Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mental Exercise is Crucial

[guest post by TS]

I have found that a fiendishly varied life really helps my trading mindset, keeping me flexible and open to fresh ideas continually.  I trade infrequently but intensely, work by day for a web development company, spend evenings with family, my yardwork, or my taiji teacher, and investment research, and weekends with family, working estate auctions, attending church, & further reading/research.  I'm currently listening to (1) Nassim Taleb's Fooled by Randomness, an incredibly varied study of randomness in the markets, science, mathematics, & daily life, and (2) a segment of lectures in the Open Yale courses lecture series on financial theory by John Geanakoplos on dynamic hedging (lectures 20 & 21).

I had something of an epiphany last week after my weekly high-intensity Taiji workout with my long-time teacher, Leonard Tolbert: mental gymnastics (as an exercise or training) are absolutely crucial for long-term survival. This idea was solidified as I sought to defend myself with a wooden sword against the thrusts of a wooden spear. A non-confrontational kinda guy just does not interact with spear points on a daily basis, which is why this becomes an incredible mental gymnastics exercise.

On this Memorial Day weekend, we are all thrust back into thoughts of family, summer vacation, heat (depending on your hemisphere), chores, and market research.  What extracurricular paths do you find yourself treading down in the continual search to renew yourself and your trading?


P.S. I just ordered an Amazon copy of Nassim Taleb's early book "Dynamic Hedging". Any experience with or opinions on the book?

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