Q How do you know when your girlfriend has had an orgasm?
A Who cares!
Im actually reading The Education of a Speculator by Victor Niederhoffer (modern day version of Stock Operator). There is a chapter about Markets and Sex. He makes several references to the Hemline Index - proven fact that girls wear shorter skirts during bull markets (80's) but longer ones during declines (70'2). Also references the exileration of a winning trade vs sex, the dangers of good sex before a trading session (causes irresponsible trades due to the feelings of prowess and ego etc). An interesting book, but dont expect it to give away any of his 'secrets'. The chapters on gambling, board games, sports and deception (in nature and markets) are also page turners.
Victor Niederhoffer is one of Soros's protegees by the way.
Famed speculator Victor Niederhoffer played the same games everyone else did -- but he always played bigger. As a student of trading, he worked under George Soros; he regularly challenges grandmasters in chess and checkers; he's won repeated titles as a national squash champion. As an international futures trader, he regularly wagered hundreds of millions of dollars on margin. And on Monday, Oct. 27, 1997, he lost.
Niederhoffer's three hedge funds, Limited Partners of Niederhoffer Intermarket Fund L.P., Limited Partners of Niederhoffer Friends Partnership L.P. and Niederhoffer Global Systems S.A., were wiped out Monday as losses estimated at $50 million to $100 million claimed the first high-profile victim of the market swoon.
TheStreet.com has obtained a letter addressed to Niederhoffer clients in which he writes: "Right now the indications are that the entire equity positions in the funds has been wiped out." Acknowledging his propensity for risk, the memo added that "this time we did not succeed, and I regret to say that all of us have suffered some very large losses."
According to the letter, Niederhoffer's losses came as a result of speculative bets on S&P 500 puts, and he was among several big traders to get tagged with huge losses, according to a source on a Chicago trading floor. Curiously, a standard bet on puts Monday would have proved prescient. Possibly, one trader said, Niederhoffer had started going long by writing puts during last week's weakness. That would have become a dangerous and costly trade on Monday as markets screamed lower. Another trader thought Niederhoffer had made bets based on volatility that had gone terribly awry. Niederhoffer's funds have been working with its brokers since Monday evening to meet obligations, according to the memo.
I am a big fan of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator; it was this book that introduced me into the trading game. The book was eyeopening as it told me about the age-old nature of trading and speculating.
Do you think The Education of a Speculator is similarly educational?
re: 'The Education of a Speculator' This rather idiosyncratic book must be one of the few books on trading (I may be showing my ignorance here, I have not read <i>that</i> many?) that contains 24 mainly rather amateurish looking paintings in the middle. And I mean that as no slur on the author. Perhaps they are well known artists? But the pics - with a few exceptions - look like they've been painted by family friends. Extraordinary.
BBB: regarding sex before trading - I don't know if there is any connection - but sex before running in a race (especially before the shorter distances) is believe from studies done to promote oxygen uptake and that therefore the runner can improve his/her time somewhat; masturbation can have a similar effect. But Victor Niederhoffer would have a better idea than I on its effects on trading the S&P! Smile...
lol - good points. If the book is of any value, it must be learning from VN's mistakes. There can be a lot of valuable lessons in learning what NOT to do, rather than the usual what to do books.
Yea - the pictures are a mystery. Presumably they cost him an arm and a leg. They all seem to be based around events in his life and attitude - like the Titanic. He says he has this picture in every office to remind his traders of the perils of ignorance and ego. Shame he didn't listen to his own advise eh!
A quick google returned the following bio on MSN money:
Victor Niederhoffer is a private speculator specializing in futures and options trading. A graduate of Harvard ('64) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D. '68), Victor founded a merger-and-acquisition firm in the mid-1960s. For a decade, he was unbeaten as national squash champion. In the late 1970s Victor began speculating in commodity markets, making and losing several fortunes. He started trading for customers (and George Soros) in the early 1980s and was managing more than $100 million by the mid-1990s. For several years he had the best track record in the world before investments in emerging markets in 1997 caused his fund to close. Since 1997 he has continued to trade for his own account using principles outlined in his best-selling book, "The Education of a Speculator." He currently writes a weekly column on the markets with co-author Laurel Kenner on MSN Money. His interests include electricity, ecology, musical theater, chess and checkers, sports, old books and folk art.
Interesting how they say:
"several years he had the best track record in the world before
investments in emerging markets in 1997 caused his fund to close"
Not sure how accurate the emerging markets bit is???
This thread seems to have degenerated a bit since my last visit. Stuff flying all over the place and lots of useful tips (thanks BBB, twalker and others). I've always been a meths drinking man - sorry, coffee - in the morning to wake me up, but maybe not tomorrow...
To get back to the Niederhoffer book: whatever one thinks of him, and I'm aware he's not universally admired, he's a pretty brave author. How many writers on the art (?) of speculation would dare write:
<i>I have counted the number of books published on sex and speculation each year from 1886 to 1995.</i>
And go on and compare them to a change in the Dow? Thank God for different approaches. Must go. Got to rehearse for tommorrow.