Friday, 8 February 2008

"This is not rocket science"

Anyone with average intelligence can learn to trade. This is not rocket science. However, it’s much easier to learn what you should do in trading than to do it. Good systems tend to violate normal human tendencies. Of the people who can learn the basics, only a small percentage will be successful traders. …

Decision theorists have performed experiments in which people are given various choices between sure things (amounts of money) and simple lotteries in order to see if the subjects’ preferences are rationally ordered. They find that people will generally choose a sure gain over a lottery with a higher expected gain but that they will shun a sure loss in favor of an even worse lottery (as long as the lottery gives them a chance of coming out ahead). These evidently instinctive human tendencies spell doom for the trader - take your profits, but play with your losses. — William Eckhardt interviewed by Jack Schwager, The New Market Wizards: Conversations with America’s Top Traders

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