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High Anxiety


Good morning, and welcome back to the rubber room. On the back of a most impressive showing by the almighty Minx, the shorties are banging their noggins against the wall trying to make sense of it all. To be sure, the aggregate news out of corporate America doesn't warrant blind ambition, but the buying came in waves yesterday and it was furious. Will today's action be an extension of that euphoria or will the Minx once again exhibit her bipolar tendencies and flummox the bulls? Lord Tush tells us that the European bourses are thus far playing cart to the stateside stallion (although slipping some, watch that DAX) while the Asian markets never caught our coat tails.

Any trader worth their own salt has war stories of darker times, when it seemed that the World was caving in and all hope was lost. If nothing else, time brings perspective and the mistakes we make often become our best lessons. I could fill your entire day with stories of the right trades at the wrong time and happenstance that caught me off guard. There was the First Interstate takeover in the early 90's when I was trapped the wrong way, the Asian contagion semicap ride through hell, Long Term Capital Management and the derivative spiral...I could go on and on. Through all these years and all these trades, I was continually taught new lessons that made me better at what I do. I am hopeful that this public forum saves you from making mistakes I've already made.

There is no set formula for successful trading. We can walk through our metrics till we're blue in the face and they'll typically enhance our odds for success...but there are no guarantees. I often say that our business is more of an art than a science and, as an extension of that, every successful artist has a poetic license. That means there are times when you can augment your style according to the landscape. When do you do this versus maintaining strict adherence to your set parameters? Well friend...that's what separates the Rembrandts from the Dutch Boys.

For the better part of yesterday's session, we discussed the difference between a trading bottom and a topping process. There are no guarantees (or advice), but my instincts tell me that we're in the process of making a short term trading top-and I wouldn't be me if I didn't communicate that to the good readers of this site. That said, if there wasn't risk involved it would be called winning, not trading, so we must always allow for a margin of error. As such, I will continue to actively trade around a short "bias" as a function of price or time.

The beauty of our business is that each day is fresh with opportunity and we must approach it with our heads up and a positive attitude. Remember, it's a marathon and not a sprint, so pace yourself and trade to win-never trade "not to lose."

Good luck today

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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