Personal Life And Its Influence On Trading

Discussions about personal psychology for the individual trader.
Post Reply
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 650
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: USA

Personal Life And Its Influence On Trading

Post by BARLI »

I've just finnished reading a book of Richard Smitten "Jesse Livermore World's Greatest Stock Trader". Amazing read. For those who want to know how important psycholigal influence on trading, this is a book to read. I'd like to say a few things about greatest trader. He failed in the market when he started going to other women, he stopped being focused on the market, his 3-d wife (who brought him 2 beautiful boys Jesse Jr and Paul) Dorothy was his soul companion as later his son Jesse Jr will say. Jesse Livermore made 100 millions during October 1929 crash, at that time he was one of the richest men in the world, in 1932 his wife filed for divorce and took away their 2 boys from him, he was empty, depressed, sitting on his cash, understanding that he's life is actually a failure(its why he later commited a suicide). Its when he started losing it all. No one knows his trades after 1932, but the majority were losses and then he finally filed bankruptsy. He still had 1 million untouchable fun for his kids and about 3 million dollars in cash(in his apartment in New York), his 4-th wife took it 3 million in cash in the bags out of house after he commited suicide( his son Paul tells about it).
I'd like to quote from his older son Jesse Jr when he was asked by his wife Patricia what happened to his dad(the great Bear of Wall Street):

Pat, for my father the game was over as he knew it. The players had changed, the SEC rules had changed, and times had changed." He paused,"But maybe it was more than that, maybe his spirit was broken. Like a dog - you know how you can break of a dog, and the dog is no good anymore? Maybe that's what happened. He told me once that he only lost money when he stopped following his own rules. I think he has stopped playing the game correctly, and that bothered him most of all. He was off his form, his mind was fuzzy. After his divorced Mom and moved out of Evermore, thing went bad for him. It was like she was his good luck, and when she was gone, his good luck was gone. He had nobody to go to, no friends, and nowhere to go, no place to get any peace. And Nina(his last 4-th wife) was a killer bitch. She smothered him, devoured his spirit with her negativity...She hated Paul and me; anything that got between her and Dad, she hated. She pushed him deeper and deeper into the blackness"....
Nina(Livermore's 4-th wife and his last one) had 4 previous marriages, all of her husbands commited suicide, statistically important fact?
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 944
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:54 pm
Location: Arizona

Post by RedRock »

As Buddy Guy sings... You've got to live for yourself, Yourself and nobody else..."

Not to say avoid friends family and the good stuff. But one needs a "firewall", to protect the core of ones being from ruin.

Dear friend L tells me always... Do what is best for yourself, for this is what will be best for everyone else eventually. Words of wisdom? Your mileage may vary.

And, if all else fails (haha) Dont sweat the petty things - and dont pet the sweaty things... :roll:
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:30 pm

Personal Life

Post by Gherkin »

For me it is true about the potential detrimental effects of personal upheaval being reflected in trading drawdown. Early this year my girlfriend of 4 years went to Japan for a transfer for 12 months. I knew this was coming, we were prepared for long distance relationship + numerous visits, + video conferencing etc. Now almost to the day (15th January, 2007), I began losing cash on a daily basis the week after she left. At first I didn't worry because I usually lose money on my trades on average, but as a day trader I was making lots of trades and still losing after 3 or 4 months. I ended up down $250k before I realized things were wrong with me. After several Japanese visits things were stagnant but there was no more losing money. It took me until August. It was only when the sub-prime fall out started to make volatility I couldn't help but make plenty that things reversed. All is well now and I was into the black by end of August, and I had my best week last week ($120k) to really start moving hard into the black. The lesson is one I will never forget, and it was damn cheap compared to most guys: If there is a large personal upheaval - SIZE DOWN, or stop trading altogether. Jesse points it out in Reminiscences, and everyone will tell you, but it becomes more poignant to a blockhead like myself when the physical reality of it smacks you in the mouth. As usual, I had to lose cash before the lesson was fully taken on board and learned.
Post Reply