The absence of this phrase was especially true in the mostly-defunct 1995-2005 trading guru/fraud era where false gods would make "calls" and then conveniently hide or remain silent when the market didn't comply, or where even today, analysts will search for any excuse to -- as Desi would say -- 'splain their way out of it. Ego? In most cases, yes. Plus, I suppose admitting one is wrong is a lousy way to market an "advisory" service or sell books to lazy traders.
Well, I was wrong a lot on Friday. And last week. And last year ... including on one occasion being more wrong than a Ramirez/A-Rod/Clemens/McGuire panel on athlete innocence. Dead wrong. I'm wrong every trading day of every month of every year.
Not a great attribute for a trader you say? Well, I respectully disagree. Strongly.
Because so long as being wrong is followed by adaptation and recovery, being wrong can be a trader's best tool. And one of the main differences betwen the tiny few that survive long-term and the habitual wannabes is that the minority have an uncanny ability to adapt and recover.
Personally, I have a few blind spots in my trading that will likely always be there to some extent. Yet with all due humility, there's no doubt that for some reason I've been blessed with a strong ability to adapt and recover.
Skim the virtual pages of this almost-year long "live book" and you'll see it everywhere. Most of my decent days start off poorly, as do many weeks and even months. Last year's stats proved I generally suck on Mondays. Yet perhaps the best example is last October where on a Monday early in the month I had the largest loss of my career at -$94K, before ending the week positive by +$40K, and the month positive by +$315K. I mean look at the October portion of last year's daily performance by month, which will forever be a testament to the power of the comeback.
Yet I know many people who will likely never utter those three words so long as they're blessed with a breath on this planet. Never. And after pondering this concept for years -- including prodding a few close friends to simply say the damn words -- the only conclusion I've been able to reach is that they'd likely view such an admission as a weakness or character flaw which would expose their humanity. Amazing, admitting one isn't perfect. And I won't even go near the marriage pride arguments ... although I guess I just did.
Wrong in a trade? Like a biker about to hit the pavement, learn to fall gracefully. Then use the result as powerful knowledge that most won't gain because they're too stubborn to admit "they were wrong". And yes, even I can be a stubborn S.O.B. at times. I guess I'm wrong then, too.
Some things in life I'll never understand. Not being able to utter those words easily ranks in my top five pet peeves of all time.
It's not about being right. Umm ... there's a reason bikers wear helmets.
It is however about recovery. Fast and immediate recovery. And the faster, the better.
The temporary bruises will eventually fade, while callousing over to help soften the next fall ... cuz it's gonna happen again.
Personally, those three words are worth millions to me. Literally.
Have a great weekend.