Aug

14

A phrase that comes to mind when looking at the fate of the original Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards, is ‘A pat on the back is a few small vertebrae away from a kick in the rear end.’ Countless times no one sees the ass whoopin’ coming due to the warm feeling they feel for being on top or the taste of success, resting on laurels.Every time someone is mentioned in an article, book, or put up on a pedestal for the World to emulate and trade after, the edge vanishes, the trader goes bust or has his first down year, standard deviation increases dramatically, his wife leaves him with half of his wealth. When does Vic suggest to Count or test those strategies of our colleagues? After the pat on the back or the kick in the rear?

Do these things happen simply due to the fact that they happen to everyone in life and we are just forcing a correlation? Maybe. Is it because a pat on the back is the magic formula to hoodoo someone, the abracadabra of forced failure?

I do not know, but I do know that one of the most powerful principles that Mr. Bill espoused was anonymity. It is a word in the namesake of A.A.. Anonymity keeps one out of the light and focused on current affairs, wax still clinging to wings. Want to quit smoking, do not tell a single soul! The more people you tell you are going to quit, the more people you will have asking you if you are thinking about a cigarette, which triggers a craving. It is the same thing with positions taken during the day, week, month or quarter. You know the significance points, the edge, but if you share your new found trade with everyone then they call you on the down ticks, adverse headlines and such and once again trigger your ’switching’ cravings.

I would just rather keep my name and face out of the books, TV, award ceremonies and stadiums and stick to doing what got me there anyways. It is easy for me because I suffer from fear of success, but anonymity is powerful in so many ways. Principles before personalities.

How many CTAs, Hedge PMs or Speculators do you know that run from the press, keep below the radar, do not accept awards, and donate and give anonymously or without fanfare? Are they always doing it to conceal and protect positions, net worth, personal information and liberties? No. I say they know and fear a little bit, the fear that comes from that ‘kick in the butt’ after the ‘pat on the back.’ There is no upside from being a part of financial pornography, but discretely sharing and learning amongst friends who practice the same principles as you do is priceless. That way we grow as speculators and individuals and maintain our edges for the most efficient amount of time.

Rudolf Hauser adds:

Part of the problem is the tendency to engage in grand projects or take greater risks to keep up the reputation established by publicity, but I suspect that to a greater extent this is just a symptom of overconfidence in one’s ability as a result of great success. This leads to exaggerated expectations of what one can get away with in terms of risks, grand assumptions, and a reduction in the fear that keeps one sharp and trying harder. These attitudes can exist without the publicity as well, and of course, it is a natural human tendency to attribute success mainly to one’s abilities and insufficiently to luck when one is doing well, and the reverse when one is doing poorly.

Dr. Janice Dorn comments:

It is posts such as this one that elevate the spirit, give pause, put so much into perspective, and remind us to be, always, in gratitude and humility. Thank you, J.T..

In his early writings on market psychology, circa 1912, Selden said that the man with a million dollars is a silent individual, the time when it was necessary for him to talk is past, and now, his money does the talking. The one thousand men with one thousand dollars each however, are conversational, fluent, verbose to the last degree.

Steve Leslie offers:

Here are my two cents:

I heard Lou Holtz the great football coach once say “Things are never as good as they might seem, nor as bad, they are always somewhere in between.”

‘Pride Goeth before a Fall.’ Pride is considered by Pope Gregory to be the the most severe of the Seven Deadly Sins.

I saw an interview with Greg Raymer WSOP Champion of 2004. He said that when he won the WSOP bracelet he did not let it go to his head. He realized that it was more a reflection of great fortune and luck for one week, than the fact that he was that much better than the field. He did not want to be one of those who won the title and then went broke the following year, so he plays within himself.


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