MarketLife Ep 25 – Spaced Repetition System: Learn perfectly and never forget

Podcast-Cover300Today, a few thoughts on how your memory works and how it is structured. I spend some time talking about a system called Anki in this episode. I know many of you will think it sounds impractical, hard to learn, or like a waste of time, but give it a shot. It is one of the most exciting tools I have discovered in the last five years and has completely changed the way I study and learn. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. (And it is free!)

You can get Anki here.

Here are the show notes:

Short-term and long-term memory

  • Short-term memory lasts seconds (< 30) unless refreshed. Can only store 7 +/- 2 “pieces”
  • Long-term memory indefinite and infinite(?)
  • Working memory? How does this all work?


  • Concept is the same as building words and sentences from letters
  • Connections between information matter
  • Impressive short-term memory feats come from chunking

Moving from short-term to long-term

  • Old way was repetition. It sucks, but it works, with some limitations. It’s also slow.
  • Intensity (under correct conditions) is what matters
  • Build connections
  • Make sure you understand. It’s hard to learn something you don’t understand.
  • Correct reinforcement at the right time is the best way to make knowledge permanent.
  • Long term andshort term can help each other
    • Mnemonics

Space repetition system

  • Anki (
  • Flashcards, but not the flashcards you know from school
  • Two parts to using the system
    • Making flashcards
    • Using them
  • What can you put on flashcards?
    • Pictures
    • Words
    • Sounds
  • Time spent making flashcards is time spent learning. I don’t think there is a lot of value in using a pre-made deck.
  • What to do this week:
    • Download it
    • Experiment
  • I’ll follow up with some blog posts in coming weeks.


I want to take a few lines here to thank you, my loyal listeners. I certainly would not have continued this podcast if it were not for you. If you have thoughts or questions, please feel free to reach out to me. If you’ve left a review somewhere for the show, thank you. That’s not a causal thank you–your reviews are very important because they help new people find me. If you haven’t left a review and if you enjoy what I do here, please consider taking a minute and writing a short review on iTunes here.

Also, if you like the music for this podcast, then be sure to check out Brian Ashley Jones, my friend, and a fantastic singer-songwriter, awesome guitar player, and a great all around guy!

Enjoy the show:


Adam Grimes has over two decades of experience in the industry as a trader, analyst and system developer. The author of a best-selling trading book, he has traded for his own account, for a top prop firm, and spent several years at the New York Mercantile Exchange. He focuses on the intersection of quantitative analysis and discretionary trading, and has a talent for teaching and helping traders find their own way in the market.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. A_Joe

    Interesting Series on Memory; Thank You ! am trying to do & be Better 🙂

  2. owen cooper

    When man first walked out of his cave onto the savannah, he didn’t
    have speech, he didn’t have words, but he did have pictures. For me pictures
    have worked,(long story) and I have for
    a long while pondered how to apply the technique to studies in trading .well
    done Adam, next where to start, reading your excellent book I often think how
    am I going to remember this, and apply in the heat of battle .have you any thoughts?
    Chart patterns, bear flags, bull flags, pullbacks?

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