I posted the image below on social media yesterday in part for shits and giggles but also because my social media feeds are being flooded by people claiming to be either certified technical analysts or certified market technicians, one peanut even claimed to be a technical financial engineer whatever the f#4k that might be.
You might ask why I might take aim at such silliness – there are a few reasons and the answer is quite simple – there is a vast gulf between being a certified technical analyst with a piece of paper and being a trader. Allow me the indulgence of reminiscing to explain. A very long time ago I paid my way through university with a series of hack jobs – much like everyone who goes to university. But one of my hack jobs was working on doors in various pubs and clubs – the hours were amenable and the money was good. I was offered the job because some completely forgettable person knew I was a black belt and had been involved in the martial arts since I was 12 and they automatically assumed that made for a good bouncer. I should mention that assumption is the mother of all cock ups.
Looking in you might think that this assumption was true after all I had been competing in full contact tournaments for years and had been through a profoundly rigorous black belt grading that lasted the better part of a weekend and which consisted of demonstrating dozens of forms and self-defense techniques followed by seemingly hours of sparring topped off by breaking stuff. Add in the fact that I am not a small unit and you have someone who is seemingly made to throw bogan Rose Tatoo fans down flights of stairs.
However, reality is a very different beast as I found out the first time I went axe kick someone in a crowded bar.
The things that helped in bouncing once I had gotten over my initial embarrassing incompetence were a footsweep I remembered from my original judo training, my ability to tackle and absorb a tackle from year schoolboy rugby and a copper I knew in Frankston who said to me have one technique you can throw irrespective of the circumstances. My grading counted for nothing nor did really did my years of wandering around a dojo in my white pj’s. The hundreds of techniques I knew were replaced by probably four at the most add to that the recognition that confrontation is a psychological and emotional event long before it is a physical event and I was on my way. Sounds an awful lot like the evolution of most traders doesn’t it.
A piece of paper does not give you the capacity to trade – my guess is that most people who do a course in technical analysis and spend hours immersed in the arcane and inane world that is technical analysis believe that a qualification confers the ability to trade. Most of the stuff I see being posted by these qualified individuals is largely predictive rubbish – in part, they have fallen into the trap of believing that more information implies more control. In reality, you have no control over the markets only yourself. Trading does take a special sort of person who understands a few essential truths. Simplicity and the capacity to surrender to the whims of the market are the cornerstones of what we do. That and having a hard head…..