It has been a crazy few weeks of trading – and one of my most profitable stretches in at least a year – so I recently decided to reward myself with a couple of early holiday presents, as I am a firm believer that the lone wolf trader needs more carrots than sticks in order to achieve superior performance.
So today I am playing with my new Microsoft Zune 80GB (the first piece of Microsoft hardware I have ever purchased), waiting for AMC to unbox yet another laptop (I’m up to about two dozen since my Toshiba T1000), the HP dv2500t broadband wireless variant, and have already had a chance to thumb through Richard Bookstaber’s A Demon of Our Own Design. I’ll have to finish Alan Greenspan’s The Age of Turbulence before I get to Bookstaber, but Bookstaber certainly passes the ‘first paragraph test’ with flying colors:
“While it is not strictly true that I caused the two great financial crises of the late twentieth century – the 1987 stock market crash and the Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) hedge fund debacle 11 years later – let’s just say I was in the vicinity. If Wall Street is the economy’s powerhouse, I was definitely one of the guys fiddling with the controls. My actions seemed insignificant at the time and certainly the consequences were unintended. You don’t deliberately obliterate hundreds of billions of dollars of investor money. And that is at the heart of this book – it is going to happen again. The financial markets that we have constructed are now so complex, and the speed of transactions so fast, that apparently isolated actions and even minor events can have catastrophic consequences.”
I’m still trading, but today is one of those days where I am mostly selling additional premium and watching time decay while I fiddle with my new toys. We all need carrot days, so be sure to take them when you earn them.