Trader Resources

Video Review: Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps

Over the weekend I finally got around to watching Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to Wall Street. The latter is widely considered a classic. I’m confident the sequel won’t be viewed in the same light 20 years from now, unfortunately. I’m not saying it’s a bad film in general terms. It just doesn’t live up to the original and lacks some creativity.

The thing I came away from Money Never Sleeps thinking was that it lacked the edge of the original. Shia Labeouf does not have anywhere near the same kind of screen presence as Charlie Sheen did (Bud Fox makes a brief appearance in the sequel, by the way), leaving the direct inter-personal conflicts which feature in the story – verbal as they may be – less impactful. And the lack of one strong antagonist character (Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko sometimes is one, sometimes isn’t) tends to diffuse the tension.

In terms of the story, if you’ve read much about the history of the financial crisis – especially On the Brink, by Hank Paulson – you will see a very strong similarity in the early parts of Money Never Sleeps. There’s also a firm that is portrayed very much in the way Goldman Sachs was portrayed in recent years. To top it all off, Gekko has very John Paulson-like success in the markets.

I do think the new film does a pretty good job reflecting how information moves around these days. Blogs, instant messaging, and the like feature along side the traditional phone and in-person interaction. Overall, though, I’d give it a middling rating. Gekko’s semi-reformed character is the only one that’s really interesting and the story is flat and somewhat disjointed.

Make sure to check out all my trading book reviews.

Trader Resources

Video Review: Mind Over Money

The other day I watched the PBS documentary Mind Over Money (which is available streaming for Netflix subscribers). It’s a very good compare-and-contrast discussion of two primary sides of the academic view of markets – the efficient market side and the behavioral side. It was released in 2010, so the financial crisis was included in the film’s coverage, along with a look at historical market bubbles.  Numerous interview clips of some of the most prominent proponents of each side are included (Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller being two of the highest profile).

Overall, the documentary leans toward favoring the behavioral argument. The film provides a lot of evidence that we humans do not act rationally, especially where money is concerned. One of the more interesting experiments shown was how bubbles are created in the lab with experiment participants trading a depreciating asset. The video, though, does a good job of including contrary arguments as well.

Definitely worth viewing.

Make sure to check out all my trading book reviews.

Trader Resources

Video Interviews from the Futures & Forex Expo

While I was at the Futures & Forex Expo last month out in Vegas I did a group of short interviews with Tim Bourquin. Each focused on one question/topic related to trading. Most were forex related, but not all. 

I just received the links from the Expo folks to share the clips with you. Here they are.

What Percentage of Forex Traders Make Money?
Don’t Fear the New FX Trading Rules
A Seasonal Play Any Forex Trader Can Take
How to Find the Best Market to Trade

Enjoy. Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged.

Trader Resources

Professional Multimedia Market News & Information Free

My employer, Thomson Reuters, is making a really big push on a new multimedia content platform that’s unlike anything currently out there. It is Reuters Insider and they call it

A revolutionary new video experience with programming from Reuters and 150+ trusted content partners targeted specifically to financial professionals.

I am not specifically involved with Insider, but no doubt my market analysis and commentary will be part of the offerings moving forward. It looks like a wide array of the company’s news and information efforts will be reflected in this new platform in one way or another. Some of the other contributors are CNBC, Citibank, Nomura and Roubini Global Economics.

Imagine having your own personal multimedia channel that knew exactly what’s important to you – the financial professional.

A channel that delivered breaking news, valuable insights and actionable analysis … on the topics that truly impact your business … around the clock … no matter where you are.

Insider has just been launched, so I haven’t had too much of a chance to dig into the platform yet. What I have seen so far, though, does look pretty cool. Definitely give it a look. Registration and access are totally free, and I think will stay that way for most of the year if I heard correctly.

Trader Resources

Trader: The Paul Tudor Jones Documentary Video

Once upon a time a documentary about Paul Tudor Jones was filmed. It became a video titled Trader.

Today, Trader is something of a legendary look at a highly respected money manager of recent times.

Basically, Trader is a 60 minute look into the life and trading of Jones. I believe it was originally a PBS showing in the States, but I could be wrong there. It features him trading and talking about about the markets, and it shows some of his life outside trading.

Here’s what the front cover of the video case calls it:

An inside look at a real flesh and blood Wall Street Trader. No fictional character will ever equal him.

The filming for Trader took place in late 1986 and early 1987 and in the footage Jones talks about his expectation of a major stock market decline to come. He pretty much predicted on film the Crash of 1987. That feat is no doubt from where some of the current interest in the video comes.  (Jones would later be featured in Market Wizards, the interview for which was done a little while after the Crash, providing an interesting bookend with the video.)

Here is what the back cover of the video case says:

Is financial trading an art, science, profession or out-and-out gamble? If you’re interested in money and you want to know what it’s really like on Wall Street, this is the video you, your family, your colleagues and your friends should own. Filmed before Wall Street’s October 1987 crash, TRADER is a riveting one hour documentary of a fascinating man, Paul Tudor Jones II. It delivers a rarely seen view of futures trading and explains the workings of this frantic, highly charged marketplace. It gives viewers an inside look at his estate in Virginia, skiing in Gstaad, his New York apartment. It also examines Jones’ prediction that America is nearing the end of a 200-year bull market. If he’s right – and he almost always is – this country and the world are about to experience economic changes of unprecedented proportions.

This is a video which has developed something of a cult status in recent years. Finding a copy of Trader is nearly impossible. I’ve heard talk that Jones has gone around buying up all the copies he could get his hands on, presumably because he’s now a respected fund manager and philanthropist and doesn’t want to be thought of as the brash character which comes across in the documentary. I don’t know if there’s any real truth to that, but a New York Times article from October 2007 does say that he requested of the producers sometime back in the 90s that no more copies be made available and that they’d seen prices of $295 and up online for copies on offer.

To answer questions I get asked periodically in regards to this video:

Yes, I own a copy of it.

Yes, I do think it’s worth watching. Obviously it’s 20 years old at this point, so the quality isn’t great. The technology on screen is laughably old, and the overall footage and production is definitely of its time. Still, it’s a worthwhile view to watch Jones trade oil, S&Ps, and currencies – and to hear his thoughts on doing so in somewhat real time, as it’s happening. This is something you didn’t get back in the 80s, though it’s not uncommon these days.

No, you can’t have my copy! 🙂

That said, I do want to get the video copied into digital format, and might be able to make it available in some fashion once I do.

The problem is, because it’s copyright material, commercial shops won’t copy it for me. I have to do it myself. My first attempt didn’t come off very well, but I’ll keep trying.

If I can get the video into a viewable digital file, I’ll see about letting folks get a look at it. I need to explore a few things in that regard, though. I’m not prepared to violate any copyright restrictions.

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Wall Street Warriors episode videos

I’ve never seen the show myself as I don’t have the Mojo network, but I’ve heard a lot of good thing about the show Wall Street Warriors. The show “follows the daily lives of ten successful individuals who deal in millions in the marketplace”. Here’s a link to a site which will allow you to watch episodes online.

You may need to register, but I believe it’s free otherwise. I haven’t had the chance to check them out myself, so I look forward to hearing comments and impressions from those who have either seen the broadcasts or watched the videos online.

Trader Resources

Rogue Trader Video Worth Checking Out

Brett Steenbarger was recently included in a video taped by France 24. The focus of the video was on the subject of rogue traders, obviously inspired by the Jérôme Kerviel events. Part of the filming took place at a prop shop where Brett does some advisory work on the coaching side. (and yes, it’s in English)

The video features Joseph Jett who has for more than a decade been fighting to clear his name in regards to accusations made against him while he worked for Kidder Peabody. Jett told his side of the story in his book Black & White on Wall Street. I read the book back when it was originally published and found it very interesting. There are some quite technical parts (Jett was in the fixed income market in some complex strategies), but most of the book is fairly easy to read.