Some useful quotes for e-mini traders

What follows is a somewhat eclectic collection of quotes that I believe can be of some use to e-mini traders, wannabe traders, day traders, and traders in general, and many other people no matter what they do or intend to do for a living.

Some quotes of this sort were also a subject of another article in this section, but they all had a common theme, that of learning from the masters. The quotations in this article do not follow any particular theme.


“The better you get, the less you run around showing off as a muscle guy. You know, you wear regular shirts-not always trying to show off what you have. You talk less about it. It's like you have a little BMW - you want to race the hell out of this car, because you know it's just going 110. But if you see guys driving a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, they slide around at 60 on the freeway because they know if they press on that accelerator they are going to go 170. These things are the same in every field.”   -  Arnold Schwarzenegger

There is no doubt on my mind that the Governator knows what he is talking about. I dedicate his words to those who still don't get it. Like those "dedicated" trading forum posters with thousands of posts to their account (the "noisy" type) or the Twitter "traders" slash "educators" with thousands of followers most of whom could have easily been bought or marketers with slick websites where the form dominates the contents. This list could go on and on. It's a typical small penis problem and while you may not be able to enlarge your penis, working on your self-image, or simply being honest with yourself, can make miracles. 


“The main reasons people fail to succeed? Lack of self-responsibility and self-awareness. You have to take charge of your life and take responsibility for your success. It's not anyone else's job but your own to be successful - as long as you rely on other people and relinquish responsibility, you won't experience success. No matter what others do for you, if you don't take responsibility for yourself, it's all in vain.”  -  Mike Mahler

I have said the same thing a number of times all across this website (e.g. in this article) and I keep saying it whenever I deal with wannabe e-mini traders looking for a white knight to save them from their laziness or stupidity. White knights in this business (and probably in any other as well) are rarer than fairies. As I said elsewhere, "expect more from yourself, less from others." That's a pretty good recipe for success, better than most.


“Every kind of ignorance in the world all results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don't even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality.”  -  Robert Anton Wilson

Trading is gambling, as mentioned by me on more than one occasion on this site, most recently probably in this article. Curiously enough, though, some people cannot accept it as if saying so were somehow sacrilegious. But the fact is that we gamble all the time, making assumptions about things and people or having certain expectations about them that actually are also assumptions. People who don't realize that often end up with sub-optimal lives (and traders perform poorly) because they mistook reality that is pliable for their rigid dogmas about it. They are poor gamblers. We all live in our reality tunnels. We cannot escape them, but we certainly can make them more comfortable to live in.


“Action creates clarity.”  -  Peter Sheahan

I suspect that many people don't seem to be aware of this simple and yet powerful wisdom. Yes, it is truly powerful as you can learn, for instance, from the PRH's testimonial where he says that he started making progress as a trader only when he took real action. Action means taking chances, it means disturbing your comfort zone, and that may be the reason why some people are action-averse. They may simply be risk-averse without even realizing it. Natural traders are doers. They are not afraid of taking action because they are used to taking risks. They also know that testing the market is often better than making uncertain assumptions about it. Action is also of paramount importance when learning new things and it truly brings clarity to it.


“Without effort and willingness to experience pain and anxiety, nobody grows, in fact nobody achieves anything worth achieving.”   -  Erich Fromm

Trading means a lot of struggle with unpredicatble market conditions and with oneself, especially if you are a beginner. Therefore, it's worth keeping in mind that without pain and anxiety that often accomompany this struggle, we may never accomplish much. Easy things are almost never worth pursuing not just because they don't make us grow spiritually: seeking easy, comfortable ways of trading often leads to suboptimal performance, yet it is often practiced by the beginners. Accept pain and anxiety; there is no way to escape them, anyway.


"Or does the bubble reputation distract you? Keep before your eyes the swift onset of oblivion, and the abysses of eternity before us and behind; mark how hollow are the echoes of applause, how fickle and undiscerning the judgments of professed admirers, and how puny the arena of human fame. For the entire earth is but a point, and the place of our own habitation but a minute corner in it; and how many are therein who will praise you, and what sort of men are they?"  -  Marcus Aurelius (Emperor of Rome)

An abbreviated version for traders: "you are only as good as your last trade." An abbreviated version for trading posers: "your 10,000 posts on that trading forum for losers still amount to nothing."


"The most important thing is not to fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."  -  Richard Feynman

If even a brilliant Nobel Laureate, one of the icons of 20th century science, may be prone to self-deception, imagine how vulnerable you can be. Becoming aware of it and making it a habit may help you improve your trading.


"One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try."  -  Aristotle

To many, trading seems to be simple. Indeed, on the surface of it, it is simple. But making money trading is not. Too many confuse these two things, with predictable and rather sad results. Make sure that you do understand the difference and have proven to yourself that you can actually make money trading, if only on a simulator, before jumping into deep waters. And even then, don't assume you have arrived until you have spent some time proving to yourself that you can make money for real. By doing the thing. Time and again.