My wife is a bit of a golf nut so for the past four days we have been watching the British Open – in particular we have been following the progress of the Australian golfer Adam Scott. Who after three days seemed to have put a comfortable buffer between himself and everybody else. On the final day the inevitable happened, Scott true to his word emulated his hero Greg Norman and choked.
The parallels between golf and trading are quite intimate. Golf is a game that is won by the person who makes the fewest catastrophic errors. Whilst a score is kept the real battle is not with the course but with yourself.
I grabbed this quote from Scott from the online Age –
”I know I’ve let a really great chance slip through my fingers today,” he said. ‘‘But somehow I’ll look back and take the positives from it. I don’t think I’ve ever played this well in a major championship, so that’s a good thing for me moving forward. All the stuff I’m doing is going in the right direction. Today is one of those days, and that’s why they call it golf.”
Firstly, he uses that appalling phrase moving forward which seems to have been introduced into the lexicon by our idiot politicians. Secondly, he sounds relieved at not winning. In my view there are no positives to take from this – the opportunity of a lifetime lay there for the taking and he choked. It is highly likely that this opportunity will never come again – it is gone forever. There is nothing positive in that. Instead of effectively forgiving himself he should be throwing things through walls whilst burning white hot with rage at himself.
The interesting thing is I see traders do the same thing. Instead of hammering themselves over a mistake – they use the classic phrase I have released the anger or I have forgiven myself. I want to release my foot to kick them in the head whenever I hear that bullshit Oprah style homily. Failure is failure. The anger should stay with you and force you to go harder and to never repeat the same mistake again. Nobody ever achieved anything by not smacking themselves around the head for doing stupid things.