Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship With Markets

My recent post on being right versus being profitable highlights a problem that affects many active traders: they are acting out conflicts or problems from their past in their present trading.

The need to be right reflects concerns about self-esteem and the need to prove and validate oneself. This is not a market issue, and it's most likely an issue that affects other areas of life, from work to relationships. If one, for example, spends a great deal of time arguing in relationships over who is right and who is wrong, it wouldn't be surprising for them to fight markets.

In a good relationship, there's no right or wrong: my role is to do everything I can to ensure the happiness and fulfillment of those I love. If they love me and take the same approach, we'll all be better off. If I inadvertently hurt the feelings of my son or daughter, I don't argue with them that they're too sensitive or misunderstood me. I apologize and try to understand the situation better.

In a good relationship, it's more important to preserve trust, harmony, respect, and love than to validate oneself. Interestingly, when there is such an environment, that is the most validating of all!

It is similar with markets: in our relationship with them, we want to be active listeners. Our egos may feel a need to impose our views, our agendas on markets, but if we're truly listening to markets and in harmony with them, we will find the right actions. And that produces a validation in profits beyond any occasional calling of market tops and bottoms.