Craig Mee on Work Ethic

November 27, 2006 |

I propose One of the biggest problems of trading successfully is the in-built work ethnic, that is instilled in “us” at an early age. This may be something which is regional or religious based, but I believe this certainly works against us when looking to apply discipline to allow for a nice gradual equity curve.

Being from the “west” and school’ed, fed and watered from day one in the pursuit to work hard, thus achieve , reproduce and run a successful family, is I believe not conducive to allow the best characteristics and education to become a trader.

To sit for long periods, and hold the gun, during normal working hours, even though you may of been cleaning the gun and burning the midnight oil looking into research , number crunching and the like, and have done the time, still does not prepare the individual for long periods of holding positions without lifting a finger. These positions also, maybe out of the money, in the money, flat for weeks, before a solid explosion in volatility takes off, where unless risk and money management procedures are solidly adhered to, the human conditioning of work work work, starts to take over, and interferes with correct operating procedures to gain the most out of the position. So in reference to discipline I believe this relevance should be centered on, more so because it is what predominantly disables it.

It could be argued regions, where less importance is placed on routine and normal work practices, could produce interesting results , which of course does nothing to take away from the need for a suitable trading plan and approach to trading.

Tony C. adds:

I have often tried to explain to the young uns’ how I can be wrong most of the time and still make money … and that is a problem with trading.

Typically, you go through 16+ years of schooling, where very early on you quickly come to learn that getting anything less than 9 out of 10 right is a sort of mediocre performance, and getting anything less than 7 out of 10 right is failing … and results in an 80 year old practically blind nun, (who inexplicably possess an arm like Koufax’s), nailing you from across the room with a felt eraser …

Which is to say, you become conditioned.

And then you engage in a profession where getting 6 out of 10 right results in great riches, and even getting 4 out of 10 right results in a more than comfortable living [if you gain 61 cents the 40% of the time you’re correct, and only lose 39 cents the 60% of the time you’re wrong, … and you play often enough.]

So, folks that did reasonably well in their main activity in their formative years are fighting 16+ years of conditioning.

“Geez, I’m right only 4 out of 10 times, I must be stupid to be wrong so often … my success is all luck, I’m a fraud”, etc, etc. If only we could all think like baseball players.


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