Groucho Marx first said it and Woody Allen repeated the famous line “I’d never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” As an independent trader, I’m part of an informal loose-knit group of investors who do what I do, tend to think like I think and possess many of the same traders’ “ticks” as I possess. We are a circle of friends who don’t commingle funds but who touch base regularly, encourage one another emotionally and share investment ideas. Being a trader can be a solitary discipline and one must consciously make an effort not to become reclusive. For me, my trading buddies and my teaching provide me the antidote.
A young novice investor recently asked me how he could join the club. In answering his query, I explained that although I don’t have a roadmap to share, at some point he’ll just realize that he’s become a part of the club. If he keeps working at it, one of these days he’ll recognize that he, too, has acquired certain telltale traders’ ticks. Here are 10 of those “ticks” I shared with my young investor:
- For Christmas, your family and friends give you stock market paraphernalia such as Wall Street posters, bull & bear bookends, and funky ties with stock graphs.
- You pick up a copy of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, and you realize that you’ve used 3 different colors of highlighter pens for each time you previously read the book.
- One day you discover you have a library of investment books you’ve never read by authors you’ve never heard of.
- You buy your next new car based in large part on the feature that allows the car to read out your updated stock portfolio prices while you are driving in your choice of 10 different male and female voices.
- You create trend charts in your mind while you’re talking to your landscaper about pricing plants.
- At cocktail parties, you find you’ve developed an uncanny 6th sense in gravitating to those people who have keen insights applicable to your particular equities.
- During trading hours, you realize that you hang up on people abruptly and without saying goodbye. For friends reading this, please don’t take it personally
- If you roll over at night and mistake the digital clock readout for a stock price, welcome to the club!
- If every time you hear the word “confirmation”, you automatically pair it with “divergence”, you are one of us.
- When you are willing to attend an investment conference or money management event and sit through 3 shallow talking head presentations for just one golden nugget of an idea, welcome aboard!
Yes, we traders belong to a unique subset of society that looks at life and lives it just a bit differently. If a few of these items seem familiar, perhaps you are indeed one of us. And if that’s the case, then I look forward to you readers sharing a few of your own telltale trader’s ticks with me!
Trade well; trade with discipline!
-- Gatis Roze