2020: As unpredictable as…
Lori Hope Baumel
“There’s no better satisfaction than playing a piece well,
whether the instrument is a piano or the markets.”
– Linda Bradford Raschke, from The New Market Wizards by J.D. Schwager
Welcome to the new decade! Has it been 20 years since we all worried about Y2K destroying our computers? When the Baumel family brought in the new millennium it was an event to remember. We celebrated with great food and lots of live music. Amongst the musicians I jammed with was our friend Linda Bradford Raschke, an accomplished and talented musician. But, let’s back up in time a little bit…
In 1997, I was notified of an open house at New Horizons Elementary School. The night before the event, my daughter Rachel’s 3rd grade teacher, Karen Haligas, gave me a call to say there was a new family in the neighborhood. She said, “You both have so much in common. Linda is a musician and Rachel would be a nice new friend for her daughter, Erika.” Karen introduced us the next day. From the moment they met, a sweet friendship between Rachel and Erika was born. I also learned that Linda was an accomplished equestrian.
Although I was more interested in Linda’s musicianship, my husband Eric pointed out that Linda was featured in a book entitled The New Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager. The subtitle of the chapter was Reading the Music of the Markets. Over time, Eric got to know Linda as a trader by attending seminars, while I enjoyed jamming with her on the piano, drums and guitar when we hosted parties and recitals.
Erika and Rachel were in school together from grades 3-8. Of course, as the years flew by, we watched our daughters perform in concerts and recitals. They enjoyed birthday parties, sleepovers and studied with the same voice teachers. The girls co-emceed the Bak Middle School of the Arts talent show and Rachel used to love visiting “Erika’s barn” to pet her beautiful horses.
So here we are… it’s 2020 and no one knows what the future has in store for us. Let me correct that. I DO know one person who has spent four decades developing a plethora of formulas of what, at least, the short-term financial future may hold: Linda Bradford Raschke. But it’s taken her a lifetime of monitoring the markets and developing methodical techniques to get to this point.
Linda has outlined her practices in her new book, Trading Sardines. Raschke states, “In the markets, it is essential to stay in the game mentally. Sometimes it feels like running a marathon.” She emphasizes:
1) We are limited in our ability to forecast the future.
2) Following a process systematically is essential.
One data point at a time.
Trading Sardines is a sharp, witty CT scan of Linda’s fascinating life. You don’t have to be a stock trader to appreciate her writing. Just ride with it. You will definitely learn something along the way. The book balances both her professional and personal life in a manner that proves to be a real page turner. Trading Sardines is perfect for the reader who is intrigued by markets, formulas and theories. Yet, it doesn’t sit on the numbers and charts too long before it segues into Linda’s autobiographical stories from childhood to the present. She attributes her early music studies, with its scores containing symbols and patterns, to her ability to perceive patterns in the market.
If I didn’t know Linda for over 20 years, I’d say her stories are unbelievable. Yet, they are absolutely true. Due to Linda’s intense work life, travel schedule and dedication to her craft, I was vaguely familiar with her own private story. Trading Sardines filled in all the gaps. Not only does it cover years of trading, it discusses those who influenced and shaped her. The book leaves us with so much more. It teaches us methods of stress management, the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, the power of positive thinking and contains many musical metaphors – which kept me extremely engaged. Wellington residents will read fondly of her professional relationship with fitness trainer known to all as “Mr. Bill.” He helped her develop sound body/sound mind skills. Yes, at one point she entered a South Florida bodybuilding competition and won!
I asked Linda some questions for our readers. Here are her replies:
Lori Hope Baumel: What advice would you give someone who aspires to become a full-time professional trader?
Linda Bradford Raschke: People underestimate the learning curve in this business. But it is no different than wanting to be a professional athlete or musician – or even a doctor. It will take a minimum of 3 years – probably more like 5 of full-time trading and study before any consistent profitability is achieved. There is an old saying – the markets are an expensive place to learn about yourself and that is a big part of the learning curve as well. To trade well is more of a statistics game, but it is a challenge for newer market participants to keep the emotions out of the game. Make sure you have sufficient capital set aside to pay the bills and then treat the field as if you are getting a 4-year university degree. Even then, there is often an 1-2-year internship that follows before one has achieved competency and consistency in their chosen field. As you can see in my book, immersion in your chosen field, be it music, equestrian activities or trading, is really a lifestyle. But, the markets and technical analysis can be a wonderful hobby as well!
LHB: Equestrian sports are one of the only sports that men and women compete equally. Did that give you confidence in a male-dominated field?
LBR: I started trading well before I owned a horse or even competed. I never thought about any sport, activity or profession in terms of male or female.
LHB: What do you love about Wellington?
LBR: I spend five months of the year in Chicago because that’s where my husband Damon and his family are based. If I had to pick one place to live year-round it would definitely be Wellington. The winding streets of a planned, bedroom community… the tropical vegetation, very down to earth folks who live here year-round. And, of course, I can walk into the supermarket wearing riding britches and feel right at home!
LHB: How can we order a copy of your book?
LBR: The book is only available on my website, but they can read the first chapter there! www.Lindaraschke.net
Upon finishing Trading Sardines, I learned that Linda Bradford Raschke typifies persistence through adversity. The ups and downs in the market paralleled the ups and downs in her life, and our little town of Wellington is where she finds true happiness.
Live… Go… Do!