What makes an expert?

Doc Steenberger looks at the question: When it comes to trading, what makes an expert?

Most everyone (not selling you something) agrees that serious investors and traders should be working towards acquiring expertise: This means they have developed and refined the
ability to succeed across a variety of market conditions.

Doc noted a recent study which found  such expertise is rare but, contrary to the efficient market hypothesis, there is a small group of
traders who manage to succeed, year after year.These are expert traders.

What makes an expert? And how can traders develop their own expertise? Three elements:

1) "Measures of general basic capacities do not predict success in a domain"
Experts cannot be distinguished by superior intellects or other cognitive talents.

2) "The superior performance of experts is often very domain specific and transfer outside their narrow area of expertise is surprisingly limited"

Being an expert in one domain does not predict expertise in others; a person can be a highly accomplished trader, but not expert in other areas. Think "niche" — the successful trader has found a particular sphere of success that expresses his skills and interests.

3) "Systematic differences between experts and less proficient individuals nearly always reflect attributes acquired by the experts during their lengthy training"

The expert is one who has undergone a structured, deliberate process of training that builds competencies, offers extensive feedback, and draws upon intensive effort over time to internalize knowledge and skills.

So what might this mean? Here are the good doctor’s conclusions:

1) The majority of traders are looking for expertise in all the wrong places. Learning to trade does not involve finding magic indicators or systems.

2) The vast majority of offerings in trader education are not structured for expertise development.   Seminars, books, Web articles and blogs, weekend courses–all can be useful in imparting information. But expertise development is not simply about the accumulation of information; it is about skill development under realistic, challenging conditions.

3) Most traders fail because they never enter a path of expertise development. What does a trader need to progress from being a novice toward becoming competent toward exhibiting expertise? A curriculum: a structured process, that begins with information and understanding and then progresses steadily through skill development.


What Makes an Expert? Three Surprising Research Conclusions
Brett Steenbarger   
TraderFeed TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2008



Category: Markets, Psychology, Trading

From Adjustment to Recession?

Category: Economy

Where foreclosures > # of Homes Sold

Category: Credit, Data Analysis, Economy, Real Estate

Global Warming Denialists: We Suck at Math Also!

Category: Politics, Quantitative, Science, Technical Analysis

Roll Out the Barrel . . .

Category: Commodities, Consumer Spending, Energy

Batten Down the Hatches!

Several weeks ago we discussed the likelihood of a tradable low being put in place. On January 23, 2008, we thought conditions were in place that would allow agile traders to play for a bounce — but advised that long-term investors avoid the sloppy tape. At that time, we suggested an 8, 10, or 12%…Read More

Category: RR&A, Short Selling, Trading

Batten Down the Hatches!

Category: Markets, Psychology, RR&A, Trading


Walking back from a lunch meeting, and who do I bump into? Lindsey from WallStrip ! She is interviewing people on the street, asking them about the G-Spot, when I recognize her, and stop to say hello.

She asks me about the G-Spot. I respond that since a C-Spot is a $100, a G-spot must be a $1,000. Also, I tell her the female orgasm is a myth.

We do "Long/Short," and I admit to being long female orgasms and short equities.

Fun stuff.  Except for the people who don’t know my sense of humor, and say "Who is this pinhead who thinks the female orgasm is a myth?

Category: Video

Leveraged Losses: Lessons from the Mortgage Market Meltdown

Category: Credit, Data Analysis, Derivatives, Economy, Real Estate

Read It Here First: You Walk Away.com

Category: Financial Press, Real Estate, Web/Tech