Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Weekend Trader - That "One Thing"

There's a great scene from from the classic 1991 movie City Slickers:

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is? [holds up one finger] This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean s***.
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?"
Curly: That's what you have to find out.

Well, as this year's journey nears a historic end, my "one thing" seems to be coming into clearer focus ... at least the trading "thing" ... although like many trading elements, it seems to be spilling over into personal life as well.

And while it starts with the comeback concept which I first surfaced in July, and which formed the cornerstone for subsequent performance momentum that is now apparently catching national attention (I was asked for two more interviews over the last week which I've declined ... this is now getting a bit crazy), I now realize there's much iceberg below that initial tip.

Throughout the blog, I've long said that the power behind the "comeback mentality" was that it required that I ramp up my focus by visualizing the mental state in which I've typically excelled. And that certainly remains true. Yet I've now realized that there's a second element to that concept that reaches even deeper, and that's the humbling effect a drawdown -- real or perceived -- has on one's mindset.

Why is it that many who "make it to the top" also come crashing down? Archie Karas, Internet Millionaires-Gone-Bust, O.J. Simpson, Plaxico Burress, name-your-fraud chatroom guru, AIG/Ford/Chrysler/GM execs (choose one or all), __________ (name your celebrity or athlete), and on and on. I would argue two major reasons are pride and arrogance.

And as this record race nears a close, it's become clear that the greatest power behind the fictitious draw chart is that it instills an ongoing inner circuit breaker that minimizes the chance of pride and arrogance seeping in. Essentially, it mandates humility, and humility trumps arrogance every day. And for my trading, humility has clearly become my "one thing".

And so I enter next week mentally reversing the sign before last week's chip gain. I've taken a humbling -$72K hit, there's certainly no reason to get a big head, and I need to go back to work to get it back. The more I believe that -- and by Monday I'll think it really happened that way -- the more powerful the results are ... in trading and in life.

Or to say another way:

I think Curly would be pleased.

P.S. Don't forget to check out Part 1 of my interview with David Penn, and visitors please watch Thursday's welcome to put the blog in perspective.

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