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Talk about information overload...
There's so much news and data, so many opinions about events and data points, so many financial publications, so many shows, so many stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), futures, options, derivatives, so many opposing points of views about everything, it's enough to make your head explode and your investing comfort level implode.
Most people tend towards like-minded analysts and economic analysis that confirms what they're seeing and thinking. There's a kind of comfort zone there, where "We're in this together and if we're wrong, well, I wasn't alone; but if we're right, boy am I smart."
Then there are the "skittish" investors who think they know what they're doing - that is, until they hear a different opinion from someone, anyone, they think has a leg up on them. And what do they do then? They usually ask, "Really?" Meaning, "Do you know something I don't know?" Chances are, at that point, they are going to panic.
And, of course, there are those investors who know they are right, and stick by their convictions and positions all the way to, well, you know where.
Maybe you've been there.
I was there myself when I started trading professionally on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) in 1982.
But I quickly distanced myself from all the noise that distracted me from being a successful trader.
There is no magic bullet to being a successful investor; that's the bad news. The good news is that it's a lot simpler that everyone makes it out to be.
Here are the four most important trading lessons I have learned:
About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.