Monday, January 28, 2008

Off the board comments of a book, The Complete TurtleTrader by Michael W. Covel

One of the traders recommended I read this book that has been in print since October 2007. The thing they wanted me to focus on which isn't explicitly in the book is the author's opinion: the success of this select group, especially the top six who have a public track record since 1985 was due to applying and understanding the following nine entrepreneur skills.

1) Nonconformists: lower need to conform indicating self-reliance.
2) Emotionally aloof: not necessarily cold to others, but can be oblivious.
3) Sky divers: lower concern for physical harm, but does change with age.
4) Risk takers: more comfortable taking it.
5) Socially adroit: more persuasive.
6) Autonomous: higher need for independence.
7) Change seekers: like novel approaches. This is different than 99% of all other people.
8) Energetic: higher need and / or ability to work longer.
9) Self-sufficient: don't need as much sympathy or reassurance, but they still need to form networks so self-sufficiency need not be taken to extremes.

So if I did a self analysis today, how would I fare:
1) Yes, no explanation needed.
2) Have to say yes. I wouldn't say I'm aloof, but I don't play the social game.
3) Here's a no. Wouldn't sky dive, but agreed in my younger days, I stood up to neanderthals that looked like linebackers.
4) Yes, when you have only one position and it comprises over 40% of your capital, that is risk.
5) That's a no. I'm not persuasive because I tell it like it is.
6) Yes, having indirectly watched entities such as Bank of America and Merrill Lynch go down the wrong ship. I would rather play a lone hand so I can reap the rewards and not watch what NOT to do in life.
7) Another yes, it's not enough to accomplish the goal, it has to be something that no one thought of.
8) I'll say yes. Not a need, but currently have the ability to work longer, at least for fifteen more years.
9) A no. Since I work a day job, that is not self-sufficient.

So it's 6 out of 9. So technically, that's a failing grade. But here's the thing, I can work on being self-sufficient. So my chances of being a better than average trader are in my favor, at least from an academic point of view. The real litmus, is when I can stop working a day job and have enough to not have to look at the markets everyday.

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