This Is Your Brain On Stock Market - Part 1

I was scared and I needed to make a lot of money.

This is what happened. It was a beautiful day. No clouds. A deep blue morning. The best day. The stock market looked like it was going to open higher.

I ate breakfast at the Dean & Deluca on the bottom floor of the World Trade Center. My business partner, Dan, and I ate there every morning and then walked a few blocks to my place and would day trade the markets.

He looked up while we were walking back and said, “Is the President coming into town? Is that Air Force Once?”

And then we watched — microsecond by microsecond — as the plane, at 600 miles per hour, went a few hundred feet over our heads and a loud BOOM and everyone ducked because that’s what felt right and the plane went SMACK into the World Trade Center.

Everything went crazy. Ash stained everyone. Blew everywhere.

The black cloud covered my apartment. My 2-year-old daughter was crying and peed on the floor.

Dan was afraid a friend of his was dead and started to cry. My wife was six months pregnant and the radio was telling us asbestos was creeping in through all our windows but it was unsafe to go outside.

I don’t know how much the market went down the week after it opened. It was surgery on my skull.

I was so scared. I was losing everything. My daughter saw me crying. Saw the Red Cross come over to try and calm me down. Saw the police come over and calm me down.

Like many people, I behaved irrationally that week. I was so afraid to go broke, so the market broke me mentally.

The truth is, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. And at the end of that week I swore I would never trade again.

But I wanted to get rich. And I had an idea.

I loaded in 45 years of stock market data. Every price movement on every stock. 8,000 stocks. Every tick up or down.

I did what I always do when I needed to solve a problem. I had been a software programmer for 15 years. I had built and sold a successful software company.

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