My youngest wanted her own dog so we got a new puppy. Of course I am now the one who is taking care of the daily mess in the house. But unlike my younger days when I used to fly off the handle at cleaning up after every accident, this time I am much more Zen about the whole process. The dog has to get used to her new surroundings. She has to get used to the cacophony of noises and the symphony of smells of my Upper West Side neighborhood and she has to grow physically mature before learning to hold her bladder. So while I wait for the puppy to grow more confident and capable I am perfectly ok with cleaning up the mess. Meanwhile I am amused at the thought that puppy training and trading have so much in common. They are both exercises in patience, observation in and adjustment. A new trading strategy is often just like a new puppy – full of enthusiasm but little direction. You need to watch it patiently, clean up the mess over and over and over again and even when you finally have it working relatively well there will always be a few accidents ahead. I’ve read about how during the pandemic many people adopted dogs only to turn them in after realizing that life with an animal wasn’t all cuddles and kisses. I am pretty sure that most people fail at trading for the same reasons that some people fail at puppy training.
No One Wants To Pick up The Poop.
But picking up the poop is very much the essence of both activities. In trading things go sideways all the time and just as with the animal in front of you – you can lose your temper, stomp and scream all you want and the market, just like your pet will not give a f- about your tantrum. It’s much better to clean up the mess quickly and move on. As your dog and your trading strategy grow you’ll get to know both a lot better. You’ll understand their strengths and their weaknesses. You’ll anticipate their quirks and you will have far fewer accidents the longer you live with your animal and the longer you trade your strategy. But all of this of course requires time and effort and while dogs may require a few months of training, trading will often require years of study. The bottom line is this. If you don’t enjoy the whole process you shouldn’t waste your time. The joy of owning a dog doesn’t lie in being able to take a perfect Insta picture, but in creating a lifelong bond of love with another living thing. The joy of trading doesn’t come from the “easy money wins” that many imagine it to be, but from the enormous satisfaction of playing the most complex game in the world against everyone else.