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Why Do Commodity Traders Laugh at Losses?


Years ago when I lived in a very large western city, I got a number or people who were interested in trading commodities to come out to a dinner meeting to discuss the ins and outs of future trading. The demographics of this crowd were new traders that had never traded to gray beards that had been trading for thirty years or more.

After dinner we went around the room and each person stood up to introduce themselves. After the introductions, we opened the floor for comments and questions. It was not long before the war stories started and the common element of each story was not about a great win, but about a loss that had occurred in the trader's past trading life. Each tale of woe was met with laughter and I can top that story with one of my own. Without a doubt it was the strangest thing that has happened to me in nearly 40 years of trading. A friend of mine that was learning about trading asked why the old time traders were all laughing at the misfortune of the dinner guests.

I did not have a quick or logical answer then, but I have thought about that odd situation ever since and the conclusion that I have come to is the laughing traders were well aware of the pain the lost caused, but they also were hoping that it never happened to them. In effect I believe it is like gallows humor and the need for all traders to overcome the emotional cost of a large loss and their ability to laugh in the face of adversity so they can make the next trade.

In any event, why do traders always tell about a large loss before mentioning a great win?

Futures ideas: The grains are always the market that can go crazy every year and this year will be no different. Watch for how the weather unfolds when the wheat crop is being put in and later when the crops are coming to a head. Grain markets and the weather are one of the sure fire ways to make a profit from futures trading.


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