Sunday, June 3, 2007

Surgeons, dentists and... traders

Those of you who read my books and/or listened to my periodic rants on trading psychology topics remember analogy I use frequently when discuss the idea of focussing on trading right and not on making money. For those who haven't, brief outline: the idea is to focus on doing things right and to perceive money as a reward for the job well done, as opposite to being focused on making money which serves as nothing but distraction from the following the rules, working out correct strategy etc - because the matter to focus on is reading the market movement and exploiting it. The analogy I like to use in order to make the meanbing clear is one of a surgeon who, in order to be a good one, must focus on performing the procedure right and not on the money he is going to obtain for the surgery performed. And if he does think of his reward while working on you, do you really want to be his patient, do you have full confidence in his ability to deliver the result? If the answer is NO, as it well should be, then the reason for such answer is very clear: our surgeon is not focused on the subject of his job which is not the money - just as a subject of a trader's job is a market movement, not the money.

So, yesterday I am having a dinner with a small group of friends one of whom is a dentist of huge experience, many decades in the field, creator and a head of various governmental programs, inventor of new technologies, highly respected by colleagues etc etc. Conversation touches on education, the ways to bring up new generations of trained professionals, he talks about his teachers, tells stories from his student past... Now, can you imagine how fascinated I was when he told about one teacher of his who would say often: Do not focus on money, do not see your patient as a cash register, think of doing your job right, focus on that and money will follow...

Seems to be universal principle, doesn't it :)

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