Monday, April 28, 2008

The mind of a Trader

The mind of a trader is a wonderful thing. When it comes to analysing information, sifting out what's important, what is relevant, analysing its effect and putting a price on the whole thing, a trader's mind could rival the most advanced supercomputer. But when it comes to remembering what happened in the past, the mistakes that led to previous crashes, heck forget about previous crashes even the inflation numbers that were declared 2 weeks back, the trader's memory could rival an industrial sized sieve. Its just wonderful how events in the financial markets keep repeating themselves. It's like watching re-makes of some old comedy or horror flick, I'm not quite sure which.
Just look around you. Forget the US markets, those are like a constant circus. If the Fed Chairman so much as grimaces on a burp, the markets will take this as a hawkish stance and will accordingly crash. The Asian Markets are like Russian Roulette, while the globe is reeling under the credit crunch, spiking inflation, a global slowdown, the Shanghai market will be little over 9% up in a single trading session. As obelix would say, "These Traders are crazy". A trader's mind is like the most advanced supercomputer with a 64 MB memory card.
I wonder what would happen if people stopped looking at what happened yesterday and today and started looking at what happened over the year. What would happen if traders started thinking objectively. If they stopped flying off the hook at the smallest of issues.... well, for starters we wouldn't have crossed 20k. That's because as soon as we hit 18500 the objective ones would be booking their profits and the markets would meander along, everyone would still be making money.
Aah Nirvana. Where the oft used maxim "Buy on rumor, sell on News" would have no scope. Where news items would not be discounted three hours before they were announced. Where stocks would not trade at 50 times their expected earnings two years hence. Where elusive land values were not factored in 5 years before the first foundation hole is dug.
But of course where would the fun be in that? That would be so staid. Heck the markets would be as interesting as watching moss grow.
Nah, the trader and his defective memory card and the violent swings of the market are what makes this whole job so interesting. The high you get knowing your portfolio is zipping along to the skies is like none other. And when the trend reverses and you realise you weren't quick enough to get out, the shocked stupor you find yourself in could rival any and every hangover. Surviving this market is like a right of passage. Everyone should go through it. Its the ultimate game of chicken. The only place where you can lose not just your returns but all of your life saving... commonly known as losing your pants - your shirt being the returns and that's long gone. The Stock Markets are the ultimate adrenaline junkie haven. Extreme sports has nothing on a lower circuit. Move over kids - The Traders are here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Die Bart!!! Die!!!

Ever wonder how the best laid plans can go so horribly wrong? No matter what you do, salvaging yourr failing plans is like trying to stop the Niagra with your bare hands. It ain't happening! You can do your best and then some, and it still won't be enough. Why is it always so complicated? Just for a moment coonsider what life would be like, if what you got out was in proportion to what you put in. More effort would mean more rewards and vice versa. Kissing a boss's ass would get you no where. That would also mean that the boss would not stay the boss unless he actually did some work... which would mean that most of today's bosses would be redundant and either demoted (what a beautiful thought) or retired. They would necessarily have to reform their way of working and actually start doing something worthwhile rather than harassing their employees and encouraging the ass kissers.
But such is not the case (highly unfortunate). Slaves, or contract labour as it is known today, must try by fair means or foul (the latter is more predominant) to get their grubby paws on as big a slice of the bonus pie as possible. Somehow actual work doesn't translate into rewards anymore. Its like doing an MBA. At one point in time it meant something. Today its just another degree that's necassary. Anyone remember the days when being a graduate meant something?
what is the point of all this misery? We struggle and struggle and then struggle some more, sacrificinig health, family, friends, personality, hobbies... (you name it and it will be sacrificed) and for what? the rising inflation makes sure we don't manage to save enough for our old age, the money is never enough, the stress is always too much, when there's money there's no peace (not because of the money but because of the people giving itt to you) So I say again.... What is the point of all this? Honestly! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE SOONER OR LATER... that's the one truth in all of our lives. so why are we working so that we can be miserable and ill and finally dead! Doesn't make too much sense. And I used to think ants and bees led a humdrum existence constantly carrying heavy loads or making honey, working for the greater good until they finally died (or got squished or eaten). Guess we humans aren't so intelligent afterall! Other than an opposible thumb there's precious little to set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.