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The Little Book of Market Wizards: Lessons from the Greatest Traders by Jack D. Schwager

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Chapter Seventeen

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Emotions and Trading

Free solo climbing is a sport that defies belief. The free solo climber forgoes all protective equipment in making ascents. Picture an unroped climber 2,000 feet up on a sheer, vertical rock wall, and you get the idea. Any mistake is potentially fatal. You would think that any practitioner engaged in this sport would be flooded with adrenaline—and you would be wrong.

Alex Honnold is widely acknowledged to be the best free-soloing climber in the world, whose extraordinary feats include the first free solo climb up the northwest face of Half Dome, a 2,000-foot vertical wall in Yosemite National Park. He was featured in a segment of the October 10, 2011, episode of 60 Minutes.

At one point, the correspondent, Lara Logan, asked Honnold, “Do you feel the adrenaline at all?”

If I get a rush, it means that something has gone horribly wrong.

Alex Honnold

Honnold replied, “There is no adrenaline rush. . . . If I get a rush, it means that something has gone horribly wrong. . . . The whole thing should be pretty slow and controlled.”

Those words could just as well apply to the expert trader. The Hollywood image of trading as an adrenaline-filled, high-risk-assuming endeavor may make for good visuals, but it has nothing to do with successful trading.

Expensive Excitement

Larry Hite was once playing tennis with a friend who had gone broke trading ...

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