Love And The Markets

I was in love once.

Not the deep, mature, soulmate type of love I have now with my wife, but the stupid, obsessive, retarded puppy type love of youth.

I was twenty years old, what did I know?

I used to think about her all the time.  Remember those illustrations from back in Galileo’s day that showed the whole universe revolving around the Earth?  If you replaced the Earth with her beautiful but vapid face, that was the picture constantly being shown on my internal flat screen monitor.  I’m not bitter, she was vapid.

Often times as I was laying in bed late at night I would quietly free associate about her.

“I wonder what she is doing right now?  What is she thinking?  What are her dreams? Should I call her tomorrow?   Did she think those jeans I wore last week were cool?  Who does she like better, Wham or Depeche Mode?  Did she notice when I smiled at her?  If we got married, where would she want to go on our honeymoon?  How many children will we have?”

I imagine that at the same time, on the other side of town, she too was laying awake, deep in thought.

“I think I like vanilla more than strawberry.”

The relationship between us traders and the markets is the same.  We obsess over the markets, dreaming of a day that we will join in a perfect union with them, and feeling bitter and spiteful when they do things to hurt us.

The thing is, when it comes to our relationship with the markets, just like mine with Evil Enchantress (not her real name), there really is no relationship.  It’s an imagined affair with contrived conflict.

John Cusack said it best in the movie “Grosse Pointe Blank.”  While attending his ten-year high school reunion, he runs into “Bob”, his former nemesis, who tries to start-up shit all these years later.  To which Cusack counters….

Why would you want to hit me, Bob? Do you really believe that there’s some stored up conflict that needs resolution between us? We don’t exist. There’s nothing between us. So who do you want to hit, Bob? It’s not me.

Just like “Bob,” too many traders personalize the markets and end up acting like they are in a dysfunctional relationship.  For example…

The market flirts with everyone at the bar causing the trader to leave in a jealous rage.  The market then calls up drunk at 3:00am wanting to come over.  The trader lets the market in, but ends up getting in a big fight, breaking stuff, and waking up the roommates.

Then when the trader is at work the next day, the market breaks in through the back window, goes into the bedroom and cuts up all the trader’s new clothes with a pair of scissors.

When the trader gets home and sees the carnage, he calls up the market’s mother and tells her that she is related to a “whore” who will “do it” with anybody that pays for a drink.

Of course the market finds out about this and storms over to the trader’s house. Thinking ahead the trader has locked all the doors, however the market just climbs up the outside trellis while wearing a mini-skirt.

But the trader has already planned for this contingency, spraying the market with a garden hose from the balcony and calling it a “slut” while all the neighbors watch.

This is no way to trade.

Don’t fall into the trap of personalizing the markets.  It’s a non starter and will only work against you in your quest to be a profitable trader.

It is best to realize that the only struggle you have is with yourself and not with an entity that has no idea that when your parents told you they would get you anything you wanted for your 21st birthday you asked for tickets to the ballet because you thought that she would like it DAMMIT….!!!


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