November 26, 2012

Living In Ivory Towers

I have been reading a few trading books lately, and re-read 'Reminiscences Of a Stock Operator' recently. Taking out the financial mumbo jumbo on how to identify good trading opportunities in the market, there is one broad thing in the book which is missing from our everyday lives now. Almost all the biggest trades where Livingston made a killing came from his understanding of the real world - observing something very common, or after interacting with someone. 

However, comparing that with most traders I know, they all live in financial centers, holiday in Bali or Phuket, and have only brokers/traders as friends. They have kind of separated themselves from the 'real' world completely, and read news/research from the same sources. Most traders have lost touch with actual ground realities of the world, and trade purely on the basis of news flashing on their Bloomberg screens, or some broker ideas. This may be one of the causes of the growing unhappiness in the banking industry - its a circular feedback loop, and unhappiness is feeding itself as very rarely people get an outsider's perspective. 

To correct the situation, and purely from a selfish perspective of making one better traders, one needs to meet more and more people outside the industry. Touch base with a few old friends who work in completely unrelated fields. If not anything, we would learn something new, and feel happy reliving our old days. Social Media was meant to bring people closer, and reunite old friends, instead we have limited it to spam people with smart comments, and random pictures. 

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