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Author: imcharliehm Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35400  
Subject: Re: OT: the Role of Psychology in Investing Date: 10/26/2002 6:36 PM
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Thank you, Open, for your reply.

A post like yours makes taking the risk that I did in posting mine well worth it. (All writing is a self-exposure that carries risks, right?)

I'll need to read your book to ask a good question, but let me throw this out anyway. There is always a raging debate in trading circles between those who favor mechanical systems and those who favor discretionary trading, which never gets resolved to anyone's satifaction. But if an indivdial can point to a high "N" score, e.g, might not they be a better candidate for discretionary trading than their opposite, and on the basis of being confident about who they are, typewise, be more likely to endure and overcome the inevitable challenges and discouragements of that approach rather than merely cycling between the two, ending up getting nowhere?

Same-same with the investor/trader split, or the short-term/long term split? There's nothing inherent in the financial tools or methods themselves that make them better or worse, but the personality of the user?

Yes, I'd wholeheartedly agree with you about the importance of the positive/negative scripting stuff, which people like Douglas, Brown, Kiev, Roosevelt, Elder, etc. deal with in their books (which I chose not to list), but I was trying to focus on how we as investors are different from one another, rather than what we have in common, or do you think that approach wrong-headed?

The reason I take that tack is that nothing is going to work every where, all the time. All methods fail cyclically. (There is no Holy Grail, as they say.) But if an individual knows her/himself well, they are more likely to be able to endure the hard times that will happen to them before their approach will flower again and bring the rewards characteristic of it. In others words, on the basis of self-knowlege, one can choose one's battles and wars carefully, stacking the odds of success, and -- more importantly-- one will have the strength of chacter and conviction to ignore or refute the supposed expects (who more than likely don't have the same type), simply by saying: "Well, yes, that's fine for you and a clever and impressive argument, but I am not you, and this is what works best for me."

In a lot of ways, I would argue that teaching investing is like teaching writing. People know how to do it. It's just that they don't know that they know how to do it, and the "teaching" is mostly the midwifery of enhancing self-confidence. At least that was my classroom experience when I taught the lower-division rhetoric series. If I could create a situation where students felt safe, where the whole class was their peers and they weren't just "writing for the teacher", they blossemed like flowers and did brave and wonderful things in front of an audience, giving each other feedback and support in ways they experience in other parts of their lives, but not typically in an English class.

TIA, Charlie
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