Thursday, July 18, 2019

What Is Your Trading Gift?

Here is a question I recently posed to the developing traders at SMB:  What trading do you do that is gifted?

Per Picasso's quote above, our life's goal should be to find where our gifts lie and then make the most of those strengths and passions.  If you have a gift for something, whether it be artwork, sports, or trading, you can point to very specific things that you do that express that giftedness.

The idea is that we shouldn't make a career out of anything we're not gifted in.  Why settle for being OK?  Our gifts are what can make us extraordinary.

When we receive a gift, we are grateful.  We treat it with specialness.  Back in 2006, I needed a new car and, to my surprise, my Mom and Dad wrote Margie and me quite a nice check for a car I very much liked.  Their act was special precisely because I didn't need the gift.  They wrote the check solely out of wanting to contribute to our happiness and success.  You can believe their gift meant a lot to me.  I drive that car to this very day and treat it like my baby.  Even more, that gift inspired Margie and me to always be giving to our children and grandchildren, through gifting, but also by giving of ourselves.  Not out of need, but out of caring.  When we are overflowing with gifts in life, it's easy to share with others.  That is the true meaning of wealth.  

If that car is special to me, how much more so should I treat my life's gifts!  A gift is something we value and treasure and treat with honor.  If you are gifted in your trading, that is the only trading you need to be doing.  Everything else waters down what you've been given and cheapens it.  If you have a trading gift, your only priority as a developing trader should be to nurture and develop that gift.  And if your gifts lie in areas other than trading, that's important to know.  You shouldn't dilute those special gifts by settling for mediocre returns in markets.

So what is your trading gift?  

Only a review of what you do well and a careful analysis of how you do it will reveal what makes you special.  I recently interviewed a trader interested in joining SMB.  He developed three strategies for trading stocks and sophisticated ways of identifying the stocks that could be traded in each of those strategies.  This has given him multiple ways to win each day.  I have no doubt that this individual is gifted in his trading.  His gift is to define unique opportunity and trade it rigorously.  Like so many gifted traders, it's not that he plays the game better than others.  He has found a different game to play and win, based upon his analytical and creative strengths.

When we view our best trading as a gift we've been given, we don't want to be doing anything elseIt isn't discipline that keeps us doing the right things; it's pride and gratitude.  Does the trader I met with feel tempted to play every breakout and trending move?  Of course not.  Do I feel a need to get a new car each year?  Not a thought.  When we truly value what we do--and we truly feel grateful for our gifts--that grounds our actions.  To do anything else would be an unbearable self-betrayal.

In some areas of life, you are gifted.  Somehow, some way, you are meant to unwrap those gifts, hold onto them, and turn them into something special.  Life is way too short to do anything other than what we're meant to be doing.

Further Reading: