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Best Movies to Watch as a Trader

Not what you might think…

If you Google the best movies to watch for trading you get pretty consistent answers along the lines of, “The Wolf of Wall Street, Wall Street, Trading Places, Boiler Room, Billion-Dollar Day. I saw some of those, but not all, so maybe I have missed a great moment in something I haven’t seen. While those movies all share the common thread that they are nice entertainment as movies go, I’m not sure there’s much to learn about trading. At least not beyond the cliché lines like, “greed is good”.

To me, by far and away the number one movie that has a theme and a lesson consistent with excellent trading is a movie that is not even about trading. It’s the movie called “21” which was based on the book “Bringing Down the House”. It’s a movie about a team of professional blackjack players.

There is a common thread that is at the heart of successful trading. And that is that you only act when you have an edge. One that is reproducible on somewhat of an objective basis. There is a second concept that goes along with it. And that is to not act if you don’t have that edge. 

This is a four-minute clip of the key scene, but you should watch the whole movie. If you do not, or if you did long ago, the two women in the scene are part of his team, not strangers, not his girlfriend. There is also a few seconds of discipline from Kevin Spacey.  

You really have to see the entire movie if you have not to appreciate that whole concept. This clip above is about four minutes and it won’t mean much in a vacuum. Once you saw the whole movie, this is the clip that you need to relate to. If you’ve ever done something stupid in the market, you will recognize the guy in this clip. This guy walked away from his edge and went on an emotional binge and the look on his face is one you can probably relate to. If you can watch this movie and then watch the scene several times it will help your trading tremendously. Anyone can learn charts (although few do) but this is the final edge you need to be successful.

The second movie you may think even more bizarre than the first movie. It’s a movie called “The Number 23” and it stars a young Jim Carrey. This movie is more about the trap people fall into when they are trying to find shortcuts to learning how to trade. It’s the concept of looking at everything 

that does not matter and thinking it matters. This movie you may like to watch because it is somewhat entertaining, but the theme is not complex. The basic concept is, that if you look for the number 23 if you are obsessed with it, you will find it everywhere. That doesn’t mean it’s there more than any other number, it just means your brain has focused on finding it. This is the way most traders treat obscure information like news and technical indicators. They look for their concept to work, so it does and by selective perception, they ignore all that does not match what they wish to be true. 

This is a two-minute preview of the movie but it gets the point across. Watch the whole thing if you can but the concept to understand is much simpler than in the first movie.   

As always I would love any feedback from anyone who reads this. 

-Paul –

Best Book to Read as a Trader



The winner is… 

Trading Your Way to Financial Freedom. 

No, I do not know the author. Yes, I have written two trading books myself. Yes, I think this is the most important book to understand. 

First, you have to understand that you will never actually learn technical analysis to the level you need to make money by reading a book. Those books are designed for one purpose, to get you to the authors’ site to get you to pay the big bucks. And there is nothing wrong with that, just don’t expect too much from a book on technical analysis. 

But, for learning physiological things, a good book can be helpful.  The books by Douglas and  Elder and some others are definitely worth the read and can help you. And this book. It is about numbers and plans and math and something called expectancy. 

If you find it boring., or if you don’t read it twice, don’t trade! 




Products to Assist Traders

Trading Journal Spreadsheet

Trading Analysis, for Elite Traders…

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Analysis Sheet

You have likely heard me in a lecture about the fact that one of the most important things about trading, especially when you are new, is the need for follow-up. “There’s gold in them trades!” but few take the time to follow up. I believe that a third of your time initially should be in the follow-up process every day.

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As soon as other great tools are found to help you as a trader/investor they will be posted here!