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The Heretics of Finance: Conversations with Leading Practitioners of Technical Analysis by Jasmina Hasanhodzic, Andrew W. Lo

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Chapter 18. The Challenge of Emotions

 

No one assessing or trading markets is unemotional about it. This job is not like building cars. It's like trying to outwit a pack of murderous inmates in an insane asylum. You can't do it calmly because you don't know what they're capable of, and they don't have to use reason.

 
 --R. Prechter

The Challenge of Emotions
How did you feel when you first lost a lot of money? Did it become easier to lose as you became more experienced?

ACAMPORA: Throughout my professional life on the Street, I haven't committed much personal money to my stock ideas. I knew that if I became too involved with my own money and my own ideas, I would lose objectivity. So I divorced myself from it. Instead, I would put my money in a fund, and I would adjust the fund periodically. I can't say I lost a lot of money. I didn't get out of everything in the crash of 2000, 2001, 2002. So I lost some money, but it wasn't heck of a lot.

I learned a lot from my market calls, because I feel just as concerned if I'm wrong and someone else's money is lost as I would if it were my own money. In fact, I feel worse. For example, the crash of 1987 was very hard for me. I saw something coming, but I did not foresee the magnitude of what happened. I took a lot of people down with me, and people were angry. In hindsight, everybody said, "Who could have expected it?" But there were some technicians who got out. I didn't ...

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