||Denise at the Absolute Return
(Photo: Axel Depeux)
For practically my whole trading career,
I have been spot-on early in the morning. I can practically
print money from 6-10am. Unfortunately, I seem to forget how
after about 11am. I've never been able to figure this out and
have tried everything. The CIO here won't hear of letting me go
home it would set a bad example. But what is the point? I
obviously trash not only my own P&L but the firm's, too. He
just keeps telling me to figure out what I do differently but I
swear I do the same things they just don't work in the
--Bass-ackwards in the afternoon
You are absolutely right! This makes NO sense!
Actually you are only proving what
neuroscience is teaching us about how to better use our brains.
Decision fatigue is real. Brains use A LOT of energy relative
to the body. Our thinking muscles do truly get tired. The first
sign is being at least metaphorically blind to risk. It isn't
that you see it and take the risk anyway as much as you don't
see it and then ask "What the hell was I thinking?"
It is also true that our brains are much more intimately
connected to our bodies than we have thought. Can you at least
get away from the screen (brain break) and get some exercise?
Ideally this would be real exercise in the gym but even walking
at a respectable clip should help.
Third, a screen trick that will help reduce the rate of energy
loss is to get rid of all of the red . Your brain reacts more
quickly to it (on an unconscious level) and that drains more
energy. Every trader or PM who has gotten over the resistance
to using, say, blue and yellow coloring (instead of red and
green), has reported how much less uptight they feel at the end
of the day.
Neuroeconomists call this whole thing ego-depletion. No one
can explain the exact biology of how the brain gets tired but
we know that it does. Any and everything you can do to give it
a break and convince your CIO to support that will raise your
Readers are invited to write to trading coach
Denise Shull, a recognized expert in risk psychology and author
of Market Mind Games. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newly-minted PM asks "What's the point?" -
Avoiding afternoon impotence -
When the shadow boxes back -
Trading Coach: Maybe your problem is you