12 more observations on life and the markets

In honor of the completion of my new book manuscript and in appreciation
of the response to my initial posting on A
Dozen Observations on Life and Markets
, here are a dozen new observations:

  1. Trading is the most
    difficult of sports: nowhere else does one begin a career by opposing the
    world’s most accomplished professionals.

  2. Extreme trading size
    produces extreme emotional outcomes, leaving traders with certain trauma or

  3. A universal trade setup:
    Hope, then despair.

  4. Fidelity to purpose: the
    mark of good trades and great traders.

  5. Mentors cannot achieve
    more for you than they have accomplished for themselves.

  6. Date markets before
    deciding to marry them.

  7. Addiction: when the desire
    to trade exceeds the desire to make money.

  8. Good traders master a
    market; great traders master markets.

  9. Success is the point at
    which talent meets opportunity.

  10. Work without talent is
    drudgery; talent without work is self-betrayal.

  11. Psychology can never
    substitute for skill.

  12. Trading is the only sport
    in which the rules governing the players change constantly – and without

Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D.
is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at






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and author of
Psychology of Trading
(Wiley, 2003). As Director of Trader
Development for Kingstree Trading, LLC in


, he has mentored numerous professional traders and coordinated a training
program for traders. An active trader of the stock indexes, Brett utilizes
statistically-based pattern recognition for intraday trading. Brett does not
offer commercial services to traders, but maintains an archive of articles and a
trading blog at www.brettsteenbarger.com
and a blog of market analytics at www.traderfeed.blogspot.com.
His book on trader development, Enhancing Trader Performance, is
scheduled for publication in Fall, 2006 (Wiley).