Sunday, September 16, 2007

Book Review: Trade with Passion and Purpose

This post is a review on Trade with Passion and Purpose by Mark Whistler. The book is recently published in 2007. Mark Whistler, as he mentioned in the book, is a staitisical arbitrage trader.

Basically, the book belongs to trader psychology literature. However, it brings about a slightly different dimension when compared to other trader psychology's psychology book as its chapters are arranged by charactor traits: Honesty, Humble, Courageous, Fear, Adversity and Anxiety; and followed by EQ, gratitute, relaxation and a last section on developing a game plan. Developing a game plan touches on trading plan and risk understanding.

Some interesting points:
1) The book starts by having a mission statement and using Morita therapy: acknowledging and accepting your own feelings as they arise. For example, if you feel worried about a trade, you should acknowledge and accept your feeling. Personally, I do find that acknowledge and accept my own feelings would help me in investing as well as other matters.

2) The book does encourage one to express gratitute often. It even cites an academic study that suggest the act of frequently find things to thank for in life would help a person to be more happy.

3) Surprisingly, the book also covers a few breathing technique to help a trader or person to relax. For example, a breathing technique is to breathe in while counting to 10. Hold the breath for 15 seconds. After that, breathe out until you are out of air. Then repeat.

4) Interesting, the author puts up a list of items he is willing to risk in terms of trading and writing under the "Understanding Risk" section. When you are at a bookshop browsing through, you may want to look for this book and go through the author's list of riskable items. Maybe it would remind you, as I am being reminded, that it is not easy to be a competent full-time trader (or for me, a part-time investor).

All in all, the book will be useful for people who actually puts their money in the market. I cannot speak for traders as I do not really trade. However, if you are wondering why you are feeling this and that during market downturn or how you can better manage your emotions, you may wish to take a look at this book and see if it helps.

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