Alexander Elder, M.D. is a native Russian who defected to the United States at the tender age of 23. He has since worked as a New York City psychiatrist, Columbia University professor, and expert stock trader. Drawing heavily on his psychiatry background, Dr. Elder was so successful that he is the author of a number of stock trading insider books, and also a much lauded speaker and trainer. It is a little known fact that he began his stock trading experience by buying one stock: KinderCare.
Alexander Elder is an enigma in the world of stock traders; he not only understands the details of the transactions, but also the mindset of the traders before, during and after the business deal. More importantly, he has successfully transferred this knowledge to common market behavior, making him the trader with an edge that those attending Dr. Elder’s seminars eagerly seek to imitate.
According to Alexander Elder, there are three stages to trading:
1. The trader who is technically well versed but devoid of an understanding with respect to the human component.
2. The trader who realizes that in spite of technical knowledge there is no guarantee to success. As such, he will attempt to recreate the mindset and decisions he made during successful stock trades, and avoid those that he made during unsuccessful ventures. Dr. Elder calls this the awakening of a psychological understanding with respect to stock trades.
3. This trader understands that successful stock trading requires control and money management. Rather than letting stats and positions move him, it is the management of the money and the control thereof that causes him to anticipate future positions.
It is interesting to note that – unlike so many other traders turned author – Alexander Elder freely acknowledges that while trading for a living is most certainly a workable lifestyle, it requires an extensive amount of discipline and a significant bit of work before the first trade is even made. This makes it an unsuitable goal for a good many stock traders who are attempting to go it alone. As a matter of fact, when Dr. Elder teaches a seminar, he freely acknowledges that the majority of participants are likely to fail.
He sees his role as a mentor to those stock traders who have the right personality to keep trading. Dr. Elder recalls his epiphany with respect to trading in his book entitled “Trading for a Living.” He remembers that after reading “How to Buy Stocks” there was the definitive moment in time when he realized that there was an entire world of money making out there, of which he was thus far unaware. What is more, Alexander Elder remembers that even though he knew nothing about stock trading, he started out slow, with a stock in KinderCare.
Over time he studies the ups and downs of the market, learned about the intricacies of stock trading, and finally shifted his career focus to trading stocks as well as options. Dr. Elder finally settled on trading futures as the vehicle that is netting him the most income. He decided to practice psychiatry part time, usually after the markets have closed for the day. Alexander Elder is noteworthy for plainly advocating that there is no secret to success when it comes to trading.
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