May

14

 Nothing but free time, as I sit here long (from an average of 1999.00) watching the spoos take their shot at ath's.

I recently had the opportunity to don my cargo pants and tool belt and accompany my gc wife and her 15 worker crew on a project where we deconstructed the display merchandise at a dozen decommissioned u.s. branches of a large European bank. For one day I gave up the comfort of my home office and $1500 ergonomic office chair, for a box truck and impact drill — and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. While I was certainly, a fish-out-of water, I felt right-at-home taking orders from my wife. She is an unapologetic task-oriented leader, whose sole focus is getting the job done in a timely and productive manner, yet can always be found working along side her workers, showing them how-it's-done.

Luckily she had previously detailed the step-by-step procedures necessary to complete my arduous tasks, so I was able to immerse myself in the work-at-hand. Inevitably, second order analogies to trading came to mind, and it wasn't long before I began to compare my current blue-collar labor to the commonly perceived, white-collar vocation of trading. It really isn't much of a stretch as one would think, especially for an ex-cbot floor trader. Most of us had empathy, if not an outright disdain for the *suits,* whose shoulders we rubbed as we walked defiantly past them on la salle street. Those of us who traded in the pits, did not consider ourselves white collar guys. After all, there was nothing sexy, nor glamorous about standing next to a bunch of sweaty guys, with alcohol on their breath, risking your own money, in order to make a living. In reality, making markets was quite the workman-like activity and not much different than the task-like work I was currently performing for my wife.

To this day, I consider trading to be a blue-collar work. After all, the activity that is trading, is not that much different in it's simplicity from manual labor. One only needs to look at the worker, and not the work; to find where the blame lies for any added complexity. The laborer understands the workplace procedures required to get the job done within the team environment. If he does his work, he collects a paycheck. Yet as traders, we fall prey to our natural instincts which often make our analysis unnecessarily complex and our work burdensome.

Because we are self-professed critical thinkers, I believe we sometimes forget that we are at heart, traders and speculators. We often fail to just trade-the-market, or as Jeff wrote, "we over-think the market and miss out on-the-move." Which is why I often go back-to-basics and go *caveman* on the market. I study the markets price action, and if I think the market is going higher, I buy it. If I'm wrong I get out. If I'm right, and I think the market is going to continue to higher, I buy more. And when I don't think it can go any higher, I get out. and then, I do it all over again. There are no excuses; I just do my work and collect a paycheck. Maybe I'll start wearing a hard-hat when trading…


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  1. Ed on May 14, 2015 9:02 pm

    Analysis and cajones. Having both is the tough part. Many have one or the other, very few have both. Those that don’t have that second thing often fixate on the first, which becomes a degenerate fixation on math-terbation - leading to decision paralysis.

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