Superior intellect - is that enough?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by LeonPhelps, May 2, 2007.

  1. Not meant as bragging, but I'm smarter than 99.9% of you jokers. From IQ measurement, SAT scores and every standardized test I've taken, I'm in the 0.1% percentile. No BS, just the fact.

    So does this mean that I should be a successful trader? Ought a "genius" with at least some common sense dominate the markets?
  2. genius intelligence is neither sufficient nor necessary for trading success.

    just ask any brokerage. some of the WORST clients are PhD types, MD's etc. this is primarily because very smart people tend to be too sure of themselves. trading means (among other things) admitting you are wrong when you are. that's a psychological issue.

    don't get me wrong, some very smart PhD types are often excellent quants.

    i'd rather train a trainee with the right mindset (disciplined, hardworking, flexible etc.) than one with a 160 iq who didn't have the right "head" for trading.
  3. slacker


    For anyone as smart as you are trading should be no problem at all. Size-up and jump in. What will you trade first?
  4. griffinz


  5. Yeah.. If a position moves against you 10%. Ask yourself, were you wrong for taking it? If the answer is no, then you probably don't have the right mindset for trading. Because that big of a move against you means you were wrong.

    Some people have the worst ways for justifying losing positions.
  6. RL8093


    So, tell us - how are you doing? You registered a year ago and have posted over 250 times. Are you dominating the markets?
  7. Probably not. Being smart is important, but you don't have to be that smart to make it as a trader. Of more importance than raw intelligence is humility - something you rather clearly lack. I've seen people who are 3+standard deviations of intelligence fail miserably at trading because they knew how smart they were and thought that intelligence would rescue them from the indifference of the market.

    The market doesn't care how smart you are.

    Finding a workable strategy isn't that hard if you watch the markets a lot and see what really moves them. I have more setups with statistical edges than I do fingers; some of them any monkey could have understood or figured out, others required a bit more intelligence but were still rather "obvious" to me. Yet when I have a losing day, like today, it's not because my setups didn't work, and it's definitely not because I'm unintelligent. What was it, then? The other psychological components required for trading that have nothing to do with intelligence.

    Having a high IQ wouldn't guarantee your success as a trader anymore than it would guarantee your success as a composer. If you're a genius - like Mozart - it will come out in your music, yet I would be skeptical if someone played me beautiful classical music composed by Steven Hawking. Trading is more of a left-brain activity than composing music, at least on the strategy front and in terms of recognizing what's going on in the markets... excecuting is a whole different matter. The psychology of risk, uncertainty, massive success, being humble enough to learn from the market... that's another matter entirely.
  8. Im in Mensa and been tested consistently in the 150-160 range since my teens...having said that, I dont feel exceptionally smart and I dont think it helps my trading.

    Trading in my mind is about pattern recognition and emotional control. Neither need a genius level IQ to be successful at.

    FWIW Ive also noticed most people with very high IQs are almost savant-ish in that they are exceptional at some things and others leave them dumbfounded. I know Im that way.
  9. Arrogance the biggest hurdle to being a long term success!!!

    Mate when I was a broker in London I dealt with some of the biggest traders in the world including people like Richard Fairleigh, Alan Howard and PTJ one thing they had in common was a degree of humility with respect to the markets. Sorry i dont mean to state the obvious there will be a lot bettter traders than you out there. No put down just fact. Pull your head in and you may do okay

  10. Why deign to ask the opinion of your lessers?
    #10     May 2, 2007