Pixel Power

A friend called last week, and just from the tone of my voice saying “Hello?,” she knew something was wrong.

I tried to deny it, but then admitted that I had lost a lot of money in the market that day, and it brought me down.  The next day, she called again, and again from the way I answered the phone she could tell I was in a better mood.  Naturally, that was one of the big rally days in this yoyo market.

It occurred to me that my emotions are being manipulated (quite effectively) by pixels on a screen.  If there are lots of green pixels, I feel good.  Red, bad.

I know I”m not alone in this.  In fact, there are millions of us.

Even though we think of ourselves as mature, rational people (considering the demographic of people who pay attention to their portfolios on a daily basis), we are among the most easily manipulated people on the planet.

Today I got to feel both ways without even leaving the house or doing any trades.  Who needs a roller coaster when we have the stock market?



6 Responses to Pixel Power

  1. jivko says:

    A friend of mine used to say “lets start the video game” while in fact he was starting his trading software 🙂

  2. MrA says:

    Have to agree that my mood is influenced by the pixels colors. Green I’m smart, red I’m dumb, when in reality I’m neither at least not based on the market results.

    Hopefully, longer term, fundamentals trump all and the volatility is simply statistical noise.

    I enjoy reading your post here and on ValueForum.



    Howard, we in the northeast can handle yoyo’s very well, they are money makers, you know that. Am sure you are an expert at handling the ups and downs. Have known you for many many years at VF and have always respected your knowledge. Am sorry we never had the time to lunch in Springfield.


  4. Bruce B says:

    HH, is this really a market? It looks more like a high frequency casino.

    • hhill51 says:

      I have to admit that I captured a five-point options spread at zero cost in one trading hour (last half hour one day, first half hour the next) by buying in-the-money September calls in a 3x inverse ETF, and then selling calls at a 5 point higher strike the next morning.
      It still makes me feel like I’m running between the legs of the elephants and trying to pick up a loose pfennig or two as I dodge them.

  5. Conscience of a Conservative says:

    Last Sunday it was raining, so I told my dog Charlie that we weren’t running today. He looked so disappointed. Stock market up, stock market down. it loses meaning. Sometimes it’s about the moment. Go for a run and have fun.

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