Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mr. Lewis Borsellino and Mr. Robert Shiller - Irrational Exuberance

I have been reading financial books lately. I have now finished Mr. Lewis Borsellino’s book, The Day Trader: From the Pit to the PC. I have also finished reading Irrational Exuberance, by Mr. Robert J. Shiller. It takes a lot, in my own mind of course, to make it into my reading list. Mr. Borsellino’s book does not make the cut because it produced very few, if any, good ideas for me. In other words, it did not make me think much. One criterion of a good book is that it should make one think.

Mr. Shiller’s book, on the other hand, does score a few points on the thinking front. Although the book was quite boring in some parts, I did find it interesting to read. I would recommend it, but I am not going to put it in my reading list. I will, however, be writing about some of the ideas that I thought were important and interesting from Mr. Shiller’s book in the near future.

For now, I would like to go back to Mr. Borsellino’s book and take out, what I thought, was the meat from it. As traders, we instinctively understand this, but it is always good to read things from successful traders who have “been there, and done that.” Here are three quotes from the book:

“Where there is risk, however, there is also fear. Fear cannot be avoided, and it is not a sign of weakness to feel it. The important thing about fear is how to handle it. Mastering fear propels you forward. Letting fear master you paralyzes you.”

“to be successful in life, especially in trading, which puts your money on the line every day, you cannot be a prisoner of your own thoughts.”

In regards to one of the lessons his father taught him, “he gave us stomachs for risk and the ability to push past the fear.”

Good stuff and well worth remembering as a trader and as a human being. What I also like is that he says that fear is not a sign of weakness to feel; it is something to acknowledge, feel, and use.

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