As there have been many excellent contributions to the "What is a Trader" contest recently, we will extend the deadline for votes for the best until Friday, the 20th. We will pay interest and augment the prize to $2,250. Good luck.





Speak your mind

4 Comments so far

  1. Charles Mosseri Marlio on March 19, 2015 4:50 am

    All investors are marked to market; whether (and how) to acknowledge this is another matter.

    An investor often welcomes a price decline to the extent that it enables increasing a position; a trader never does.

    To a trader, cash is a non-performing asset; to an investor, it is an asset class.

  2. Vik on March 19, 2015 7:28 am

    It is all about waves- Elliot wave theorist
    It’s the flower petals- fib traders
    It’s the stars and the moon- gann theorist
    It’s the cups, penants, triangles etc- pattern trader

    So many ways to trade. But the one who extracts money out of the markets consistently is a true successful trader irrespective of the method.

  3. Ali on March 20, 2015 3:25 pm

    You can only base this on experience and maybe a little about what you’ve seen of others and real stories you’ve heard. Trading is very similar to life - there is everything in it: drama, success, failure, addiction, facts, true, lies, fear, greed, lust, love and the ability to choose or believe in ANY style of trading like a religion to get through it – YET NEVER knowing the actual truth – the truth that it you were right or it was pure and simple LUCK. A Cambridge PhD, a 16 year old school leaver, a 60 year old grandpa; a natural scientist, the psychologist, the astrologist, the fortune teller, the historian, the computer scientist, the economist, the bullshiter, the criminal, the voodoo magic – you name it - the trader takes his pick and enters the markets - yet never knowing if he is actually qualified or not. – there is no entry exam or test to pass. The 15k hours belief, the blow-up-virginity loss or the multi-blow-ups Diploma, the 100k account wipe out, or the 5, 10 or 15 years ‘experience’ and still not knowing if he has made it or not! The trader reads a book (Reminiscences of a..) or watched a movie (Wall Street) and for whatever reason he is convinced it was his bio.

    A trader is at constant struggle with human nature. Battling with himself trying to FIX his mind to observe things clearly while the market proves he is not perfect - EVERY single time he is convinced he is near the truth. If emotional, he becomes immune to pain, yet winning is greatest pleasure to him – even if it’s 10% win after a 90% loss! Just like an epidemic disorder. A trader seeks an answer or truth that is never attainable; he even lies to himself or makes up fantasy charts to describe causation of some price movement; and yet deep down, he is certain he can never understand or conquer randomness. His thought goes beyond himself: to the study of others, of history, the past, of other traders, the crowd, their ‘madness’, the nature, gods, or some “Mr Market” he is fighting. He is told it’s like poker; it’s a game; it’s zero-sum; it’s not even real; it’s manipulation; and perhaps the only who make money are actually not taking risk at all (be it front-running or some other exploit. For most part trading is an art to him, it’s an art of fight uncertainty and taking on risk. Arbitrage doesn’t count. It’s the satisfaction of beating randomness like magic and the idea (or illusion) that his edge is real. Yet remembering every time he was convinced of this - the market destroyed him. So then while he tries to reach the truth; he fears to get too close to know it. He pretends he’s an idiot as the invisible lie detector watches him. His birth mind is forever changed (or maybe destroyed) and is no longer a thought or memory, but a live real-time ‘intelligent’ system that is permanently faulty. A mature trader is then not seeking the truth - but only survival. Risk-management then matters more than facts. The self-inflicted tortures of the past are not forgotten. He worships and treasures any rule he has invented that and depends on just like food and water.

    A trader is a freedom fighter. He wants to be free of work hours. Of tasks. Or a job. Or a boss. He has a revolutionary mind. He doesn’t like taking orders or following rules, he believes only in following his own path in life. He is also a capitalist. He prefers to get paid in a risk-reward framework. He only values reward for real work and not getting something for nothing. A trader is a very interesting person to talk to – having resorted to every form of ideology, magic, madness, and disciplines imaginable to perfect his art. But he also has a real sensitive spot – his account’s inception-to-date account is something of a mystery never talked about. He probably has manipulated that even for himself and is best never raised as a topic of discussion – unless he has been LUCKY enough to tell you about it himself or judged by state of his spirit.

    p.s. – trader for me is the absolute and true RISK-taking traders, not execution-only button presser, brokers, front-runners, manipulators, ‘activists’, CNBC pundits, long-term long-only investors.

  4. Douglas Gatica on March 23, 2015 6:24 pm

    Just do whatever you know you can make money without listening to anyone except to you alone, your own way of understanding how the market works, and how it works best for you. Trade your own way to say the least.


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