I write this from personal experience and in step with a recurrent and important theme here: "know thyself."

Some people trade with the hope that they will accumulate enough wealth to provide for all foreseeable financial needs. What about those of us who, through luck or skill, have reached that goal. The questions then become: "why more?", "isn't the journey over now?", and "why ever take large positions again?".

The answer that comes to mind is that we have acquired an addiction. If that is true, we need to face it and manage it: "know thyself."

Perhaps there is another reason. When trading we are "in the eternal moment." When trading we are so very "in the eternal moment" that we do not hear the triumphal slave, always riding at out shoulder, who incessantly reminds us of our mortality, whispering: "Respice post te! Hominem te memento!"

In that case we trade to block out the "know thyself." Knowing thyself is a reminder of our mortality and that we briefly dance between the two eternities, past and future. And in that case, there is no cure.

Why do you trade?

To "be" a trader is to have had your butt kicked and then gotten back up. Before that you are nothing. To "be" a trader is to know how to manage or avoid those "terrible and typical" things and that only comes with knowledge and experience. They are all different.

The Delphian was speaking to the trader when she said: "γνῶθι σεαυτόν." A trader knows thyself and uses that knowledge to avoid the next knockout. Learning the rules of the market you are trading is easy. Don't be fooled into thinking that knowing the rules makes you a trader.

Trading is ultimately about you.

The market is always probing for your weaknesses. Only you know them; yes, you do know them, don't you? The one weakness you are most vulnerable to is the one the market is always– ALWAYS– after.

That's the one which will kill you.

Thus this existential imperative: γνῶθι σεαυτόν. "Being" a trader is a true Sartrean experience.

Kipling knew: "If"





Speak your mind

4 Comments so far

  1. Anonymous on March 13, 2015 2:43 pm

    The top gets very claustraphobic and it seems at times the only way to win is to not be. First generation wealth has very hard time understanding.

  2. Yan Kan on March 13, 2015 4:30 pm

    “Don’t be fooled into thinking that knowing the rules makes you a trader.”
    I don’t know what kind of audience you’re targeting,
    But it looks like the right level for you.
    So much Pathos and Psychology.
    Knowledge isn’t within us.
    Throw away that mirror !

  3. daniel watkins on March 13, 2015 4:54 pm

    interesting view and i get it. i’m that “third” generation. i think you know what i mean. but enough about me. i almost have me figured out; almost.

  4. Alice Allen on March 14, 2015 10:08 pm

    I appreciate this rich essay. Levels of weaknesses are revealed in trading. As soon as I comprehended that first weakness, every few years another is revealed. As a programmer, it reminds me of getting an error message and making the needed correction, only then to reveal another error that was previously obscured.


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