Thursday, May 17, 2012


This thought occurred to me as I was watching yet another Ball Hog Episode from Kobe Bryant that cost his team a game they had to win. I am not much of a Lakers fan anymore due to him. I used to love the Lakers, but I am so tired of this guy and I don't know why people don't have the nerve to call him what he is? He must have been 0 for 80 in the last few minutes of that game, never getting a shot even close to going while his big men were dominating the game. He refused to feed them the ball in the paint, and as a result, their season went down the tubes. I hope they lose the next two at home get and get swept now which is a good probability. The reason I bring this up is that as traders letting our ego get in the way of doing the right thing is a big problem.

Most of the time trading is a great profession, but at times when you hit bad stretches often ego is in the way and the cause of the problem. At times for me I just don't see what is so plain to see for anyone else who does not have my bias, what I am doing is just wrong. It is so easy to see watching a basketball game, yet even the commentators were talking about how great the one shot Kobe made was, instead of how bad the numerous ones he missed were.

At times when we get on winning streaks we get sloppy since it seems so easy with the money just flowing in the door like a river. You think you have some wiggle room to try something you normally would not do. The recent example is obviously me with that trading service. I just thought no matter how it turned out I could at the worst overcome it's losses with my own wins. What an ego based decision that was. Trading is a tough profession, you cannot ever get that lax, EVER. We know we can't stay in the zone for extended periods of time, but what we can do is stay disciplined enough to minimize the damage. Here is an example of an actual market where I have not let me ego get in the way, and have at times been wrong in my views on it, GOLD.

I was premature in my calls for the top by quite a bit, far more than would qualify for even horse shoes or hand grenades. I knew it was a bubble, it could not have been more obvious and we are seeing the bubble pop now finally. I looked like an idiot for being at least a year off on the top. I did not let me ego get in the way. I took buy signals when they came along and made some money. Had I let my ego make the calls I never would have done that. It is one thing to have an opinion but what you do with that opinion is another matter. I also knew China was a bubble and I pointed that out here getting that one almost dead on in terms of the top. Now we are seeing stories come out about the implosion that is beginning to happen there. I did not let my ego steer me wrong there, I traded according to what the charts said, not what I thought. In that case they happened to line up so it was ok.

You just have to admit when you are wrong, it is not a big deal. I am wrong all the time on things, how can I allow that to hang me up? You just need to be right more than your are wrong on average to succeed doing this. Do not hang on to one idea too long waiting to be proven correct. I heard a GOLD bug the other day say the correction is 12%, he is just lying to support his view that nothing has really happened. There is no chart you can show me where the correction is not way more than that. His ego is getting in the way of his vision of what should be right in front of him and plain to see. However, the critical level I have pointed out still has held on a closing basis, so he is hanging on by a thread. I am neutral on GOLD in the short term here, we are really over sold here, yet the trend is down. The only thing to do is wait for a bounce to see if a short sets up. I will not let my ego get in the way here.

I don't have any really clear big picture views on the stock market as a whole here. I think we are in a down phase which is pretty obvious. I am not foreseeing any huge crash, but what we have to keep in mind is that surprises happen in the direction of the trends typically, so I can't rule that out. There are so many bad things happening economically that anything can happen. It does seem that the emperor ( Barry ) is gradually getting exposed. As much as that pleases me, it is something that also worries me. I am not sure we really want to know the truth behind his ascension and all of the things in his background that are not good. It might cause a bigger problem than we already have. We do not need instability at the top right now, but we do need him ousted in November without a doubt. The payoff attempt to Reverend Wright etc.. I almost don't want to know what other crap he has pulled, they all do this stuff. I already know he is a clown, do I really need to know how much of a clown he is?

No trade in the Bond System again today. When we move like this just one way every day, this system does not generate many signals. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't on runs like this. My chart I showed the other day indicating a short term buy zone for the ES has gone further into the zone, so that tells me we are getting pretty over sold here. I wish I could dial that in to say buy on a exact day, but it just does not work like that.

Good Trading and kick your ego to the curb


Michael Tredr said...

my ego is what killed the last two weeks of performance for me. of all the times i decided to relax in my vigilance, i did it precisely when i needed to be aware of my ego. I'm still digesting this lesson but it's tough. you hit on some really great points about this on this post.

as for the Lakers, they're just about in the WORST position they can be in; down 2 games against an athletic team that can run and having to play the next 2 games on consecutive nights. like you, i believe there is a distinctly real possibility that they can get swept.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

I was wondering, how long did you stay with Larry Williams' trading service for?

Chris Johnston said...

I think I have to be careful about answering that question from a legal standpoint... Sorry

The cryptic answer is longer than I should have

Anonymous said...

Kobe Bryant is the type of player that you want to be a fan of but can't because throughout his entire career he has been a ballhog. I forget if it was his 1st or second season when the Lakers made the playoffs (Kobe was coming off the bench at that time) and he took the team's two final shots in the last game of the series and missed. At that point I figured he's young, he'll eventually mature and learn to improve his shot selection and defer to teammates... but he never did. 15 years later, he's bigger, balder and slower yet he's still trying to play like a rookie instead of adapting and evolving his game to his current environment. His idea of getting his teammates involved is to simply hand them the ball when he needs to be helping them create their shot. When MJ came into the league he was a beast of nature too but he didn't win until he adapted his game, really helped his teammates and got them involved. As he grew older his game evolved too- Jordan didn't always have a pretty fade away. That's why it's so easy to be a Jordan fan- he worked hard and adapted to his environment, essentially doing whatever he had to, to succeed. To me this is the essence of trading- being able to adapt in all trends/situations or just sitting out when it's too difficult to succeed. Kobe has a "his way or the highway" attitude and tries to fit the game into his own cookie cutter idea of how it should be played. He doesn't get it. ES is at 1300, if Kobe were a trader I'm sure he would have bought at 1370, 1360, 1350, 1340, 1330, 1320, 1310 and the commentators would be applauding his determination.