I lost my father in January of this year. Don’t worry, I wasn’t sad today with today being ‘Father’s Day’…instead I enjoyed some of the things he liked.
I played guitar along to some of his favorite tunes…a great deal of Johnny Cash and the Beatles, amongst others.
Watched the classic “Patton” film with George C. Scott. If you haven’t seen it…you should.
I also went through some Poe and a good chunk of The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
And that’s where the point of this post comes from. I was going to write something about him his propethic knowledge of the markets that he really only put to fiscal use in the form of a stock he needed to buy..maybe annually. He had the more important task of helping people for a living. I was going to tell you about the time some of the crazy investments he’d made or the common sense of the market he taught me.
Instead let’s take a quote from The Meditations….
The Importance of Self-Governance To Traders
“From Maximus I learned self-government, and not to be led aside by anything; and cheerfulness in all circumstances, as well as in illness; and a just admixture in the moral character of sweetness and dignity, and to do what was set before me without complaining.
I observed that everybody believed that he thought as he spoke, and that in all that he did he never had any bad intention; and he never showed amazement and surprise, and was never in a hurry, and never put off doing a thing, nor was perplexed nor dejected, nor did he ever laugh to disguise his vexation, nor, on the other hand, was he ever passionate or suspicious.
He was accustomed to do acts of beneficence, and was ready to forgive, and was free from all falsehood; and he presented the appearance of a man who could not be diverted from right rather than of a man who had been improved.”
My dad used to say that I reminded him of Maximus and I’d laugh. I still don’t think he meant it seriously, but rather was giving me a model of sorts or an ideal to follow. I think it has traits that everyone would be better off having.
Beyond as people…as traders, the emphasis in the passage that I added are things most successful traders to be to become successful.
- From Maximus I learned self-government, and not to be led aside by anything; and cheerfulness in all circumstances
- Keep your emotions in check. Govern yourself when you trade by managing your risk and not trades you can’t afford to take.
- You’ll have losing trades. Maintain cheerfulness in all circumstances…you’re still alive. There will be another 10,000 opportunities to make money in the market the next day.
- I observed that everybody believed that he thought as he spoke
- This is mostly aimed at people in my trading room, but people in other trading groups and on StockTwits. Speak your mind and be honest. It’ll make your life and the lives of those around you or those you engage with in some form or the other vastly better.
- He never showed amazement and surprise, and was never in a hurry, and never put off doing a thing, nor was perplexed nor dejected
- Slow down. A ton of traders I’ve known over the years and a lot of the ones I interact with online as I try to convey principles/pass along what I’ve learned end up in the ‘hurry’ stage. There are not many faster ways to lose money in the market that hurrying up your trading speed to try to make up for those initial losses.
- You’ll always be busy ‘too busy’ to do x or learn y until you realize you aren’t. If you want to get something done…do it or it’ll never happen.
- Don’t be sad and confused that one of your trades was wrong. Even the most advanced trading algorithms get trades wrong. There’s no reason to be confused….things happen that no market participants have the ability to foresee. Get over it. Don’t HURRY to do it, but move on to the next one.
- Side Note: Keep a journal of your trades. I still keep a handwritten notebook that I document them in. It helps me prevent the mistakes that try to hurry me into that next one.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Happy father’s day to those of you paternal-folks!
This one’s for you, dad.