Play a Weird Game with Shapes to Find Out If You’d Be a Good Trader

Grand Theft Auto V, the Call of Duty series or any of the many Mario games have nothing on the Bloomberg Tradebook Trader Exercise. I thought I had experienced the zenith of the gaming world. I was wrong.

Bloomberg’s global brokerage arm partnered with trading psychology firm, The ReThink Group to bring you cutting edge realism and graphics in a tool to help you hone your stock predicting skills.


The trial exercise shows a number of shapes moving around the screen, then asks you to predict their next movement based on what you’ve seen so far. While I was meant to be analysing the scenario, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Russian Itchy and Scratchy.

Despite my distraction, I managed to get 2 out of 3 correct trades, but still felt utterly bewildered. Is this what trading is like? Haphazardly trying to predict the movement of sentient shapes, somehow making money but still cradling a deep seated sense of confusion? Sign me up!

Jokes aside, the game is based on a study, “Exploring the Nature of ‘Trader Intuition’”,

which was conducted by the California Institute of Technology and published in the Journal of Finances in 2010. Results found that accurate stock predictions are strongly connected with ‘Theory of Mind’ – predicting the behaviour of other people.

ReThink Group founder and brains of the game, Denise Shull, is an expert in neuropsychology and behavioural finance, so there’s definitely something deeper going on behind the two pissed off looking triangles.

She told Business Insider that traders should think about the market from a human perspective. Every transaction has a human element after all, right? Forget maths, it’s all about channelling your inner Simon Baker’s Mentalist.   

“Markets masquerade as a maths game when it’s really a people prediction game,” Shull said.

So give it a whirl and tell me how you did. Are you a trading whiz now? Do you really know what the irritated triangle want? Have you questioned your own existence? It’s ok, it’s all part of the process. I’ll see you on the other side.