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Despite its eye-catching title this book does
not add a great deal to the psychology of trading. It was originally called Poker, Sex
& Dying and it fails to make the transition from the gamblers profile to the
trading arena. His discussion of 13 personality types is thorough, accurate and in-depth.
Understanding the character of your opponents in a poker game is vital and his analysis of
personality types is invaluable in this field.
The book fails at the most basic level. Poker
players get to see each other. Traders do not. Traders are not supplied with physical or
emotional clues about the behavior of the person on the other side of their trades. All
they see is an anonymous bid or ask on the screen. Who puts it there; how they feel about
it; their emotional state and all the other factors that give the poker player an edge are
absent from the trading screen.
Although the book fails at this level it is
still a useful book on other levels. Read through the 13 personality types. One of them
fits your profile and Andersons discussion of that profile can be very revealing. He
has some very useful insights into how you are likely to behave as a buyer, and as a
seller. If you are made more aware of these behaviors you improve your chances of
overcoming them, or at least, reducing their impact on your trading results.
David Caplan has written the introduction, and
this is a good clue to the strength of the book when it comes to trading. Although I
hesitate to say it, options trading is the closest of all trading activities to poker. It
relies on a mathematical basis and most options strategies can be analyzed with the same
odds approach as the poker player uses. Here the transfer between the two areas is almost
Options traders will find the book useful.
Other traders will find the discussion of personality types most useful.
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