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Intuitive Trading with the Right Brain
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Curtis Faith
Trading from Your Gut:  How to Use Right Brain Instinct and Left Brain Smarts to Become a Master Trader (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:  FT Press, 2010.  202p.)

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This enlightening practical guide for success in stock trading draws on the latest in neurology.  Faith is a competent and successful trader and trainer of traders.  Here he proposes specific and practical steps to improve your trading approaches based on the latest findings of neural science.  New insights into our decision-making processes enables us to better understand all the dynamics of a trade and to better control our response, but to make quick appropriate decisions.

Faith sets the stage by providing a general overview of how the markets work and how traders relate to them.  This covers in concise format the basic components of stocks and how the markets work, and the factors involved in making buy-sell decisions.  Then the author presents a short view of neurology that informs the reader about how certain types of decisions are made.

We are all generally familiar with the discussion about the difference in the right brain functions and left brain functions.  This is one of the most practical expositions on this concept that I have read.  The author analyzes the functions and patterns of the right and left hemispheres of our brains and the way this affects decision-making processes.  The left half of the brain is our analytical mind, where we can take in facts and analyze factors involved in a situation.  

The right brain, in contrast deals with relationships and patterns.  The relational skills are critical in quick decision-making, like dealing with emergencies.  Self-defense and often overlooked in decision-making this is related to our emotional structures, but Faith is careful to explain the difference between emotion and the more important intuitive faculties.

Faith clarifies that emotion is our feeling, but Intuition is an informed and experienced faculty of observation and analysis of relationships.  These relational aspects are critical in understanding the dynamics represented by charts and graphs on stock price performance.  Intuition is critical in making informed but rapid decisions.  Intuition grows with experience built by the left-brain analysis.

Left-brain dominant people are very good at analyzing components and figures. They are good at checking figures and making sure the details match and the figures work.  Caution is supported by the analysis.  But if the intuition is allowed to remain untried and weak, the result is overanalysis and decision paralysis.  Faith provides a pattern for training analysis to trust intuition.  Risk-avoidance results for over-analysis, which hinders or prevents success in trading.

Intuition, trained by left-brain analysis and growing experience, enables the trader to see patterns and understand the charts intuitively.  Patterns arise and make sense to the intuition, without the debilitating linear analysis required by the left-brain process.

This was a delightful and encouraging manual.  The science is impeccable, and the presentation in neurology reads like a proper, but readable, presentation of the current findings of neurology.  The psychological aspects are deftly and clearly included here.

The practical trader will immediately see the value of the method and refocus provided by Faith in this important contribution to the challenging profession of stock trading.  He also tailors suggestions to the part-time trader, and this is a manual one can return to from time to time for a refresher and renewed focus.

See related reviews and articles on this site:
[review] No Longer a Victim: Financial Knowledge, Enabling Power

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Received 4 January 2010 as a Publisher's Preview Review Copy
Reviewed on Amazon 8 January 2010
Posted on Thoughts and Resources 11 January 2010
Reviewed on Barnes and Noble 12 January 2010

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2009 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Other rights reserved.

Email:  orville@jenkins.nu
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