Sunday, November 04, 2007

Marathon's as an analogy for trading

Today is the running of the New York City Marathon. Although I have never attempted the event I can only imagine the amount of training and determination it takes to accomplish the task. I am sure for many of the runners there is a point during the race when they would love to "throw in the towel", but for most they do not.

I think the same can be said for trading. I know from my own experiences that there have been many times over the years that I have said "Enough", only to wake up the next morning and head to the office to "Give it one more try". It has proven to be a very good career for me. I enjoy the challenge,(alot more when I am making money)the ever changing environment, and the camaraderie of my co-workers. For years I felt the Dealing room was like a boy's High School locker room, although this has definitely changed the same type of teamwork is necessary to be truly successful.

Perseverance is a key to success in anything you do. As Oscar Wilde said " Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes".

This is important to remember. Sure in trading you can lose your capital which forces you to quit, and there is no shame in that. Also you may just not enjoy it, but the ability to push ahead and learn from your mistakes, and better yet from the mistakes of others is key. I make sure that I speak to other dealers/brokers/sales people everyday. Not just in my markets but others as well. For those who know me, this is a big task, as I am a pretty quiet guy. But I realize that it is harder to succeed in life if you try to go it alone. I am sure today there are many individuals running in the marathon with friends, family members and co-workers. Most of these individuals what to finish faster then their running partners but I would say that almost non of them want their running partners to do poorly rather they want to do better. I have similar thoughts about Trading. I work on a desk of 10 people, in a room of 200 people. I want to be the number one producer, BUT I want to be that producer at a high level not by being the best of a bad lot. I do not like it when my co-workers struggle (even less when I do), but rather enjoy when they do well as it pushes me to work harder, and see where their successes are, so I can try to emulate them. I hope and encourage them to do the say with me.

This is very similar to all aspects of life. My youngest son is finishing up his football (American football for my overseas readers)season. The team required a commitment of 5 days of practice each week from 3-6 PM straight after school. As a 7th grader on a 7th and 8th grade team he received little playing time in any close game. There was one particular day that really strikes me in his commitment to completing a task. On a random day a few weeks ago I picked him up after an exceptionally hard practice. The bigger kids (and they are all bigger as my son is on the smaller side) tended to line up against him in drills (not on purpose but just the way it worked out)and he was repeatedly "man handled". When he saw me after practice he became emotional (but held it together until he made it to the car)and began explaining to me about the difficult practice. He mentioned how he was scared to go back (he said this on two occasions) and how he didn't think he would ever be good at the sport. I told him that Football was supposed to be fun and if it wasn't there was no shame in leaving the team as he gave it a good shot. He immediately said no, that he could not quit and was going to stay with the team till the end of the season no matter what practices were like. I reminded him of the "fun" aspect and left it at that. In hindsight I think the coaches were having a series of difficult practices to weed out a few of the less dedicated kids. Isn't this what happens in life. Interning at a large Investment house you frequently get the less desirable tasks. The long hours for little pay (and recognition) looking for that seat on a real trading desk so that you can show what you are made of. OK, back to my Son....

At yesterday's game after my son's team took a commanding lead he was inserted to play both ways for the entire second half. Very few 7th graders got this "honor". I think it had alot to do with my son missing no practices all year and working hard all the time. Respecting his coaches and the "veterans" on the team. He is not the best kid out there. Probably never will be, but working hard seems to at least gotten him a chance to perform on the stage, and what happens from there will depend on ability.

Work hard, learn from others and try to have a little fun.

Good Luck and Good Forex Trading



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