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Accepting Responsibility

Accepting Responsibility
I received an email last week from a former member who left us.  Their specific reason for leaving was the NTES trade. Hmm what about those GOOG and ISRG options we recommended Funny how they only remember the few bad trades. I did not reply to the email but it did get me thinking about how I would answer this person if they were sitting with me in my living room and asking the same question. People seem to be a little more civil when talking face to face. I may have answered with something like this:

You find a near perfect setup meeting all the requirements of your trading plan.  The stock is at your established entry price you click on the buy button and it's done! You have now entered the stock market and you feel the rush.  Your cash has now been put to work for you and hopefully it will make you more cash.  Whether or not the outcome is positive or negative the responsibility of the trade is yours and only yours.  If you should lose don't blame them because there is no them.  

They won't move the stock
Why are they holding this stock down
Why did they take out my stop and then take the stock up right after

We have heard all these excuses before; you may have even used them yourself.  However if your stop was taken out and the stock moved up right afterward maybe you placed your stop in the wrong place.  You see it is not the market makers or the specialist that is the blame for a bad trade it is the trader who must recognize that they made the mistake and there is nobody else to blame.  It is true the game is rigged and the market makers and specialist have a great advantage over us but we know that going in and if we chose to play we must accept this fact.  If you were a specialist on the floor of the exchange you would do it too.  What they do may not be fair but it is legal and as long as it is legal we have no reason to complain. 

The Whole World is Wrong When it Doesn't Go Right
It is human nature to blame everything bad that happens to us on something or someone else. If the desired result does not happen it must be the fault of anyone else but us. We are right and the whole world is wrong. Believe it or not some people have this attitude.  If your house was demolished in the hurricane five years ago and then again last year after you rebuilt it who is to blame Do we blame the hurricanes or do we take the responsibility for the decision to live in a hurricane zone We can't blame a hurricane for destroying our house if we chose to buy in that location. 

Some people refuse to take personal responsibility for anything anymore.  These days an individual can drive up to a McDonald's restaurant and spill hot coffee in their lap and then file a law suit because the coffee was too hot. As if McDonald's was to blame because a customer was clumsy enough to spill coffee in her lap while trying to drive with one hand and drink with the other. Or some people will file a lawsuit because our children are getting fat due to the excessive consumption of hamburgers. Not because we as parents continue to take them to the fast food restaurants.  It is our choice to take them there to eat yet we sue the companies for making our kids obese.  The decision to take our children to these fast food places is made out of our own free will.  We have no right to blame these places because we don't like the result of the consumption. 

When an individual considers taking some course of action they will compare the perceived positives and negatives of taking such action and if the positives outweigh the negatives they will proceed with it. Even a prisoner of war under extreme conditions of torture will talk only if they decide they want to talk. No torture method will force them to talk unless they decide that the negatives of not talking and being tortured outweigh the positives of not revealing the desired information. 

Tunnel Vision
This same rationale can be applied to trading. When you take a position it should be because the probable outcome of taking the trade outweighs the potential negatives of the trade not working in your favor.  Novice traders never consider the negative potential of a trade and will base their decision on a constant bias towards only the positive.  They have tunnel vision and can only see one way.  They do not plan ahead in case they might be wrong.  It is easy to blame specialists market makers or other events like negative news or an analyst's downgrade for our losses. But it was us in the first place that decided to take the trade.  Are earnings about to be released It is our responsibility to know this and its possible implications.  You and only you are responsible for the outcome of any trade you make. Understanding this is a big step towards professionalism.

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