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Denise Shull - Market Mind Games, book review
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Denise Shull - Market Mind Games, book review

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Denise Shull - Market Mind Games, book review

This thread is to discuss her book:

Denise Shull - Market Mind Games

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http://www.amazon.com/Market-Mind-Games-Psychology-Investing/dp/0071756221/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327092101&sr=8-1

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Thanks Mike...


I'm looking forward to the book.

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I got the ebook from kobo today. Looking forward to reading it over the weekend.

Although having just read the prologue I am bit concerned that she refers to "The Black Swan" by Nassim Taleb as a foundation(?) for her own views. I strongly disagreed with the philosophy presented in "The Black Swan". It is utter pig swill. So I hope Denise did not draw too much inspiration from it :-)

By the way use "survey25" at kobobooks.com to get 25% off a single purchase. I think that code expires end of Jan.

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Traderji View Post
Although having just read the prologue I am bit concerned that she refers to "The Black Swan" by Nassim Taleb as a foundation(?) for her own views. I strongly disagreed with the philosophy presented in "The Black Swan". It is utter pig swill.

Interesting, first time I can recall hearing something bad about The Black Swan.

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Right, see Mike...

all for the open exchange of ideas in a professional if not scholarly manner and there we go the first poster calling Nic Taleb pig swill...so much for that. I will not waste my time. I know Taleb from his Chicago days and while I would not call us buddies, his work is to be respected. That is not to say agreed with on every point or level but to refer to him in a derogatory way is the hallmark of a fool. But that is okay as I am in the business of transferring the assets of fools into my account every day. God may bless the fool but I'm still working on suffering them with grace...I don't have the time to waste.

So, the dialog will stay above the line or it will go without any interest from me. For the record I used "fool" as a general term meaning that it does not refer to any individual or futures.io (formerly BMT) member....but it does refer to people that talk foolishness about a recognized authority.

A statement like, I do not agree might be a little more reasonable, right?

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wldman View Post
A statement like, I do not agree might be a little more reasonable, right?

What irony.. you are angry at me for calling someone else a fool & being unreasonable and then you respond by calling me a fool. You can't claim the moral high ground and fling mud at the same time :-)

Anyway this is not a thread about The Black Swan so I will restrain myself to the topic on hand.

I am on page 42 of the book and as I feared it heavily draws upon the same line of thinking as The Black Swan. Most likely I won't read it further. So here are my thoughts about it so far (Disclaimer - I am highly critical so stop reading this post now if you plan to read the book and want no prior external bias)

While reading this book, I kept thinking "this is absurd". Time and again the author makes completely baseless assertions which form shaky foundations. If I went through everything wrong this post would be larger than the book itself so I will try to be concise.

On page 25 the author talks about (to paraphrase)

If there was "e=mc(2)" type formula to predict the markets then wouldn't they (the smart people PhDs) have found it by now?

This is nonsense. First of all why exactly should they have found it by now? On what basis does the author claim this? It would be like scientists saying if there was a unified theory of everything then shouldn't someone have found it by now?

It is a classic straw-man argument that the author makes here. She takes the scenario to it's most absurd conclusion , ie the market is deterministic and hence there should exist a neat equation to explain every movement in price and shouldn't someone have found this formula by now therefore the market is not deterministic it is random. Duh we already knew that. Every trader knows through bitter experience that the markets are random.

The author contradicts herself a few times. For example the author gives a personal anecdote about a trader she knew who made the mistake of going long the Friday before the 1987 market crash. The lesson she offers from it - even though there was practically no chance of the market crashing in 87 the trader still should not have gone long because anything can happen. Yet a few pages later on page 35 she says everything in the future is uncertain except the Earth turning & the sun rising. It is just absurd. You can't claim everything is unpredictable on the one hand only to qualify the same statement a few pages later when you need to make another point and the first version of the statement does not suit you any longer. It's all very fast and loose.

The gist of the book so far is that nothing is absolutely certain. Unpredictable / unexpected events can and do happen . The author keeps hammering this point as if she has unique insight which no one else has. By the very definition of the word unpredictable means that "Not able to be predicted". The author presents anecdotal evidence and events like 9/11, lehman bros, bear sterns GFC etc as proof that anything can happen. But we know that already. The author seems to want to claim credit for concepts with which any student of statistics or investing ought to be already thoroughly familiar.

I am going to pass on this book because I am not sure if there are any rewards further down the road.


Last edited by Traderji; January 21st, 2012 at 08:03 PM.
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Enough said....

everyone enjoy the book for whatever value you might find.

Trade well, be well.

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Traderji View Post
On page 25 the author talks about how (to paraphrase) if there was "e=mc(2)" type formula to predict the markets then wouldn't they (the smart people PhDs) have found it by now? This is nonsense. First of all why exactly should they have found it by now? On what basis does the author claim this? It would be like scientists saying if there was a unified theory of everything then shouldn't someone have found it by now?

It is a classic straw-man argument that the author makes here. She takes the scenario to it's most absurd conclusion , ie the market is deterministic and hence there should exist a neat equation to explain every movement in price and shouldn't someone have found this formula by now therefore the market is not deterministic it is random. Duh we already knew that. Every trader knows through bitter experience that the markets are random.

Thanks for the review. It seems that this is just another qualitative-focused trading book.

First of all, I just want to make clear that I have not read the book, nor do I intend to. Personally, I find most of psychology to be pseudoscience. It falls in-between philosophy and neuroscience, which, in my opinion, both does a better job of describing the human psyche.

The argument of market randomness is far too big to get into now, but I don't think you can claim that "Every trader knows through bitter experience that the markets are random.". The markets may very well be deterministic, but chaotic.

Just because there isn't a formula that predicts the markets, doesn't mean that there aren't algorithms that extract money from them.

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Lornz View Post
Thanks for the review. It seems that this is just another qualitative-focused trading book.

First of all, I just want to make clear that I have not read the book, nor do I intend to. Personally, I find most of psychology to be pseudoscience. It falls in-between philosophy and neuroscience, which, in my opinion, both does a better job of describing the human psyche.
....

I sometimes have similar difficulties with psychology and often find that all the concepts do a better job at explaining people around me as opposed to my inner cog wheels, but that also can help when trading.
I personally find the book offers some interesting insights into the fields of philosophy(rather less) and neuroscience(rather more)...having to admit that I just started it.

vvhg

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