Most often trading is a solitary business.
A trader works in a room, by themselves, surrounded by screens with market prices, market news, a radio, a television tuned to the ABC, Sky, CNBC (or all three), as your only companions.
When I’m not at BI’s Sydney office, I’m one of those lone trader/writers working from my office at the back of the house surrounded by Michael Rowland, La Trioli and the gang on ABC24 along with Brooke Corte, Carson Scott and the team at SkyBusiness with Newsradio blaring in the background.
But often, when the news is boring or I need to really focus on my trading and writing, I hit mute on everything and crank up the music.
I was an 80s New Romantic listening to Spandau Ballet, Thompson Twins and Depeche Mode, although I loved Killing Joke and of course Iron Maiden and Motley Crue.
I shook that off in the 90s with Pearl Jam and Nirvana, moved to Incubus and Foo Fighters, with a little Lenny Kravitz in the late 90s but in the end it seems my roots are firmly planted in the heavier stuff – it relaxes me.
Here are the top 14 songs (and the associated albums) I like to listen to when I’m trading.
You’ll notice a bit of a theme:
1. In the End – Linkin Park
From the very first second I heard this song I was hooked. It’s still probably my favourite song of all time.
2 & 3. What I’ve Done & Somewhere I Belong – Linkin Park
Linking Park and Transformers together – need I say more?
4. 21st Century Breakdown – Green Day
The boys were back with this album and the title track, like Numb, caught me from the first second. When I play this song I play this album and I saw them live in Sydney on the tour. Brilliant. Just brilliant.
5. Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
Circus Animals by Cold Chisel was the first album I ever bought and this song was and the concert at Red Rock was the first thing I ever recorded on mum and dad’s VCR. It is still one of the great concerts.
6. Burn It To The Ground – Nickelback
It is fashionable to hate Nickelback and I certainly don’t play some songs in earshot of the kids or my wife but lets face it – Nickelback rock. I challenge one to stand still when they hear this song.
7. Girls and Boys – Good Charlotte
Like Linkin Park, from the moment I heard my first song by the boys from La Plata I was hooked. This is one of my favourites and, as well as trading music, Good Charlotte is great when I’m on the ride-on mower doing the yard.
8. Empire State of Mind – Jay Z and Alicia Keys
I love New York, I love this song. It’s just on of those bits of music I could listen too in high rotation for ages.
9. Captain Jack – Billy Joel
My wife told me what this song was about a few weeks back. I had no idea and while I sometimes listen to the Piano Man album when I’m writing, Captain Jack stands out as a classic.
10. Seven Nation Army – White Stripes
Hooked from the very start – Just a great song.
11. Lazeretto – Jack White
He’s back! If you haven’t heard this song or the album by the same name do yourself a favour. It sets the tone nicely for non-farm payrolls too.
12. Price of Fame – 360 feat. Gossling
Utopia is the album of the year for me and Price of Fame, my favourite song. There is a language warning needed with this one, but if “Still Rap” isn’t the anthem for traders well…
13. Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
The Heist was probably the album of 2012 and Thrift Shop its best song. I have spend countless hours either standing at my desk or on the ride on listening to this. (NSFW)
14. Anything by The Foo Fighters
Surely I don’t need to say anything here, do I? But OK, I had to chose one, so it’s Monkey Wrench.
And here’s the Spotify version:
And the music I’m listening to while I wrote this? Avicii, True.
Now before you tell me I’ve missed out on Back in Black, or Whole Lotta Love, this is my list, not some older brother’s list or some conventional notion of what is supposed to be good.
Like trading, this is my system. What’s your list look like?
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