I have a dear friend that over the year’s has become a father figure to me. He has coached me through the last decade of my life and been there for important events like my wedding, of which he delivered the most inspiring and wonderful speech I have ever heard. He is a God fearing man who has drilled in me the importance of character since the very first day I met him. He has preached on end that character is what you do when no one is looking. This resonated with me quite a bit as I have grown over the years. Never perfect and at times tempted to veer this way or that, I have always come back to that phrase when faced with something truly monumental. A test of character thrust me into business for myself around 2000 and again in 2007. My character has been tested when I was tempted to engage a new client willing to place 8 digits with me as long as I accepted the way in which he made his millions. I could not. My character is tested in various ways on a more subtle nature on a daily basis which I am sure many can relate to. Avoiding malicious talk, being truly ‘present’ for my wife and children on multiple levels or even avoiding that ‘second look.’
I think one of the things that intrigues me about trading is just how similar it is to life in general. Once a trader becomes proficient in an edge barring strategy, he or she knows exactly what is needed to achieving an ever rising equity curve. There is little question as to how to go about this or how to achieve whatever goals one has set forth. A skilled trader also knows what thoughts, actions or circumstances set him or her on path towards destruction. Over time the trader realizes that perfection, unlike in life, is in fact achievable in trading however not in the sense that each trade is successful but in that the execution follows the individuals’ plan and discipline is upheld at all times. It is easy to analyze the end result and make an assessment about ones trading discipline however like character, I think it can be best summarize that true discipline is tested only when no one else is looking.
I always find it ironic that the higher the market goes, and the more bullish the tape acts, the harder it is to remain truly disciplined. The contrarian in most desire to call the top and avoid the next leg down, while the greedy venture out of their customary discipline to stretch the envelop for greater returns. It is only the discipline who despite the environment, trade the same today, as they did yesterday, and will tomorrow.
As I grow as a trader I continue to refine my list of dos and dont’s, likes and dislikes. One of the key principals for me is to desperately avoid the little macro-gnome that perches atop one shoulder attempting to constantly remind me of the state of the world and the true fact that at one point the sun will in fact cease to burn. At times the gnome is successful in his attempt to lure me away from discipline but as I grow, the more confident I become in knowing that his path is not filled with discipline but a false sense of security in not only predicting but profiting from the future.
As you trade remember that it is not what you do on the outside, but the decisions you make on the inside that will keep you true to the discipline from which you should be striving.
Money Fit by Quint Tatro
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Tatro Capital, LLC
104 Richmond Ave
Nicholasville, KY 40356