Bruce Bower

Choking and Trading

Oct 25th, 2014 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Trader Development, Trading Lesson
The most painful sports phenomenon to watch is choking. I can get almost nauseous when I see a skilled, highly practiced athlete fall apart in the last minute. Imagine- he’s been ahead the whole way and yet manages to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. We know that the stress in these situations is huge but no one wants to choke under pressure. A couple of days ago, I was fortunate to attend a lecture by Sian Beilock, a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago and the author of Choke. The book is about how our brain reacts to stressful situations and how we can mitigate the pressure that comes with it.  Her Read more [...]


How To Remove Your Emotions From Trading

Jun 15th, 2014 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, Trader Development, Trading Lesson, Trading Psychology
Investors and traders around the world are always wondering “How do I remove the emotions from trading?” We’ve all experienced the downside of emotions –panicking and closing out a trade at the worst possible moment; being too greedy and taking on an excessive amount of risk; or just watching our overall emotional state fluctuate with the markets. The natural reaction is to blame our emotions, believing that they made us or caused us to trade worse than we should. And if our emotions are going to hurt our trading and make us look bad, then we want to suppress them and distance ourselves from them. One of the most Read more [...]


How Do You Start Trading Without A Methodology?  

Jun 8th, 2014 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, General Comments, Trader Development, Trading Lesson
Starting out in trading and investing can be a daunting challenge. Surveying successful traders, they will give you advice like “You need a methodology that works”; “You need a style that’s all your own”; “you have to find your own way”. That’s great, but when you are just getting started, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to make any money. You’d just like to find something, anything that works. It’s essentially a chicken and egg problem—how do you know what plan to use? How do you know if it’s right for you? And if it’s untested, then how do you have sufficient confidence in it to Read more [...]


How To Be More Consistent in Your Trading

May 19th, 2014 | By | Category: Bruce Bower, Trader Development, Trading Lesson, Trading Psychology
How to Be More Consistent in Your Trading We all have things that we feel quite strongly about, for completely irrational reasons. Me? I can’t stand rollercoasters. While some people get a kick out of the adrenaline rush, I prefer steady and smooth riding. One thing’s for sure—I don’t want the huge swings and volatile ups and downs. With the markets, I am the same. I can’t stand huge swings. I like steady and smooth. Consistency is the name of the game for me. No rollercoaster, no adrenaline. Just disciplined, measured and smooth. Traders of all skill level always ask —“How do I get more consistent?”. Sometimes Read more [...]


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 [...]


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