic events, since a trader has learnt already that the most powerful currency is humility even in environs that are favourable.

    A trader is that rare scientist who is most conscious of and regularly experiences the changing velocity of time.

    A trader is that artist who envisions form in formlessness and formlessness in form.

    A trader is the one who despite all of these rare skills and attitudes as enlisted hereabove, is still a human being that makes mistakes and learns from them. 

  58. brian nolen on March 8, 2015 11:59 pm

    #58

    Everyone is a trader. We all trade something of 'perceived value' for something else that is a "perceived value"…..

    we trade time for money, money for time….time for pleasure, and pleasure for work….we trade work for money and money for food….we trade love for hate, and hate for love…

    we trade risk for security, and security for dreams….

    we try to trade some things that really can't be traded….but by rehashing the past we try at least.

    we trade 'perceived value' for perceived value…..that's a trade….

    we 'traders' trade trades….we trade a day trade for a swing trade….we trade an "investment" for a short term gain….

    we hedge….whatever that means?…we trade a trade for security?

    ….and at the end of the day we're not really trading….we just making a decision that something of perceived value will be worth more or less at some point in the future….

    …or maybe we want the value to remain the same…..as long as it's not our 'trading' account.

    best,

    brian

  59. Sushil Kedia on March 9, 2015 5:31 am

    59.

    @sushilkedia

    A trader is that economic agent who hazards the future most fearlessly and who also gives the most attention to history. Balancing these two large vectors over stretches of time, the trader is also therefore the economic agent who responds to the present moment with the highest alacrity.

    A trader is that economic agent who minimizes differences in prices over different places and over different times. Therefore, a trader is that economic agent whose profits come, not at the expense of others, but truly by creating utility of time and utility of place.

    A trader is that social agent whose goal is to steer clear of opinion and place his bets on expected facts. Trading activity has the largest incentives arising from anticipation and therefore a trader is that social agent whose responsibility it is to anticipate better than everyone else, including the governments.

    A trader is that thinker and that doer, whose mandate is to not allow his train of thoughts to execute actions at a positive relative velocity to reality. A trader's mandate is to reach the least possible relative velocity to reality. Therefore traders are those economic agents whose incentives arrive from achieving the least distortion perception of reality. Trading therefore, is a profession exercised by those who reflect reality sooner and better than all other social and economic agents.

    A trader is one who can despite the credentials to live in ivory towers, chooses to hobble down on a cane when all others have broken theirs.

    A trader is the one who knows better than all other economic agents when to hold them and when to fold them, whether playing cards or economic bets.

    A trader is the one who pays least price by way of humiliation brought about by adverse economic events, since a trader has learnt already that the most powerful currency is humility even in environs that are favourable.

    A trader is that rare scientist who is most conscious of and regularly experiences the changing velocity of time.

    A trader is that artist who envisions form in formlessness and formlessness in form.

    A trader is the one who despite all of these rare skills and attitudes as enlisted hereabove, is still a human being that makes mistakes and learns from them.

  60. sl on March 9, 2015 8:39 am

    60.

    The market exists for people to transfer risk

    Speculators warehouse risk for the rest market, but the risk warehoused is focused on the outcome of future events and future realizations.

    Traders warehouse risk for speculators and everyone else. the risk warehoused is focused on forthcoming imbalances in the stream of buyers and sellers at the prevailing market price.

  61. daniel watkins on March 9, 2015 8:41 am

    I vote for # 18 … :-)

  62. Sammy on March 9, 2015 8:54 am

    61.

    A trader is animal spirits in action in the financial markets.

  63. Sam on March 9, 2015 2:26 pm

    #50

  64. nr on March 9, 2015 11:31 pm

    62.

    With gratitude to DailySpec: When did I become a trader? It wasn't when I made my first trades. Then I was just at the mercy of currents of flow, deception and emotions. It wasn't when I experimented in search of an edge. Then I was just driven by a search for truth. More a scientist really. It wasn't when I divined a sustainable edge. Then I was just more aware of the currents of flow but had not yet fully appreciated the deception and emotions. It was when I committed to overcome the vagaries of emotion and deception to execute a sustainable edge despite all.

  65. anand on March 10, 2015 8:51 am

    like 37 & 38 equally

  66. Jon Gethner on March 10, 2015 9:22 am

    63.

    A trader is defined by the plan/goal of the purchase/sale. It is not solely defined by time frame. If the plan/goal is to trade a position to achieve a particular price/profit target (even if adjusted) then it is trading. By comparison establishing a position with profit target goal, then that is not a trader. But a position "trader" can also be a short term hold. So the definition of trader is the plan/goal which then determines the trade management, whatever the time frame that it is held.

  67. David Suau on March 10, 2015 9:34 am

    64.

    A trader (as opposed to a portfolio manager/investor) is a market participant who uses volatility to find and execute his/her highest probability and best risk to reward ratio set ups in order to make money while protecting his/her capital.

  68. Anonymous on March 11, 2015 3:48 am

    65.

    Definition of a trader… Is all that comprises an HFT system, while simultaneously all that it is not.

    The SEC notes… "HFT typically exceeded 50% of total volume in U.S.-listed equities and concluded that, “[b]y any measure, HFT is a dominant component of the current market structure and likely to affect nearly all aspects of its performance."

    http://www.sec.gov/marketstructure/research/hft_lit_review_march_2014.pdf

    That said…

    A trader is as is the human construct, both rational and bestial in nature. Composite elements are cited in numerous forms and varying schools of thought, hence…

    A trader ought to be a presaged relative to market probabilities…

    A la T. Melvin's "thank you and Goodbye" tribute herein with the passing of Mr. Irving Kahn, who is quoted to observe… "You must have the discipline and temperament to resist your impulses. Human beings have precisely the wrong instincts when it comes to the markets…"

    http://www.dailyspeculations.com/wordpress/?p=10096

    As a result, a trader has become like… "a computerized trading strategy used to exploit fleeting market inefficiencies" or "a computer-driven investment trading strategy that emphasizes high transaction volume, extremely short-duration positions"?

    https://www.google.com/search?rls=aso&client=gmail&q=hft%20define

    Therefore, a trader is as a trader should, would, could, shall and will be as our market noun… "a person who buys and sells goods, currency, or stocks… synonymous with the dealer, merchant, buyer, seller, buyer and seller, marketeer, merchandiser, broker, agent; distributor, vendor, purveyor, monger, supplier, trafficker; retailer, wholesaler; storekeeper, shopkeeper; wheeler-dealer, and, alas… a merchant ship."

    https://www.google.com/search?rls=aso&client=gmail&q=trader%20define

    Therefore, a trader is all that embodies a market's vessel, while simultaneously all that it is not.

    dr

  69. Koek Wei Chew on March 11, 2015 3:59 am

    66.

    Too bad its closed.
    But I'm offering my view anyway.

    A trader is a person who takes chance, risk, make use of opportunity in his belief for an exchange that will make him better off than he is/was.

  70. Yan Kan on March 11, 2015 3:18 pm

    67.

    A speculator has to be a bit more than God playing dice, since his skin's in the game.

  71. Anonymous on March 12, 2015 11:59 am

    68.

    A trader is someone who willingly handcuffs themselves for 6-8 hrs each business day to a paranoid, bi-polar, manic depressive, schizophrenic and a attempts to trade with them using logic, reason, and indomitable optimism.

    (better late than never!)

    Steve Lambert

  72. Nitin Razdan on March 13, 2015 4:28 am

    69.

    Who is a Trader?

    A person who starts by assuming he’s up against the market, only to realise he’s actually up against himself ; and finds out “Who dares here, doesn’t necessarily win” but who wins himself over is the real winner, is a Trader.

  73. David Stewart on March 13, 2015 9:02 am

    When do we vote?

  74. David Stewart on March 13, 2015 11:10 am

    I’m not sure when the vote is, but I like a politician (or a lion trainer) will enter the booth and vote for my entry which is #43.
    Thank you and good luck to all

  75. armidal7 on March 13, 2015 2:14 pm

    70.

    To "be" a trader is to have had your butt kicked and then gotten back up. Before that you are nothing. To "be" a trader is to know how to manage or avoid those "terrible and typical" things and that only comes with knowledge and experience. They are all different.

    The Delphian was speaking to the trader when She said: "γνῶθι σεαυτόν." A trader knows thyself and uses that knowledge to avoid the next knockout. Learning the rules of the market you are trading is easy. Don't be fooled into thinking that knowing the rules makes you a trader.

    Trading is ultimately about you.

    The market is always probing for your weaknesses. Only you know them; yes, you *do* know them, don't you? The one weakness you are most vulnerable to is the one the market is always - ALWAYS - after. That's the one which will kill you.

    Thus this existential imperative: γνῶθι σεαυτόν ! "Being" a trader is a true Sartrean experience.

    Kipling knew:

    If-

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175772

    (submitted by Humble1)

  76. Anthony bittman on March 13, 2015 2:17 pm

    I vote for #53.

  77. Deepak Rajani on March 14, 2015 6:19 am

    71.

    A trader is someone who relentlessly seeks to find out the path of least resistance in the markets and relentlessly subjugates his own opinions to THAT path of least resistance.

  78. Son of a Trader on March 14, 2015 9:24 am

    72.

    A small boy looks angrily at his father.

    Boy “You promised you were coming on vacation with us this year”

    Father “I’m sorry Son I’ve got to stay”

    Boy “But the Market was up!”

    Father “It’s bad Son the Market was up, but I’m down”.

    Many years later a middle aged man talks to his aging mother outside a hospital room.

    Man “I don’t get it he is very ill and in pain, but is smiling and happy. Even the Market was down today”

    Mother “Son, the Market was down but he was up.”

  79. Greg on March 14, 2015 12:24 pm

    73.

    An obsessive compulsive educated research analyst who's driven by the thrill of extreme risk.

  80. Jevgenij on March 14, 2015 12:33 pm

    74.

    The guy who dont have family, dont care about homself, his best friends charts, his love is indicators, his happinies is profit, traders looks like people, they eat they sleep they have 2 legs 2 hands, body, when they close eyes they see how price will go in future, when they are sleep, they are actually dont sleep, if you see teader outside, it means that you sleep…

  81. Sergio Sanchez on March 14, 2015 4:25 pm

    75.

    What is a trader?

    There was a time when I was young, and naive. I would commonly throw around the words, "I am a Trader."

    Those words made me proud. Those words made me confident. Worst of all those words made me feel superior.

    My answer then to, "What is a trader?" Would have been that a trader was someone who bought and sold anything they could make a profit on. I would've said, " A trader is someone fearless, and calm under pressure."

    I was young, and I was dumb. By my own definition then, I was no trader. I was simply trying to act like one.

    While I was successful I only became more sure of that definition. Yet even at my best I had an uneasy feeling that there was nothing at the top of the mountain, but more mountain.

    You see I was running a Ponzi Scheme for my self worth. My self worth kept growing as long as I kept trading great. I WAS A TRADER!

    Then the inevitable happened, I struggled. I started making money that the 99% would be very happy with, but to me I was being defeated. My self worth was at all time lows.

    It was these struggles that made me realize how misguided, and blinded I was. I had put so much value in a title that was meaningless. It had no bearing on the Man I was, and wanted to be.

    My eyes were open to the fact that I was not a Trader. I was simply a Man who traded for a living.

    Trading was but a means to an end.

    I know now that a Trader is simply a person who buys and sells market related instruments for his own behalf or financial gain. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Sergio@ses435

  82. raminder on March 15, 2015 5:53 am

    I vote for #59 as it covers every dimension of trading

  83. Rohit on March 15, 2015 6:34 am

    “I vote for #59”

  84. sonia dhall on March 15, 2015 7:23 am

    76.

    A trader is one having highest frequency n vibration match wid d market. Yet able to control its emotions n sensible enough to trade wid perfection.

  85. Rajat Dutta on March 15, 2015 8:08 am

    I vote for #59

  86. Samson on March 15, 2015 7:12 pm

    77.

    A trader is a troubled philosopher often confusing luck for skill, deprived of sleep as a consequence of gorging on paranoia, fluent in committing Type II errors, leaning on the Gaussian while tiptoeing the edge of the Cauchy abyss.

  87. MANOJ SHARMA on March 16, 2015 12:12 am

    “I vote for #59”

  88. jagdish on March 16, 2015 9:22 am

    No59, @sushil kedia seems to have hit the nail bang on….yes traders are just like that.

  89. armidal7 on March 16, 2015 12:47 pm

    78.

    1.
    Come on, baby, walk along the lanes
    Of the Grand Bazaar. A
    Guy in sweats sees me check my screen.
    He asks me what I trade. I say,
    “Stocks and bonds and oil and gold.” He says,
    “Gold is what we love to deal.” I
    tell him how I took ten thousand to ten million and
    Back
    A-gain.

    2.
    Four A-M, I wake up and find
    Bonds are down six points. The
    Fed has just said some things
    To a few banks that “need to know.”

    They didn’t think that I would need to know, and that’s why
    I’m long at the market low. I
    Take the loss, what else can I do but
    Make
    That
    Trade

    (B music, bar 43)
    Come put on a
    short put spread for
    Twenty grand premium
    Yeah, it goes your
    way for a few days, you
    Do some more

    Call your broker, “What’s my margin?” A
    Million bucks, it’s just that we
    Must assume the worst three days from
    Ex-
    pi-
    ry

    (End B section)

    Furthermore, we charge five grand a day for
    Extra risk, and by the way
    Rates just rose because we took a hit on
    Swiss francs, so don’t complain.
    (Repeat B music or instrument take 8-bar solo)

    4.
    Stocks
    Open down and so I
    Buy a line. They
    fall some more, and I’m down
    Several big when suddenly they rise. I
    Get out quick and thank my
    Lucky stars.
    Four o’clock Dow’s up five
    Hundred points. If I had
    Held I could have sent all of my
    Kids to school, but Janet
    Yellen said some things to Democrats be-
    hind
    Closed
    Doors.

    5.
    I stare at the screen for
    Four straight nights.
    As Europe cracks. I’m in a
    Losing trade, the market’s very thin.
    I need caffeine

    In the half a minute that
    I’m away the E-C-
    B steps in, stocks rise but fall again and I
    Take a sip of the
    Priciest coffee
    Known
    To
    Man

    6.
    In the hospital, I’m wired up with tubes. A
    Friend comes by to see if
    I’m alive. I have a
    Big position but I’m too ashamed,
    … to tell him so. So
    I get up and roll my
    I-V cart in
    To the john to check the price and he says
    To the wife, “I guess the
    Kidneys are in
    Real
    Bad
    Shape

    7.
    A guy knows stocks, but he
    Wants to trade
    Beans. He
    goes in big. Puts his
    Order in at the
    Market price before the
    Open. And
    sits and waits. It opens
    Limit up and closes
    Limit down, and he
    Takes delivery
    By mistake and now he
    Pays ten thousand
    Bucks a day in
    Ware-
    house
    Fees.

    Finale
    Yeah, I’ve seen a lot but
    Oh, I’ll still take a shot and
    Make
    That
    Trade.

    (submitted by Laurel Kenner)

  90. kavita on March 16, 2015 2:19 pm

    I vote for #59

  91. Bill Wolfe on March 16, 2015 8:27 pm

    79.

    Many books and particularly the media romanticize trading. They portray successful traders as “gunslingers” with nerves of steel; men and woman that can bet on the toss of a coin and always be right.

    Nothing can be further than the truth. Successful trading requires that you plan the trade in advance. When you are in the trade you will act naturally because you have already run the trade through many times in your head. “I am not a spontaneous trader!” You will have traded the plan.

    If you lose, you say “so” and do it again.

  92. Anand Bang on March 17, 2015 8:35 am

    80.

    A trader is a risk taker. He has professional eyes and sees opportunity and smells problem
    Where others are unable to recognise. He is a trained human to operate in an uncertain environment and take decisions based on probabilities. He is studied in psychology, money management , and analysis. He is patient, operate without any greed , fear or attachment to results. Overall a good trader lives life with mastery and is a good human being.

  93. John Neufeldt on March 17, 2015 4:05 pm

    81.

    There are an infinite number of possible descriptions of a trader but they all have one thing in common: A trader is a person who acts upon conviction that a tremendous bargain is available and that the market is on the wrong side of it when the bargain is perceived and that the market will be even more wrong after the trader establishes a position.

  94. Ben Williams on March 17, 2015 5:52 pm

    82.

    What is a trader?

    A trader, is a trade-mechanic. Or simply, a mechanic. A trade-mechanic of economic fundamentals and/or technicals as it relates to a particular financial instrument, that he or she is looking to trade.

  95. Wayne Graham on March 17, 2015 6:23 pm

    83.

    A trader has no ego, has a thorough respect for the participants in the marketplace. Can adapt the strategy to the market conditions. He is hard working a master of his edge and is respectful to the ones that have helped him on the journey to his current level. Combines technical analysis, fundamental anaylasis and sentiment as part of his toolbox. He knows his risk parameters and knows he has absolutely no control over the outcome of a trade, accepts the risk without hesitation and can weather the storm of a number of successive losers. The biggest critic of himself and his character. But most of all is a master of detecting human emotion and the pulls this has on the weaker ones.

    Kind regards

    Wayne G

  96. Greg S on March 17, 2015 6:27 pm

    84.

    Trader: an individual or computer attempting to profit from randomness through superb money management.

  97. The Trader on March 17, 2015 7:21 pm

    85.

    What is a Trader? - A Tribute to All Traders:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwKYjZ_8EcE

  98. Ricard Puig on March 18, 2015 6:06 am

    86.

    A trader is who has a long acquired knowledge, knows himself and has the ability to control his emotions.

  99. Bobby O on March 18, 2015 5:40 pm

    87.

    A trader is a would-be assembler of beautiful girls.

  100. D. E. on March 18, 2015 7:44 pm

    88.

    A trader is taking shots

  101. Ty Izuka on March 18, 2015 10:32 pm

    number #13

  102. George Cotton on March 19, 2015 11:02 am

    89.

    Traders take and manage risk

  103. Pierre on March 19, 2015 1:33 pm

    90.

    Like the wind blows the seeds and the storms,
    the bee pollinates the flowers,
    the river brings the salmons back,
    the sea and the road carry it all to you,
    the midwife delivers,
    the trader facilitates the motion.
    Like the death shorts the life,
    the minister preaches a sermon,
    the fire fertilizes the soil,
    the friend makes you smile,
    the trader is the passage.

    Pierre

  104. David Boland on March 19, 2015 3:26 pm

    91.

    A trader is a malleable individual who is able to both exhibit conviction and abandon said conviction when the market changes. A trader's job is to manage the risk and their reward is profit. To be a successful trader, one must have patience, discipline, and live by the aphorism "know thyself."

  105. Nithin on March 23, 2015 12:53 am

    #59

  106. Max Power on March 26, 2015 11:17 am

    Like every market since the beginning of time, this contest is trying to be manipulated. #59 who has a very Indian name has received multiple votes from people with very Indian names also. Coincidence? I think not.

  107. TradeTheTraders on March 29, 2015 4:36 am

    What is a Trader?
    A trader is who trade Risk on a Daily Basis. This is his job.

  108. Patrick Raab on April 7, 2015 9:56 am

    What Is A Trader?
    I ask the man.

    He looks at me.

    A trader is not a bystander, nor a mindless member.
    Neither is he a selfless servant. No,

    A trader in an ecosystem,
    Evolving,
    Refusing to be categorized or labeled,
    Branded or defined.

    Not one role,
    Not one task,
    Not a tool or production line,
    Not one idea or small man. No,

    A trader is an ecosystem,
    Independent,
    Challenging all else
    To survive and thrive, evolve and change, or
    Sink and die. Extinct.

    A trader knows existing today is not tomorrow.
    Buttons pushed, research tested, markets predicted.

    A trader lives for certainty in self and tomorrow’s unknown.
    Adapting to survive, evolving to advance, competing to learn.

    A trader creates a pulse that connects and propels
    An ecosystem he designed to challenge our own.

    So the trader returns back to the question,
    What am I and who are we?

    Consistent, curious, and connected,
    Accurate, authentic, and adaptable,
    I strive to be.
    I am an ecosystem within this unknown we.

    Know Thyself,
    He says to me.

  109. Ali Darvish on April 9, 2015 5:46 am

    What is a Trader?
    It’s May 6th 2010. Its lunch time and you’re ready take a lunch break at your house from your high school up the block. You turn on your TV and turn to channel 724, CNBC. On the TV is a massive mob outside the Greek Parliament Building, which is surrounded by police in riot gear. There is this one gutsy guy who walks up to a police officer’s riot shield and starts shouting. You open up your laptop and see that the little money left over from a string of losses earlier that year could be put to work by going short for a quick profit. The Dow is already down by at least 200, and then all hell breaks loose. The protesters and the police clash. That man taunting the police officer earlier is hit with a baton on the back of his legs and is seemingly flipped by the impact, and is swiftly hand-cuffed. The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all drop in unison. The ticker tape on the screen keeps showing lower and lower prices. You get this crazy idea to buy a far-out and cheap $115 put option on Apple, which is trading at around $140. You buy two contracts for .40 each, confident that Apple will tumble, hard; and it does. In an instant, those two contracts are worth well over $900, which makes up for the year’s loss. As quick as the stock drops it rises, and by the time you go to close your positions the contracts are worth next to nothing.

    A trader learns from mistakes like the one above, which is day-trading an option contract based on very little to no information other than a hunch. A trader learns to go by a system of rules with some elasticity. He knows his time scale for trading and has a plan-B for when things do not play out as they were supposed to. He is aware of other factors, such as changes in commodity prices or changes in foreign exchange rates which might affect his position. And last but not least, a trader knows when to take a break from trading.

  110. Patrick on April 9, 2015 10:19 am

    The trader’s role in society is to find, maintain and change values.

    The transmission of pricing is akin to the importance of the stars in celestial navigation. Without signals and some level of constancy, the rest of us in society would have great trouble figuring our what to do with ourselves.

  111. ra on April 9, 2015 12:59 pm

    An entrepreneur that must work on his/her craft on daily basis.

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