The difference between trading for a living (part of it or all of it) and trading as something fun that I do like playing hockey once a week is simple, yet it’s what I believe separates pro’s from amateurs: Pro’s are intensely deliberate about getting results, amateurs play the game for the sake of the play.
A book that was recommended to me by Rob Booker a while back is being recalled by my sub-conscience today as I write this. It’s in the club of “One of the most important books that I have read on an iPhone” along with Turning Pro and The War of Art. The book is called “Finite and Infinite games” by James P. Carse. Lets try and define these terms real quick..
Infinite Games: Games that are on a continuous loop. “The infinite game is played for the purpose of continuing play”; “Infinite players regard their wins and losses in whatever finite games they play as but moments in continuing play” and “Infinite players cannot say when their game began, nor do the care. The do not care for the reason that their game is not bounded by time. Indeed, the only purpose for the game is to prevent it from coming to an end, to keep everyone in play”; “Surprise in infinite play is the triumph of the future over the past” I seriously could spend hours discussing these few statements. siiggggghhhhh
So as an infinite game trader, I don’t care about the wins and the losses as long as play continues tomorrow, the future will always be better, I don’t have a damned clue why but it just has to be right? I want the loop. I want the title and the award, I just want to play the game by made up rules. It is the definition of amateur.
Finite Games: Played for the purpose of winning. There is set rules, a scoreboard, and both teams accept a win or a loss at the end of that predetermined period. “Finite players play within boundaries, infinite players play WITH boundaries”; “To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.”
“TITLES ARE GIVEN AT THE END OF PLAY, NAMES AT THE BEGINNING”
To ask this question “What can I reasonably expect from my trading today, this week, this month”, and be able to count on those outcomes because you know within reason the amount of effort it will take to achieve those outcomes, is finite play. That is PRO to the core. It’s a play that has a definite end and a desired outcome. If I can’t answer that question, I should shut everything down until I can answer it…
IF I WANT AN INFINITE LOOP, GET A Wii. IF I WANT A FINITE GAME WHERE BATTLES ARE FOUGHT AND TITLES ARE GIVEN AT THE END, WHERE WINNERS ARE MADE AND LOSERS ARE EXPOSED, THEN LETS GET TO BEING A TRADER.
And here is the thing about it: It’s my choice, I’m the main character and I’m in charge of the narrative. If I want trading to be like playing hockey, then man up and say that. Admit that it will provide no financial benefit to my family, in fact it will be a liability because it’s “for fun”, and be honest about it and move on… Or, I can put some rules to it. I can promise my family a reasonable outcome at the end of the game that day, that week, that month, and then for God’s sake come through on that expectation. JUST LEARN TO COME THROUGH. It can just be 5 pips a week, but just set a reasonable expectation to those around you that you are accountable to and then just come through on it.