All entries by this author

What is Risk?

Jan 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Trading Lesson, Trading Theory
What is risk?   Imagine a word that everyone threw around constantly, but that no one could define. A word that was critically important, but never used properly. In trading, that word is “risk”. Of course, we have to use the word constantly. We are taking risk in order to generate a return. We put on positions and make sound decisions in order to make money. With trying to make money, there is inevitably some downside—naturally, we could lose money or we could make it.  “No pain, no gain”—or in this context, “no risk, no return”. We probably don’t want to lose any money. Inevitably, there Read more [...]

Lessons Learned From A Million Dollar Loser

Sep 1st, 2013 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Trading Lesson, Trading Psychology
Imagine that you’re on top of the world…You have achieved brilliant career success on the trading floor of Chicago; you sit on the important governing body of your industry; you’ve got a wonderful family; and plenty of toys to enjoy in your spare time. And then, in what seems like a blink of an eye, you lose it all. You lose one million dollars, your career and all of the trappings of success. Poof. All gone. How would you react if you were that guy? Well, there was such a guy. In his book “What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars”, Jim Paul shares his own personal story. He experienced all of the highs and Read more [...]

Rich Trader, Poor Trader

Apr 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, Guest Blog, Trader Development, Trading Psychology
Trading is inextricably linked with money. You are taking risk in the markets because you want to make money. If you trade well over a long period of time, then you will make lots of money. We all know what the results of trading success can look like, and that motivates us—the cushy bank balance, nice house(s), etc. Most traders are a competitive lot and they want to outdo themselves and others. Less understood are the interactions between traders’ psychology and money. Traders, like anyone else, have a certain emotional relationship with money, and that can affect their trading for better or worse. If trading is all Read more [...]

Four Ways To Get Your Trading Ready For the Summer

Mar 31st, 2013 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Guest Blog, Trader Development, Trading Lesson
In most parts of the US and Europe, this winter has been positively arctic. Record snowfall, freezing temperatures and howling wind. It can be a downer, even for the hardiest of souls. Even then, most traders are in the office, focused on their screens and their results and not paying any attention to the weather. Summer may seem like the furthest thing from your mind, but you should start thinking about it now. It offers an opportunity to reflect on our trading progress. As the middle of the year, it’s a readily identifiably halfway point; given the changes in market conditions over the summer, we usually have to think about Read more [...]

Finding a Jungle Guide

Mar 12th, 2013 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Guest Blog, Trader Development, Trading Lesson, Trading Psychology
It can be a rough and cruel world out there in the markets. The competition is high, people are cutthroat, and the markets are never easy. Sometimes it can feel like a feral jungle, with danger lurking everywhere. You want to give yourself every edge and extra chances to succeed, but what really makes the difference? Simple: A mentor. In his classic Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis referred to a mentor as a “jungle guide”, implying that he helped you navigate the savage environment of Wall Street. While the word “mentor” may not be as colorful as "jungle guide", it doesn’t diminish the need for a mentor. As traders, Read more [...]

How Are Those New Year’s Resolutions Going?

Feb 17th, 2013 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Guest Blog, Trading Lesson, Trading Psychology
Maybe it’s the bubbles in champagne, or the sound of the cork popping, but New Year’s always brings out a rush of emotions. The end of one year naturally lends itself to reflection on the past.  As the calendar turns over, people wax lyrical about another year passing. Taking stock of the past year, people figure out where they are – and then dream of where they want to be. The gap between those – and there is almost always a gap-- can spur us on to change for the better. Yes, the dreaded New Year’s resolution. I can hear the skepticism already. We all know about the person who swore up and down that one year Read more [...]

What a Star Fund Manager Can Teach Us About Improvement

Dec 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Guest Blog, Trader Development, Trading Lesson
Imagine that a star fund manager, with nearly a decade of stunning results, decides to completely retool the way that he does things. Would you think that he’s crazy? Would you call him a has-been? Or would you draw a different, more instructive lesson—that this is the reason why he’s stayed a top fund manager? The FT recently ran a story about Pierre Lagrange, a well-known and extremely successful hedge fund manager in London. Famously the “L” of the prestigious fund GLG, he runs a $2 billion long/short equities fund. He admits to being stung by the 2008 crisis, in which his fund fell nearly 20%. For a long/short Read more [...]

What I Learned From The Best Trader at Citibank

Nov 25th, 2012 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Trader Development, Trading Lesson, Trading Psychology
In my senior year of college, I hit the jackpot. No, I didn’t win the lottery. I did even better-- I got the job I wanted in the markets. Let me repeat: *the* job. Note: the lesson is that if I can do it, then anyone can! Ever since I was 14, I knew that I wanted to be a trader. One day, I was in my dad’s office and pulled a book off his bookshelf about famous investors—and discovered a world that I barely knew existed. The stories of making great fortunes through one’s intellect drew me in and I was hooked. Ever since then, I knew that I wanted to be a trader. In college, I naturally looked for trading Read more [...]