Tuesday, March 31, 2015

JAKE BERNSTEIN: PSYCHOLOGIST TURNED TRADER

Jake Bernstein, one of the futures industry's best-known traders, started trading “by accident” he told FWN.
Bernstein was a psychologist who responded to an ad in the newspaper regarding “ag futures.” A broker started calling him
and Bernstein opened an account.
“I had quick success, which turned into quick failure,” Bernstein said, acting at the time solely on his broker's
recommendations.
Then Bernstein “regrouped, did research, and started trading on my own.” An active trader now, he trades strictly according to
technicals - off the floor from a screen.
“My work has always been technically oriented, using price patterns, seasonality, and cycles.”
Bernistein initially “developed my own method and timing. I didn't have the money to trade it, so I sold advice.” Eventually,
he built up enough capital and began trading via his own method.
President of MBH Commodity Advisors, based in Winnetka, IL., Bernstein has authored more than 20
books. He is the publisher of the MBH Weekly Futures Trading Letter, which has been in continuous publication since 1972, and
he leads workshops on specific trading topics. Bernstein is also a panelist on the “All Star Traders Hotline.”
“I love the teaching. Every time I teach, I learn something new and it reinforces the belief I have in my own methods,”
Bernstein said. Also, “there is so much disinformation out there for traders, I feel good teaching something that I know works,”
he added.
Bernstein favors participation in the most active futures markets - energies, financials, and the S&P contract. However, “I
trade anything that moves in any time frame,” he said.
Very thin markets, such as palladium and orange juice futures, are markets Bernstein usually avoids. “I don't like the way the
orders are executed there.”
When asked if the value of technical analysis is eroded as more and more traders learn the same types of chart patterns,
Bernstein said, “Chart patterns are as much art as science. I try to stay with things that are crystal clear. If 10 people look at a
chart and all 10 of us come to the same conclusion - those are the types of things I am comfortable with. I like to be objective.”
Bernstein pointed to Elliott wave analysis as a type of technical analysis that tends to be more “subjective,” as the wave counts
are open to individual interpretation.
The long-time trader has established his own home page on the World Wide Web and is fairly upbeat on the impact of the
Web on the trading community.
“I think the Internet will allow for faster distribution of information and will allow more people throughout the world to take
part in the markets. It will increase the opportunities for everyone.”
On the future of the exchange trading floors, Bernstein doesn't believe electronic trading will replace open-outcry pit trading
anytime soon. “So far, I'm not impressed,” he said, regarding speculation on the eventual demise of pit trading. “I think there is
still a place for the floor trader and the pit broker, and as long as the broker is being effective there will be a need for him.”
Bernstein, however, has always been a “screen trader,” suggesting he is “much too short” to be a floor trader as “people would
take advantage of me down there,” he said. On the current state of the futures markets, Bernstein believes a new inflationary era
is on the horizon.
“I think we are in for one of the biggest inflation moves we've seen since the 1970s. We will see a big move in the precious
metals. We are already seeing rises in the grain complete ... the energies are going crazy-and that suggests more inflation. We are
going to see interest rates rise and a big bear market for interest rates,” he predicted.
Advice Bernstein has for beginning traders: “Start with enough capital; diversify; trade for the bigger moves and manage
risk.”

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