The phenomenon of South Korean popstar Psy and his hit song Gangnam style. Reminds me of the antics that occur on the dealing floor in the broking office. Winning trades quite regularly find the traders jumping up. And doing a little jig in quite the same fashion as the ‘horsey dance’ in the Gangnam Style video.
The high energy, light hearted pop song has had more than half a billion hits on Youtube. And has hit number 1 in Australia, but Psy (Jai-Sang Park) has not been an overnight success. It has taken 12-years for him to become an overnight success. With 6 albums and numerous hits in South Korea. But it wasn’t until he post Gangnam Style on Youtube to share with his South Korean fans. That he became famous around the world.
For traders who have been in the game a long time, they can understand Psy’s persistence. For some, trading is an easy concept where success is achieve early. Think of the overnight success of teen pop sensation Justin Bieber. For others, there is a lot of hard work required before being able to crack into the big league.
No matter how you look at it, trading is about emotions. We’ve all experienced the euphoria of a ‘winning’ trade, and the disappointment of losing money to the markets. It’s almost like an addiction, that when we get that winning trade, we want to get out of our seat and do our own Gangnam style dance.
Reality is, that the professional trader approaches the markets as a series of numbers in an effort to detach from the emotion of money. Knowing full well that there will be winning trades and losing trades, it is the statistical evaluation of performance that drives the professional trader. The end result is that if you are doing your job well, you will be making money, even when there are periods of non-directional markets or you are going through a trading slump.
Market conditions over the last few years have certainly tested even the best of us. In a recent article posted in the Sydney Morning Herald, one of the world’s best Hedge Fund Manager’s has called it quits after 20 years in the industry, citing difficult markets over the last few years and a loss of ‘drive’ towards achieving success in the markets.
Greg Coffey was dubbed the “Wizard of Oz” and was the key principle of managing a $24 billion hedge fund, posting results of 60% in 2006 and 51% in 2007. But in 2011 his fund lost 5% and had fallen as much as 10% in 2012 through to August, before recouping most of those losses in September. He leaves the industry with a fortune estimated as high as $661 million.
Just like Psy, we all want to achieve success in our given field. In relation to trading, the result is wealth through making money off the markets. It took Psy 12 years for Gangnam Style to become an overnight success. During that time, he continually worked at improving his artistic talent as a pop star.
For traders, it is much the same journey. Although it shouldn’t take 12-years to be at the top of your game! If success is achieved early, like Greg Coffey, then you need to work at maintaining that level of success. But if you are like Psy, then you need to work at developing your skills and improving performance so that one day you do become an overnight success, and have that special dance that you can do whenever you have a winning trade.