Thursday 15 January 2009

Make Me A Trader

Did anyone catch "Million Dollar Traders: Make Me a Trader" on BBC2 last night? Very much influenced by, if not directly copied from, "The Way Of The Turtle", (a book by Curtis Faith detailing the story of Richard Dennis who took 23 ordinary people and trained them to be traders in just two weeks), last night's show took 8 men and women and gives them two months to become successful traders with money provided by a Russian sounding guy straight out of a Bond movie.

The two qualities for a trader that he was looking for were the ability to handle stress, and to be good at maths. It was quite amazing how few people applying could multiply 32 by 32. Anyway, the series looks like it might be interesting, with the first episode already showing much of the emotions and stress that traders on the betting exchange go through as well as some of the mistakes we make.

I've always been good with numbers, something my Mum swears I inherited from my stockbroking grandfather, and losing a few quid on a bad bet is to my mind not something worth stressing over. If I was told I had cancer, or someone close to me was in trouble, then I might find that stressful, but if you can maintain perspective while trading, it makes it a lot easier to make good decisions.

The quote: "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs..." (Rudyard Kipling) is very true.

It also helps to be playing with profits rather than with the mortgage money (scared money never wins).

I was thinking in the shower this morning, (yes, once a week, whether I need one or not), Betfair really is the ultimate video game. I've never been one for games, (friends at work spend hours playing Call of Duty - why? What's the point?), but in many ways the exchanges are one big on-line game. It's me versus an unknown opponent. My opinion versus yours, except in this game the points are real money.

Finally, my little vent yesterday did me the world of good. I bounced back from Monday's loss with my best day in over a year (since Jan 13, 2008 to be precise) and even the Premium Charge is (almost) forgotten.


Anonymous said...

A good show that, one worth watching for the rest of the series. Personally, I would have preferred for them to show more of the training they had but still good.

I thought he was more Dutch then Russian!

As for the NBA study Cassini, how many of the teams who failed to cover the spread actually lost the game outright as well?

Keep up the blog mate, and a belated happy new year!


Cassini said...

Dutch. Russian. They're all the same!

Agree with you on the training, they basically showed nothing. I also didn't agree with the team HAVING to be in the market. Often the best strategy is to do nothing. IMO of coure.

Also, did Simon (I'm ashamed to say from my home town of Croydon) remind anyone of John Inman?

I'll get back to you on the NBA study. It's looking promising, but very early days.