Today’s list of geegaws and gadgets are geared for the Trader on your shopping list. (Our earlier list is here)

The odds are he (statistically) is stressed out, a little worried about his industry (and possibly his job), and unfortunately, making less in 2011 than he did in 2009 or ’10.

These are the items to brighten up his holiday.


Trading/Wall Street Movies: After a long day in the turret, what can be more relaxing than kicking back and watching films about trading? Here are 4 recommended flicks for your keyboard jockey:
-Eddie Murphy Trading Places ($6) Only tangentially related to trading, but filled with lots of oft quoted lines, this comedy is good for everyone.
-Wall Street ($14) Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel Made in 1987, back when the US had an SEC, an entity that once enforced security laws. Dated, but watchable. Skip the 2010 version — its unwatchable.
-Boiler Room ($6) Know a retail stock jockey? This gritty flick will show him what the bad old days were like in the land of penny stocks. A cautionary tale with a great cast.
-Glengary Glen Ross ($8.50) For the Institutional Sales Trader in your life. Give him this DVD, but no coffee — Coffee’s for closers only.
-Margin Call Still in theaters, it has already been called the greatest Wall Street movie ever made.


Quiet Revolution: 30 Years of Windham Hill ($28) Your trader dude stressed out? He needs to pour himself a stiff one, and chill out to this collection of acoustically rooted mellowness that is a blend of folk, classical and jazz. The upside is he will relax from the day’s tensions. The downside is his heart may not realize that this is supposed to occur in Humans and assume he is dead.


Ted Baker Ties: £50

Years ago, I was wearing a Ted Baker tie to a Fox News shooting. Just before we shot, I went to change into something much less loud. The director stopped me, saying “TV washes everything out, and a bright fun tie will really pop. It works well — Trust me on this.”

I did, and now all of my favorite ties come from Ted Baker. They are bright, colorful and fun. If you must wear a noose around your neck for work, well then this is the way to go.

Note the link is to the UK site, which has a much more extensive collection than does the US site.

And for you bargain hunters, you can find Ted Baker on sale at Century 21 — normally $89, on sale for $30-40.


Spa Massage De-Stress Muscle Release: $125-190  This deeply restorative treatment is specifically designed for tight, stressed and aching muscles. Too many hours spent sitting on the trading desk leaves your  body stiff, tight and painful.

Swedish and cross muscle fiber massage techniques with stretching and draining are combined with essential oils known for their beneficial effects on the circulation.

Try the Nickel Spa for Men: They do massages, manicure/pedicures, facials, and the infamous “Boyzillian” (if you have to ask, you don’t want to know).


Led Zeppelin: Complete Studio Recordings ($94) What’s that you say? Your guy relaxes buy banging heads, not chillaxing? Well then, he can go back to the beginning of hard rock, with the often imitated, never duplicated, king of guitar driven music.

Led Zeppelin’s work is the central fact of 1970s rock & roll; These remastered recordings — by Jimmy Page himself — are pristine versions of the Zep that your favorite rockers grew up playing air guitar to.

The Rosetta stone of album rock.


Books for the Trader’s Library Three different book shelves for the different traders in your life.

The Newbie Trader (Starter pack)
1 Stock Market Wizards: Interviews with America’s Top Stock Traders
2 Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
3 How I Trade and Invest in Stocks and Bonds

The Historian
1 Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-2004
2 Black Monday: The Catastrophe of October 19, 1987
3 Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds

The Technician
1. Technical Analysis from A to Z
2. Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns
3. Japanese Candlestick Charting


width=Padron Anniversary Series 1926 Exclusivo ($250/case) For the cigar smoker on your list, I suggest one of my favorite smokes. Consistently top rated by Cigar Aficionado & frequently named top 5 Cigar of the Year, a fast delightful smoke.

Spark ‘em up with the Lotus 21 Twin Flame Torch Lighter ($47) — A great piece of hardware (I own two)


Buy! Sell! $85  from KAL, the cartoonist for the Economist, this classic 2 panel cartoon laughingly depicts how the crowd moves from buying to selling and back.

C’mon, we’re all sick of that cliched Bull and Bear print fighting it out in the street in front of the of NYSE.

Instead, try one of these prints, each with a contrarian behavioral message.

-Avoid the Crowd $125 from Gaping Void’s Hugh McLeod.

Don’t just stand out from the crowd — avoid the crowd altogether.

And yes, both of these hang in my office.


Yoga ($50-250) is a great way to focus your mind, relax, and get in the right state for the day ahead.

It works for, amongst other folks, bond king Bill Gross, whose shop runs a ~trillion dollar sin fixed income.

You should be able to purchase a gift certificate from a local studio. In NYC, try Pure Yoga — one of the top rated studios over the past few years.


Herman Miller Embody Chair ($1100-1700) Embody lets your body move and keeps you well supported. Blood circulates better, heart rate goes down, more oxygen flows to the brain, and there is no distracting discomfort or physical constraint. The ideal trader’s chair, allowing the mind to work best when the body is unconstrained.

In assorted features, colors and materials.

If you have to sit all day, you might as well do it in style, and support your back at the same time.


Bethpage Black Golf Course: Its not easy to get a tee time at the home of one of the toughest courses on the US Open tour, but it can be done.

Especially if you are willing to take a day off from trading and go midweek — Weekdays (18 Holes): $130.00


CineMassive Trio Gemini 17D 6 Screen holder : $1,749

This entry-level (?!) six screen display has a crisp, clear digital signal, a full, rich digital canvas that will provide you with the full view of any picture. Designed to provide an immersive experience, allowing your trader to visualize a large amount of information at once.

Using a multi-screen display for the first time is often described as feeling like having received a new lobe of brain.


Caddy for a Cure:  ($5,000 and up) For the avid golfer who is having an especially good year.

Caddy for the Cure gives an opportunity to spend the day caddying for one of the world’s best golfers at an official PGA TOUR tournament. Select a player from the PGA TOUR events list; You either “Buy It Now” at the price listed, or make your best offer.

The guys I know who did this lost their minds, saying it was the greatest experience on a golf course they ever had.

And, 100% of the proceeds goes to charity.

Category: Consumer Spending, Trading

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

18 Responses to “Holiday Gifts for Traders”

  1. Disclosure: None of the vendors here pay me for this — they are here because I find their products interesting or I have purchased things from them in the past and I have been pleased with their wares.

    I get a modest fee from Amazon for any product linked to, but more importantly, I get a rich trove of data that allows me to do things like this: Books Bought By Big Picture Readers (November 2011)

  2. Pantmaker says:

    New found respect for you today with the Padron recommendation. Padron rocks it big time.

  3. Liquidity Trader says:

    I did Caddy for the Cure two years ago — a totally amazing experience, and it was a charitable donation to boot.

  4. teraflop says:

    Great list.

    + Paul Tudor Jones old flick. Love to replay and watch him battle Far East FX brokers.

  5. Devil Dog says:

    I hurt my back playing football in college — I went through a lot of chairs before finding the HM Embody. Its a life saver.

    I am 6″1′, and it fits me fine. I can’t say how it fits the real big boys.

  6. Greg0658 says:

    “Margin Call – still in theaters” .. not very many – I smell a conspiracy – I’ve gotta travel over 60 miles.
    And whats up Redbox / no request line and status update? Maybe a Netflicks freepass for 1st timer!

  7. Ralphie says:

    Wow, a charitable donation — You surprise me.
    I never figured you for that altruistic of a guy.


    BR: Lots of finance guys believe in charity, despite what their day jobs are.

  8. mathman says:

    In the spirit of the holidays we have:

    “Rob Walton is Chair of Walmart’s Board of Directors, and is otherwise known as the “Billionaire Bully”. Under Rob’s leadership last month, Wal-Mart slashed health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees and their families—right before the holidays— as Walmart has yet to meet with and address the concerns of those who work for them such as scheduling (especially during the holiday season).

    Publix continues, as they have for several years, to refuse to join a growing list of corporations — nine to date, including McDonald’s, Subway, and Whole Foods — who have committed to work with the farmworker-led Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to improve wages and working conditions for the farmworkers who pick their companies’ tomatoes, all while the company launched its own Fair Trade coffee that “[helps] small farmers provide employees with livable wages and work conditions.”

    ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is in the spotlight this year for many things – but most recently they have been helping spread voter suppression bills that create barriers for communities of color, students and the elderly from voting in the up-coming elections. This most recent attack on the voters rights has blantly been an attempt to silence the 99%.

    Eddie Hull, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Director of Housing and Residential Life, gave students at the UMass an early Christmas gift: the loss of their jobs. Eddie emailed 73 undergraduate employees informing them they would be unemployed at the end of the school year, just two weeks before the end of the semester. Eddie said the cuts were part of “restructuring of Residential Life at UMass.” Asked why no students were present in conversations, he said there was more than one way to hear student concerns and “sometimes, students don’t need to be at the table to do this.”

    Feel free to nominate your own candidates, i’m sure there are many.

  9. [...] Barry Ritholtz posted his holiday shopping list for traders last evening. There are some good items included and a few overlaps with stuff that’s on my own Trader’s Wish List. [...]

  10. Orange14 says:

    +1 on Yoga and if you live in the DC area, Unity Woods is the yoga studio to try ( It’s helped rehab my back. I would take issue with the Wyndham Hill recommendation and suggest Kieth Jarret’s Sun Bear concerts which you can get as an MP3 download on Amazon. It’s far better than the run of the mill WH recordings and you can put it on your IPod or smart phone with ease.

  11. VennData says:

    Holiday gift for ex-traders…

    The Quest for Alpha: The Holy Grail of Investing …debunks the belief you can outperform buy, hold, rebalance index strategies with data.

  12. Diogenes II says:

    Thanks for another gift list.

    The books are a big help…I can cross a couple names off my list now.

    And that is such a reasonable price for Bethpage.

  13. Al_Czervik says:

    For the salesperson in your life: “The Big Kahuna”.

    Stars Kevin Spacey and Danny Devito. Maybe the best movie about selling ever made.

  14. Rouleur says:

    Margin Call can be found “On Demand”/pay-for-view, etc…

  15. Greg0658 says:

    “Margin Call” is announced to release into Redbox system on Dec20 (they will remind me) … it seems if they have confirmed intentions of releasing a movie you can find it / if not – well – it doesn’t show up to request it

  16. [...] of good feedback for our first few lists (Holiday Shopping Ideas! and Holiday Gifts for Traders and More Holiday Shopping Ideas!). So with but 3 more shopping days til Xmas, lets give this one [...]