Thursday, April 28, 2011

Great Read

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.