A Word on Success

BarroMetrics Views: A Word on Success

I have been around the markets for a while – my first trade was in 1968. I see little that has changed in the retail-trading, education game.  More important in an endeavour that has a 50-50 chance of success, too many fail.


No doubt, part of the problem is human nature: it seems so easy ‘to buy at the lows, sell at the highs’ once we know what has happened i.e. when we trade the left side of a chart. It’s a whole different ballgame when we trade the right – when we trade the future. And, do that successfully seems to be a whole different ball game. To paraphrase Lazlo Birinyi (The Master Trader):

Too many traders seek a shortcut to success; they seek to make money:

  1. In their spare time (10 min a day! [is all I need or so the ads say]),
  2. By finding a simple formula (otherwise known as ‘the Holy Grail’) to allow them to retire early;
  3. Double their money in two weeks with little capital, skill-set or effort etc etc

On their other side are the ‘educators’ who make the promises above – never mind that the educators have yet to make consistent money from trading.

But there are two significant differences in today’s education environment  and that of my time:

  • Today there are genuine educators who teach as well as walk their trading talk. In my day, these were not available – at least they were not available in my part of the world. I had to fly to Chicago and learn from Pete Steidlmayer before I earned my  trading, graduation certificate. 
  • Today there have been massive strides in learning theory. Compared to what was about when I started, it’s like, today we have a learning Ferrari, and yesterday we had a learning horse and buggy. 

We also have an inflation component. To attend Pete’s seminars, I had to pay airfare, accommodation and US$2000.00. In today’s value, this is US$5452 (using the Bureau of Labor Stats) or US$22180 (Shadowstats).

The downside (at least in Singapore) to  asking for a US$5000 (S$6334)  investment to a seminar is: to fill the seats, the educator resorts to making the promises in paragraph 5. And, the problem with that is, in making these promises (that trading is easy etc), an educator guarantees that his charge will fail.

Because trading is a difficult profession; and certainly, it is as difficult as becoming a successful surgeon, or Queen’s Counsel. And yet, to succeed in the latter, we have few illusions about the effort in time, and money, sweat and tears that we have to invest; but when it comes to trading, those willing to commit and invest are in the minority.

So, to all the hardy souls who are among the successful elite – Have a Merry Xmas. I am sure 2014 will see you achieve greater success!

To those who are genuinely trying and are investing in their own competence – keep at it, never never quit…I hope you have the best Xmas ever; I wish the best 2014 for you!

To those who still have their blinker on – take them off. I hope Xmas brings cheer and the insight necessary to enable you to make 2014 the watershed year of your success. 

And, speaking of Xmas…….the blog will be suspended until Jan 1 2014. I need to take a short break

2 thoughts on “A Word on Success”

  1. I’m sure I speak for ALL your devoted readers in wishing you & yours the most joyful of holidays, and complete recovery from your recent health issue.

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