Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Notes - Standing Your Ground

There's an old saying that if you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing.

Trading is an interesting life exercise in that in every moment of every day, there are always two conflicting opinions as to the expected market direction.  ALWAYS.

Yet as more evidence is provided, one side will ultimately win.  And predominantly, it's the same group over time ... just like it's typically the same group of people at final tables across the poker landscape.

And so it is with life.  Given the gift of free will, and especially the gift of freedom and liberty we have in this country, there are differing opinions on almost every issue on the planet.  Lest we forget the lesson of the blue wall (and we should all watch that Jimmy V speech at least once a month).

Now bear with me as I have some fun tearing apart one longstanding trading belief ... the belief that there's no such thing as "right" or "wrong".

So I'll turn the tables for the moment and say that ultimately, like life, trading is all about right vs. wrong.  And if you really think about it from an objective perspective -- it's as clear as black vs. white.

Unfortunately, in this day of "political correctness", we too often use the color -- and excuse -- of grays.  Which also happens to relate to another particular term I hate, which is part of society's current tendency to end every discussion with the term "whatever".

Well, I say let's ditch the "grays" and "whatevers".

For I firmly believe that to be successful in trading AND life, you HAVE to take a stand.  A stand that is Rock solid and unwavering at that very moment where it's critical to stand up for what you believe ... scratch that ... make that "for what is right."

In trading, you have to have conviction to buy and buy hard when the panic selling wanes, or sell and sell hard after the panic buyers are done ... even with it goes against trading's version of "immediate political correctness".  Simply put, at the right time, you have to stand your ground.

And of course in life, you have to have the conviction to stand by your principles despite whatever obstacles may be tossed in your path -- and there will be obstacles which are sometimes disguised as illness, setbacks, or even "popular opinion" ... which if you really think about it, is usually in reality unpopular and held by a few who go through life being tossed in the wind or simply prefer gray.

Last night, I had the wonderful privilege of seeing firsthand the type of good our ADA donations were doing at the worldwide center for diabetes research -- the Joslin Center in Boston.  And it wasn't about receiving the pin on behalf of many of you for the extent of our $16K donation (I have a new goal of $50K which I'll discuss at another time), rather it was about the work that everyone is doing across the globe to fight this and other deadly diseases.

We have one shot at life.

May your trading and living reflect the convictions that withstand those who choose to live life surrounded with the color of gray.

And remember that every majestic oak tree started with a nut that stood its ground.

... not to mention Bamboos.


Ron P. said...

Hey Don,

I couldn't agree more. Here is one of my favorite quotes from Teddy Roosevelt:

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

Ron P.

Maxy said...


Just discovered your blog and really enjoy the posts.

Looking forward to reading you in the coming weeks and months.