Pop quiz. If someone suggested to you that you should undergo a mandatory 28-day quarantine to come and give a presentation to them in person that could be done over Zoom would you –
a) Tell them to get stuffed.
b) Tell them to get stuffed.
c) Tell them to get stuffed.
If you answered tell them to get stuffed then you are of a similar mindset to LB who it was suggested should endure a month of quarantine to deliver effectively an afternoons presentation. Such a request got me thinking about the notion of entitlement and particularly the sense of entitlement that comes with a financial windfall since this person’s attitude comes courtesy of inherited wealth. Such people tend to have Ptolemaic sense of the universe which instead of placing the earth at the centre of the universe places them at its centre instead.
Social psychologist Paul Piff calls this the arsehole effect – that is inherited wealth generates a profound sense of self-importance and flowing from this a high degree of narcissism. This behaviour seems to be prevalent among those who have had some form of windfall be it an inheritance, a lottery win or position on a social ladder. Accompanying this is the belief that they have done something to warrant their windfall – even people who have won lotteries which is a completely random event believe that there is something deserving about them that justifies their win as opposed to simple chance. I have witnessed the behaviour first hand in the behaviour of a friend of my wife. She inherited a substantial sum of money courtesy of her parent’s good fortune, this enabled her to retire early and essentially lead the life of Riley with no need to worry about money. At the same time, there was a marked change in her behaviour in that she dumped most of her friends of school which she had known for several decades and sort out friends she believed were more fitting of her current well-deserved status.
However, a sense of entitlement doesn’t necessarily have to accompany new-found wealth it can also come simply courtesy of narcissistic ignorance such as we have seen in peoples behaviour as the COVID pandemic unfolded. As I write this part of the UK are moving into stage 4 lockdown and quite rightly much of the blame for the inability of the UK to come to grips with pandemic has been sheeted home to the government. To the outside observer, this laying of blame at the feet of the government is probably fair as Boris Johnson does at times seme to make Donald Trump look positively intellectual. However, recent photos of residents out shopping and hanging around pubs and clubs even when warned not to indicates that much of the blame belongs to the very people who will now suffer under and no doubt complain about the new lockdown regime. This does raise the question as to why do people behave in a manner so that is not only cavalier to their own health but also to the health of others and I can only posit that we have in some way shape or form breed a generation of narcissists for who there are three important people in the world, me, myself and I. The world seems to be full of people who are full of rights but very short on responsibilities.
This raises the question as to the relevance of such observations to trading and the answer is easy – markets and by extension, trading owes you nothing. To have an expectation contrary to this based simply on your luck at being shot out of the right vagina or picking the right numbers in a lottery means that your career as a trader will be short-lived. Trading requires a degree of insight that is largely beyond narcissists since you have to ruthlessly look at your own failings not a distorted sense of your own importance.