How useful is Economics as a trader?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by TraderTactics, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. I've read various bits about this over the past year and it seems that opinion is quite divided. Some think that Economics is essential and others think it is totally useless. I'd be interested to know what your opinion is?
  2. Stosh


    In my opinion, a day trader doesn't "need" much knowledge of economics to be successful (just hard work).....but the longer you hold your positions, the more important the big picture becomes. This subject can inspire a lot of debate due to differing opinions about: technical analysis vs. fundamental analysis, intuitive vs. automated trading, macro vs. micro, etc. But probably knowledge of everything in the world is best. Stosh :)
  3. Economics is a pseudo science and so is technical analysis:D
  4. The simple answer is that if you feel it gives you the so called "edge", then take it. I believe knowing the business cycles and how business generally works is probably helpful. For some people, education and business acumen gives them the edge. Others feel they do not need it. There is no right or wrong answer. The right answer, I guess, is as long as it helps you get that account statement higher at the end of the year.

    I would not take economics though. I would get a degree in Business Administration. There is a difference between the two. If you fail out trading, then you will be more employable with a Business Administration degree then an Economics degree. It will also help set you up to get that MBA.

    Finally, when you go to college. Do not focus just on going to class, getting an education and going through the motions. Focus on public speaking skills, leading, managing and overall charisma. Read the Carnegie books.

    Education is helpful, but knowing how to speak and deal with people is paramount. Presentation is everything. Not just for career, but in every part of life.
  5. In my case it hasn't only been useless but I think it has actually hindered my performance. I have a masters in econ with concentration in international trade and I run a golf course so maybe I'm just not adept at applying what I have learned. But in trading fundamentals only apply when the powers that be want them to apply. And in fact I doubt very much that anybody really knows what the real fundamentals of any economy is. I did my internship at the philly fed, all I did was collect data and I'll be the 1st to tell you my attention to detail isn't my best attribute. Businesses lie when they are surveyed. God only knows how screwed up the info is coming out of places like Brazil and other developing countries. If you are a young guy thinking about majoring in econ don't even consider it unless you plan on getting MBA, PHD or going to law school. One guy I went to school with actually got a job with the FBI which seemed interesting. If you want to trade for real shut the damn news off look at a chart and say if this happens I'll do this. Trading is hard because it is so simple. Might be cliche but in my perception of reality it is true.
  6. Using the word "science" in an argument like this leads to a strawman. Economics and TA are tools. So is math and physics. This is the instrumentalist view, which I find most reasonable. Science is a body of knowledge. You probably want to say that Economics and TA do not often satisfy the requiremets of the "scientific method". That is a different animal. Very often people confuse the meanings of "science" and "scientific method". I say that Economics (and TA) is both an Art and a Science. You can study them, get experience but you also have to feel them, you must have it in a way.
  7. I have bs and ms degrees in physics, math and aeronautical engineering. I know what science it.

    For example, you can go to the moon with science and so far we've been going straight to hell with economics.
  8. Hey, moon is a boring place. No O2, no clubs, no girls nothing. Hell is very interesting, especially if you cut a deal with the boss...
  9. You nailed it:D
  10. maxpi


    If my account gets so big that I have to study economics to trade it, that will be a milestone to remember..
    #10     Jan 10, 2010