Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Some thoughts on opinions, with Napoleon Hill

A trader I have been corresponding with in Australia pointed me in the direction of the book Think and Grow Rich, which was written in the late 1930's by Napoleon Hill. Although it is not a trading book, a lot of principles contained in the book can easily be applied to trading and your approach to it. I have not finished reading the book as yet, but I came across this short excerpt last night which is especially applicable to trend followers:

"The majority of people who fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs, are, generally, easily influenced by the "opinions" of others. They permit the newspapers and the "gossiping neighbours" to do their "thinking" for them. "Opinions" are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by "opinions" when you reach decisions, you will not succeed in any undertaking, much less that of transmuting your own desire into money.

If you are influenced by the opinions of others, you will have no desire of your own."

From a trend following point of view, I have made numerous posts on here about the dangerous of opinions when trading. In my opinion, the vast majority of the talking heads on CNBC and Bloomberg are purely for entertainment purposes, nothing else. Trend followers do not base their trading decisions on opinions, simply on what price is doing. Any decision can be boiled down to an entry signal or an exit signal, based on the price action you are observing. Nothing more, and nothing less.

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