Trade like a cheetah
by Hans Hannula, Ph.D.
The cheetah: an endangered species who's survived against the odds. It has survived by using a simple
set of two rules: be faster than anyone else, and be smarter than anyone else.
Sound like a good trading principle? At a recent Market Technicians Association (MTA) conference, in a
discussion with Dr. Van Tharp, a trading psychologist, I learned something about top traders that I
thought was unique to my own style of trading. What I learned was that many top traders use animals and
hunting as a mental metaphor to guide their thinking when they 're trading. The metaphor I've always
used is the cheetah.
To understand the cheetah you must understand a little bit of its history. The cheetah is a member of the
large cat family, but it is a very different breed of cat. It was nearly hunted into extinction about 2,000
years ago. It somehow survived by retreating from populated areas and living in a confined space. The
price it paid for this survival was a great deal of inbreeding, which has genetically weakened the species.
Nevertheless, the species still survives, simply by following two "rules": be faster and be smarter than