This review is a long time coming, but this is one of my favorite books of all time. It is not really a trading book. Trader Dave Caplan just bought the rights to Poker, Sex and Dying and renamed it.
I don’t agree with that move, but I do agree with Dave’s point that poker is much like trading…it is all about figuring out personalities.
The difference however, is that Poker is more about figuring out the personality of your opponent. Trading is more about figuring out your own personality.
What this book did for me was to help me figure out my personality and how I can apply that to my trading. I actually read it back in college, when I was still searching for an identity.
After reading this book , I discovered that I was a “Counterphobic Reflective” personality. What does that mean? I’ll get to that in a minute…
The more important question is: What makes the author qualified to teach me about personalities? This is where it gets interesting.
I’m not usually too impressed by books who try to put people into categories because they are usually written by ivory tower types who just make shit up so they can write a book. Juel E. Anderson however, has some street cred.
The title comes from the three occupations that he had in his lifetime that taught him the most about people. The first was a Dating Service Operator, the second was a Funeral Home Worker and the last, of course, was a Professional Poker Player.
These are three situations where people’s emotions are at their highest and their true nature comes out.
Based on his observations, Anderson put people into several basic categories. You will have to read the book to get a deeper understanding of the personality types, but many times, I found myself saying: “I know someone exactly like that!”
Then of course, it came to my personality type. Anderson writes that the “Counterphobic Reflective” is basically a person who is very, very introverted by nature (Reflective) but makes a conscious effort to succeed in spite of their nature.
They continually thrust themselves into situations that they find uncomfortable (Counterphobic) in order to overcome their fears.
It’s a spot on description.
So if you are looking to figure out your own personality or maybe become a better Poker player, Trading, Sex and Dying is a must-read, in my opinion.