Motivations

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Greetings from Chicago. I'm giving a speech here on Saturday morning, and I appreciate everyone understanding that my posts were relatively content-free today. So before I head out for a (very late) dinner, I thought I'd try to make it up to you with a final Friday post.

One of the books I'm required to read for my Chartered Market Technician final exam is Beyond Greed and Fear. I read an item (page 130) which caught my eye:

Having a financial adviser enables the investor to carry a psychological call option. If an investment decision turns out well, the investor can take the credit, attributing the favorable outcome to his or her own skill. If the decision turns out badly, the investor can protect his or her ego and lower the regret by blaming the adviser. This phenomenon involves self-attribution bias. The investor attributes favorable outcomes to skill, and unfavorable outcomes to either somebody else, or just plain bad luck.

Sound familiar? This paragraph struck me like a thunderbolt. Now I finally see why some people read a blog like this! It's all spelled out right there. If they make money, it's them; and if they lose money, it's because of what they read by me (or a commenter). Win/Win!

It touches on a theme I've been thinking about some lately – namely, why do people come to Slope? What's their motivation? Here's my take on it:

Myself – that is, your host and narrator

  • Creative Outlet – I enjoy writing, and this gives me a place to do it;
  • Collective Mind – since I trade a lot, I like to be able to put my ideas and thoughts out there and benefit from an around-the-clock "advisory board" that gives me feedback
  • Community – it's sort of like the old saying about God – if He didn't exist, we'd have to invent Him. I have the same feeling about the community here – – not that it's God-like (well, sometimes), but that I don't know where else I'd find one like it.

Active Slopers – people who, God bless them, have no lives but here

  • Idea Exchange – the sharing of trading ideas;
  • Knowledge – the distribution of interesting articles, links, or other helpful facts;
  • Therapy – to share trading stories, particularly when defeated, to try to learn from them and get feedback;
  • Fun – from haiku to Friday bar sessions, to have a good time.

Lurking Slopers – those who read but never comment

  • Ideas – getting ideas, but not sharing any of their own;
  • Knowledge – learning from the postings of active Slopers
  • Remark: I'm not desperate for comments to be a lot more active, because it's already way into the quadruple-digits every day, but I welcome you lurkers to come out of the woodwork. A community is a give-and-take environment; come participate!

Hucksters – folks that add little or no valuable content, but promote their own site

  • Promotion – plain and simple, they want to use this site's popularity for free advertising. I tolerate this now and then, but only now and then. I've worked too hard to build Slope to have it used by parasites.

As for the motivation of detractors, it's probably a mix – – some are dealing with the aforementioned attribution bias, and others are just trying to knock others down to their own level. Don't feed the trolls.

I won't do another post until late Saturday night. Until then, have a good weekend!

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