Even though I haven't been trading much this week, I have been thinking about it nonstop and I have been mostly thinking about the why I win sometimes and why I lose sometimes. I especially was curious about the days when I can go back in time to those losing days and in hindsight plainly see where had I just done what I know to do, I would have won. I wondered what was different about those days vs the winning days.
Turns out, I think it is about my mental state or more specifically, my emotional state. Essentially I think it has to do with my sense of joy, happiness or peace. The more joy, happiness and peace I feel, the better I trade. The less I feel these emotions or worse, feel the opposite, the worse I trade. I know it sounds simplistic but I think its true.
I've been thinking this for a while now but only really thought in depth this week as I had these many hours to mindlessly work and think at the same time and then today I read the following article excerpt by Jared Dillan of Mauldin Economics. He is a trader, a writer and DJ if I remember correctly. He was once the largest bond trader at Lehman Brothers right before the collapse so he has credibility in this venue.
"People Are Crazy
I think most people (and the legal system especially) completely underestimate how emotional and irrational most people are.
Sometimes I walk down the street and look at people and think to myself how everyone is just barely holding it together. Go to a cocktail party—at least half the people there are in some kind of emotional turmoil that they are barely keeping under wraps.
Trading is about being smart, yes, but it is also an exercise in emotional fitness.
Neurotic, sad people generally don’t make money. Happy, confident people are the ones who make money. (Emphasis mine)
There’s a reason why guys like Paul Tudor Jones hire guys like Tony Robbins as a coach. I think Tony Robbins should stick to his knitting and stay away from real estate conferences, but he has probably helped people be competitive in a very competitive industry. All that hooey about being a winner really is true.
I have seen a lot of people succeed and a lot of people fail at investing, and let me tell you, it is not usually a function of intelligence. These dour, bad-stuff-happens-to-me-all-
the-time guys really struggle. They struggle mightily. And not coincidentally, bad stuff does happen to them all the time.
People who act like winners usually win. They aren’t always nice guys, but they are winners. Like I said, it is rarely a function of intelligence.
I’m still working on the secret sauce. I’m profitable, but I’m a bit of a grinder. It’s never easy.
Here’s to things being easy.
Editor, The 10th Man
Editor, The 10th Man
The implication here is that I am sad and neurotic. At first glance I would deny that accusation but deeper thinking about this statement begins to ring true in many areas of my life. The sad part that is. The last few years have been years of loss: financially, my health and of course the passing of both my parents. Sadness is to be expected. To think otherwise is neurotic and I have expressed to others and denied to myself the presence of sadness. But now I think its time to own it. To acknowledge its presence in my life, embrace the reality of it and then move on to a more joyful place.
A starting point for that is acknowledging my health is nearly completely recovered. I only need to lose about 40 pounds and I will be in arguably the best shape of my adult life. That is something not every one achieves. Recovered health is something to be grateful and happy about. Instead of focusing on the difficulty of losing the weight, I now intend to focus on the gratitude I have that my heart has NO scar tissue from the heart attack. All of the bills from that episode in my life are finally paid and I can chase any goal I want from here!
This summer I am embarking on a new segment of my spiritual journey. It is uncharted waters for me. It is about the idea of self love. Not the dirty minded kind, but the complete internal acceptance of myself, my successes, my failures, strengths and weaknesses. The acceptance of who I truly am and learning to fully and completely love that person.
As I've worked toward this journey over the last few months and yes even years, I've always known there would be a point where I would need to confront this aspect of spiritualism. I've postponed, delayed and ignored it and now find myself at the point where it is no longer possible to ignore or delay. Nor do I want to. I want the freedom that comes from reaching this place in life.
I will write about this sporadically as this kind of journey progresses in fits and spurts. It is non linear and therefore it is not possible to construct a linear narrative about it as it progresses. Instead it must be narrated in hindsight.
For now though, I have adopted a marvelous quote I read the other day as my new spiritual motto. Its from Gandhi and it goes like this; "I will let no man walk through my mind with his dirty feet!" From this day forward I guard my mind and heart as though it is a priceless treasure....because it is!
Til next week.....