Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Reflection on Integrity

When things look grim in the trading industry, thank goodness there's always to cheer me up. The above gem from their collection of anti-motivational posters goes out to:

* Forex brokerages that tout their 200:1 leverage, especially a certain firm that seeks out traders who "live for the rush";

* Trading publications and industry events that solicit such advertising--and then have the temerity to request articles from the trading psychologist on "discipline";

* Any firm that offers "free commissions", but hides the fact that the bid-offer spreads are wide enough to ensure trader losses over time;

* Trading gurus and coaches who don't trade and don't know how to trade, but charge steep prices for their advice;

* Seminar organizers who solicit unreimbursed presentations from the above charlatans and then refer to the resulting infomercials as trading education;

* Vendors of products and services who post slanted and self-serving "education" designed to produce sales leads;

* Authors who write the same tripe about the same chart patterns that you could have read about ten or twenty years ago;

* Publishers who actually let that garbage pass their editorial review;

* Any purveyor of trading services or products who promises easy riches, hidden market secrets, and other undocumented wonders lying just around the corner.

What brought this on is that yet another trading organization just told me that one of the major reasons they want me to work with their traders is that I *don't* participate in the usual industry pretenses at education. How pathetic is that? I have to maintain my reputation by keeping my own industry at arms length.

Here's a measure of integrity: How many inquiring, prospective customers are referred elsewhere, to services that would better meet their needs? If members of the industry cared for the customer, sometimes--just sometimes--they'd send the customer elsewhere. That's what doctors do when a problem is outside their scope of practice, and it's what hardware stores do when they don't truly have the product a customer needs. But the gurus and the brokerages and the seminar vendors? They take all comers.

They need a poster from Despair.