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Chicago Board of Trade Building

Glandorf stays pretty humble about his good fortune, noting that while he timed it right getting out of the market, it's tough to know when to jump back in. Related: See the economy recovery in 17 charts. He rattles off the tickers on the phone and conceded that he's not even sure what some of these companies do. But he knows their earnings history and forecasts and things like their price-to-earnings ratios. The joy of his life these days -- besides his grandchildren -- is teaching others how to invest.

While he tries to give advice, he lets people do what they think is best.

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We're no longer maintaining this page. Paul Glandorf began investing seriously when he retired in his early 60s. CNNMoney Sponsors. SmartAsset Paid Partner. These are your 3 financial advisors near you This site finds and compares 3 financial advisors in your area Check this off your list before retirement: talk to an advisor Answer these questions to find the right financial advisor for you Find CFPs in your area in 5 minutes.

NextAdvisor Paid Partner. Traders can learn to more quickly identify when they're getting into that fight-or-flight mode. Successful trading demands strong focus, and several factors can promote sustained concentration. Brett noted that the trading environment is one of the most important variables.

The ideal conditions will vary by the individual—some traders do better in very active settings, while others need to be in a quiet office by themselves. On a more subtle level, the layout of one's computer screen and which apps are open can also play a role. It's also important, Brett noted, for traders to know the limits of their ability to sustain attention.

Through practice and self-awareness, traders can become their own coach, as they use techniques to manage their internal talk and emotional states. A meditation break during the trading day can be very beneficial, he added, "if they recognize their heads are in the wrong place," allowing them to resume trading "in a much saner way.

year-old trader: How I made a lot of money

Any tips you've found that make for better trading? Please share them in the Comments section. My full conversation with Dr. Brett Steenbarger is available here. Trading is all about recognizing situations where you have a mathematical advantage.

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It doesn't mean you're going to win on every trade, but that after a statistically significant series of trades, you can expect to be ahead. The idea is to only make a trade when you recognize that situation where you have that edge, and that edge isn't just some idea that you heard on TV or something you pulled out of your ass at the moment, but an idea that you've worked hard to discredit but keeps proving itself over and over again.

Before every trade just ask yourself, "What is my edge in this trade? Everyone is going to work that idea and front run it willing to accept a smaller and smaller profit from the strategy until it's no longer viable and the edge is gone.

World Trade Center

Thanks for your thoughts, Hawley! Yes, that makes good sense—you need an edge, and that edge will disappear pretty quickly. That must explain the rapid rate of trading that I discussed with my guest, and the need for continual research. Like other things you write, I enjoyed this!! Please tell us, is a single minded focus part of CBT. I think I'm supposed to assume so. It's very interesting. Much to learn. What a nice thing to say! Thank you, NaA! A single-minded focus could be a part of CBT, though to my understanding it's not often thought of as an integral part of CBT.

But like anything else, we can use CBT tools to foster that kind of focus. Thanks for your comments. Seth J. Gillihan, Ph. A new book examines the evidence. The "nonsense" of your dreams may be pointing to something meaningful. Back Psychology Today. Nineteen eighty-six was a huge year for Richard Dennis. Profits like those for Dennis came with heartburn. Yet Dennis cockily said that he slept like a baby during all that volatility. His moneymaking style was about mammoth home runs and many smaller strikeouts. From that perspective, he may go down as one of the most successful speculators in the 20th century.

He grew up in Chicago during the s, a street kid from the old South Side neighborhoods. There was no privileged childhood with wealthy parents and well-placed friends. He did not have a silver spoon or the right connections.

World Trade Center: A Dream Is Born

The teenage Dennis was introverted and wore thick glasses and polyester pants. The company folded. While his first attempt at trading failed, he was a natural at poker, intuitively understanding the odds. His teachers did not forget him. James Sherman, who taught theology and European history to Dennis, said that he never would take anything at face value.

Dennis and his friends enjoyed the mental gymnastics of taking sides in an argument. Each day the exchange floor was mobbed by hundreds of traders fighting and screaming to place their trades. They were exactly like auctioneers buying and sell- ing their wares except that they were in a trading pit battling it out.

An indoor game of tackle football would be a good description of the scene. Dennis longed to be there, but to trade on the floor you had to be twenty-one. He found a way over that hurdle by talking his father into trading for him. Despite some trading success in his teens, Dennis headed off to college at DePaul University, where his passion for philosophy after flunking out of an accounting class from high school days was re- kindled. He was most taken with British philosophers David Hume and John Locke, who had a relatively simple way of viewing the world.

Hume thought the mind a blank slate tabula rasa on which experience could be written. He believed that since human beings live and function in the world, they should try to observe how they do so. Dis- covering the causes of human belief was his key principle.

Both Hume and Locke belonged to the school of thought known as Empiricism. Empiricism is rooted in the notion that knowledge is derived from experiment, observation, and experience. Little nuggets of simple common sense from these two eighteenth-century British philosophers connected with an impressionable college student.

They became his idols. David Hume and Bertrand Russell. Hume took on the sacred cows of his generation, and Dennis loved that attitude. Growing up in the late s and early s gave him an anti- establishment view of the world. He witnessed protesters being beaten by the Chicago police during the riots, right next to the venerable Chicago Board of Trade. It was a turning point in his life:. Trading has taught me not to take the conventional wisdom for granted.

What money I made in trading is testimony to the fact that the majority is wrong a lot of the time. The vast majority is wrong even more of the time. After graduating from DePaul University he received a fellowship to Tulane University graduate school, but promptly dropped out and returned to Chicago within days to start trading full time.

Dennis bought a seat on the MidAmerican Commodity Exchange with money borrowed from his parents part of it from a life insurance policy in his name. He still needed cash to trade, however. This was not a family of market operators. The urge to speculate kind of skipped a generation. What do I mean by that? Well, my father, for in- stance, worked for the city of Chicago for 30 years, and he once had a job shoveling coal. To him, that means another eight hours shoveling coal. A rebel at heart, Dennis cultivated being a character from the outset.

He was fond of saying that he never liked the idea of sharing a birthday with Richard Nixon—a gentle stab at all those conservative traders surrounding him in the pits on LaSalle Street. He was an anti-establishment guy making a fortune leveraging the establishment, while wearing jeans.

Society was splintered during the time Dennis earned his first big money. Nineteen seventy-four was a difficult year in which to focus. What with G. Gordon Liddy having been found guilty of Watergate charges and the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapping Patricia Hearst, it was a wild time of constant turmoil. By the end of the year, at age twenty-five, he was a millionaire. When he showed up late one day to the soybean pit explaining that his beat-up Chevy had broken down, other traders gave him flack, knowing full well he could afford a new car hundreds of times over.

Not only was his persona different, his trading was different. Dennis read Psychology Today no government economic or crop reports for him to keep his emotions in check and to remind him of how over- rated intuition was in trading. He took delight in boasting, in contrast to most traders who got up early to read all they could from weather reports to daily Department of Agriculture assessments, that he stayed in bed until the last minute before getting to the exchange just as trading started.

At one point during this time, Dennis was in the middle of an interview with a reporter as he went to the bank to make a deposit. Depositing an amount like that in the mids was not normal. Dennis always got hassled when he tried to deposit checks that size. This was not standard operating procedure in a tight-lipped world where the big Chicago traders typically kept silent.

My institutional values were very strong, if somewhat con- fused. I would describe my early value system as nourishing, if limited.

How much of my holy trinity informs me as an adult? In the White Sox I have a deep and abiding faith. In the Democratic Party I have shallow and fading faith, which is almost never re- warded. In the church, well. I fear 16 years of Catholic education left me a skeptic. Look at that New York Times photo of the then twenty-six- year-old multimillionaire, lounging on the couch with his dad seated to his left, seemingly oblivious to the photographer, and it is easy to see anti-establishment staring into the camera.

Not many twenty-six-year-olds would have been mature enough to handle the press using such folksy wisdom. Yet Dennis never let the swirl around him interfere with what he was doing to make money. Quite simply, his trading technique was to trade seasonal spreads. In other words, he wanted to take advantage of seasonal patterns in markets like soybeans—his initial specialty.

I just knew that I was getting a quarter cent edge, and at the end of the day, the edges would approximately equal my profit. I tried to be like the house in the casino. People at the Board of Trade had been doing it forever.