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Trading High

Steve Abramowitz

Steve is a psychologist in Sacramento, California. Earlier in his career, he was a university professor, including serving as research director for the psychiatry department at the University of California, Davis. Steve also ran his own investment advisory firm.

Trading High

Steve Abramowitz  |  Jan 24, 2023

WHILE HANGING OUT at the local Charles Schwab office, you meet a high-octane trader named Hal. He paces up and down like the Energizer bunny and talks so fast you can’t get a word in. Incessantly checking his phone, he abruptly gestures to the door and insists you join him for lunch. Apparently, Apple is up three points, his options are in-the-money and he wants to celebrate.
Hal speeds to a nearby Subway, where he proceeds to order the Spicy Italian for both of you.

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Moody Blues

Steve Abramowitz  |  Jan 6, 2023

DEPRESSION IS BAD not just for your health, but also for your wealth. In 2001, Prof. Robert Leahy touched on the corrosive influence of a person’s mood on his approach to the financial markets. Although intuitively plausible, his observation has never received the attention I think it deserves.
The notion of cognitive bias is a cornerstone of the burgeoning field of behavioral finance. Set in motion by the pioneering research of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in 1974,

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Taking It Personally

Steve Abramowitz  |  Dec 29, 2022

DENNIS DEVOURED the computer screen with an intensity he usually reserved for his trading platform. He’d just arrived in Manhattan from St. Louis for an investment banking position he couldn’t refuse, and was hunting for a two-bedroom apartment.
“These rents look like down payments,” he muttered to himself. But this was no time for complaining. Dennis checked his watch and turned on CNBC. It was the first Friday of the month and the employment report was due out momentarily.

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Lucky Fools

Steve Abramowitz  |  Dec 2, 2022

I FLUNKED MY FIRST two interviews for an academic job. Fifty years ago, I didn’t make the grade at the University of California, Los Angeles, or the University of California, Berkeley, either of which would have made a fitting classroom for an unseasoned but game New Yorker.
Instead, I prevailed at the University of California, Davis, the agricultural mecca of the statewide system. I was sold when I looked at one of those old gas station maps and saw that I’d be close to San Francisco.

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Letter to My Dad

Steve Abramowitz  |  Nov 4, 2022

DEAR DAD, I’M SORRY I didn’t go to your 80th birthday party, just a year before your heart gave out. I was that angry at you, still smarting from all the belittling, the sarcasm, the intimidation. Just this morning, I was listening to a broad-shouldered CEO with a booming voice on CNBC and began to feel beads of sweat on my forehead. I was just a kid, Dad. I’m pushing 80 now, wounded as you were by the slings and arrows of life,

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Back Where I Started

Steve Abramowitz  |  Oct 21, 2022

AT LOOSE ENDS DURING the summer of 1967, when I was between college graduation and the start of my psychology training, I chanced upon a book by Sheldon Jacobs. An early advocate of no-load mutual fund investing, Jacobs’s book and his subsequent No-Load Fund Investor newsletter provided my market mantra until exchange-traded index funds (ETFs) started taking off circa 2000.
Buying directly from the fund company, and thereby bypassing brokers and their upfront 8.5% commission,

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A Sporting Chance

Steve Abramowitz  |  Sep 30, 2022

WANNA BET TOM BRADY has the real golden arm? I’ll take the other side of that wager. At the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City in 2009, Patricia Demauro’s golden arm rolled the dice 154 times over four hours and 18 minutes without losing.
Yup, football is back and sports gambling is on a roll. Several states have legalized it, and many others are proceeding in that direction.
My 35-year-old son Ryan, a math jock and sports fanatic,

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Backdoor Real Estate

Steve Abramowitz  |  Sep 1, 2022

“I’VE GOT SOME REAL estate here in my bag,” croons Paul Simon, as he consoles his lover in the iconic 1968 song America.
The real estate industry’s marketing arm couldn’t have put it better. The industry’s message: If you want to feel secure and be prosperous, get yourself some real estate.
Problem is, many people can’t come up with the down payment for a home or rental property. The good news: There’s an alternative to direct ownership.

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He Said She Said

Steve Abramowitz  |  Aug 18, 2022

MONEY MAY TALK—but couples have a harder time, often struggling to agree on financial matters.
I’ve been a clinical psychologist for almost 50 years. I’ve counseled many couples who are mired in financial conflict and seen the quality of their relationship corroded by their squabbles.
How can we avoid such damage and start to reverse it? Let me tell you about two couples. These couples are hypothetical—remember, there’s this thing called patient confidentiality.

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The Humble Landlord

Steve Abramowitz  |  Jul 28, 2022

MY FATHER WAS BUILT like a linebacker and hollered like a coach. One evening in the late 1950s, I accompanied him as he went door-to-door to collect rents.
A tenant called Schoenfeld—I only recall his surname—paid his rent reliably, but he was always a month late and he didn’t include the late fee. This drove my father nuts. That night, he unloaded on him. When I asked my father why he had to be so hard on Schoenfeld,

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Calling for Yield

Steve Abramowitz  |  Jul 8, 2022

IF I SAID YOU COULD corral a yield of almost 12% by holding most of the stocks in the Nasdaq 100 index through an exchange-traded fund (ETF), would you think I’ve been smoking something? Well, you’d be wrong.
Global X Nasdaq 100 Covered Call ETF (symbol: QYLD) has pumped out a humongous dividend for more than 100 consecutive months, ever since its 2013 inception. But first a caveat that many will view as a tragic flaw: QYLD is a pure income investment,

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