Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brendan Burke

This one is refreshing...

Slope of Hope, 2009-11-13: Hello My Name is Not Oulous (by Brendan Burke)
Two events led me to investing many years ago. One is the death of my granny and the other are magical invisible boots I used to sell on ebay called J-boots. The boots made your metame run fast within the medium of Everquest. I noticed an emerging shadow market of the already shadowy economy within the game Everquest, and I thought I would take a crack at finding an area to exploit that I could dominate in. There were too many sellers already so I had to get very specific and sell one particular item. I chose the J-boot because everyone had to have them, and the major sellers were not bothering to sell it due to its complicated delivery procedure. So in a fairly short period of time I had amassed a decent amount of money from death and magic virtual boots. I then decided to take that money and push it into the markets. I knew nothing about stock markets, and the year I made my first trade was 2001. Both bad and good timing.


For me the market has two modes of operation. Unsafe and slightly more unsafe.

When the market is plain old unsafe, I will swing trade with hold times of a few days to a few weeks, to possibly but very infrequently, a few years.

If the market is even more unsafe I will day trade only with hold times of a few minutes to all day…. every once in a while I go overnight with something that has momentum.


My trading style is illusion and momentum. Illusion is my basis for swing trading. Almost all value is an illusion, and I trade off people’s hopes as they relate to that illusion.

Momentum is for day trading, which is either behavioral in terms of pure price action or news driven. In the end the two blend together into a messy giant sundae, and I just try and get a few bites before it becomes a sloppy disaster.


1. First thing to learn is how to take a loss. How do you react? If you fall apart and its on your mind 100% of the time, then quit or change investing styles. Once you learn to how to take a loss you are ready to try trading.

2. If you are 18 to 22 and considering becoming a financial professional you are making a huge mistake. The world is divided up between creators and destroyers and those in the financial world are nothing but destroyers, myself included. Luckily it is not my background nor does it consume 100% of my time. The other half of my life is spent trying to create things. I suggest you always keep something else in your back pocket if you choose to journey as a trader, something that matters to human beings.

3. There is little or no truth and little or no value. If the stock market were functioning properly, then stock prices would not move very far and fast except in extreme cases and a public company would exist as an agreement between management and shareholders. All companies would pay dividends as soon as they achieved profit as a way of paying back those that financed their company. Sounds odd right? Thats how it should work but it doesn’t, so remember that all values are an illusion, and its your job to be a magician and make trades that profit off the best illusions.

4. Read Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. Its a great story and will make you feel like trading is akin to swashbuckling and piracy. It also lets you know who you are up against. Remember no one is on your side. Its you versus the world when you are trading for yourself. Don’t bother with any other financial books; just read novels, history, magazines, manga, cartoons, anything. Maybe check out Naseem Taleb, but his “luck” of finding a black swan makes him era specific, so his current books won’t be as useful in a few years. There is nothing worse than being a trader or a lawyer and going home only to talk about trading or the law. Fill your life with other things.

5. They always say don’t rely on luck, don’t hope, and use fact not intuition. I thrive on Luck, Hope, and Intuition, in fact I am hoping my intuition can find me a lucky trade tomorrow.

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