Thanks to Reformed Broker for his link to this very interesting interview with Peter Brandt
Read the whole interview as it has many interesting insights, but here’s a small excerpt which made us laugh and is uber- relevant to anyone who puts information out there on blogs, twitter, etc.
PETER BRANDT: I knew then that I wanted to start trading for myself. So I started dabbling a little bit, accumulating a little bit of money, starting in ’78, doing some trades… and I didn’t really know what I was doing.
One of the first trades I did came from my friend in Evanston who was the bean trader. I was just learning the business, and he had told me he was really bullish on soybeans: “Peter, I’m REALLY bullish on these beans.”
And so I watched them for a few days – I think they were around $5.50 or so – and I’d saved up a few thousand dollars to speculate. And they crept up like ten cents, and so I bought a contract, and they went up like five more cents – and then they went down twenty cents.
And so I got out with my loss, and eventually saw John again and said: “John, so what about those beans?” And he said “Yeah, was that a magnificent move or what?”
JACK SPARROW (laughing): Oh no…
PETER BRANDT: Yeah, and I said “What are you talking about?” And so it ends up that John is a scalper. He never takes a position home at night. He trades the beans for half a cent to a penny, and he had such a conviction on beans that he had a position he was willing to carry for three or four days. Well I find this out after the fact. He takes ten cents out of the bean market, which for him is a gigantic move, and I wasn’t even thinking that way!
And that was a good lesson. Traders at the Board of Trade would constantly say they were bullish or bearish, and it was a good lesson that the words “bullish” or “bearish” did not mean anything. I would have to ask, “What’s your timeframe? How long do you hold trades? How much money are you looking for in a trade? Where are you wrong – what will tell you that you’re wrong? Why are you bullish or bearish, what do you know?”
And so I learned really early on that bullish or bearish didn’t mean squat.
49 minutes ago