So, this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun - John Lennon
Time is jumping and skipping its way to that point of the year, when the current year fades into the past and the new year beckons us to the future. The lights of Christmas have begun to shine, sweeping up memories of the rest of the year in their wake. It is natural to ask, so, this is Christmas and what have you done this year?
A year might seem like a long time, before it starts. Yet, when the year is close to extinguishing, there is a realisation that it has passed quicker than you expected. The past is littered with the shadow of failure, or engraved with the glossy shine of success. The future is a place of promise unfulfilled or full of grand plans and ambition.
Whilst we should allow the conditions which allowed the past's successes to bloom into the future, it is unfortunately, all too easy to allow also the failures of the past to corrode the future, a vicious circle without an end.
A modicum of failure can however, be a necessity for success. If all you experience is success, it can lead to recklessness, a somewhat irrational view that whatever you do will be successful. A trader who has successful run, might feel somewhat infallible in the face of the market, and simply take too much risk, which magnifies his or her downside should the market turn against him or her, in an unexpected Black Swan event.
So when thinking about the coming year, treat it as canvas not yet sullied by the shadow of the past. The future is your time to shine, not to muse over what could have been, this year. Make use of the failures that have happened, and refashion them into lessons for success. And if you have indeed been successful, be cautious ahead. Just because there have been Black Swans in your past, there might well be a Golden Swan ahead!
Like my writing? Have a look at my book Trading Thalesians - What the ancient world can teach us about trading today is on Palgrave Macmillan. You can order the book on Amazon. Drop me a message if you're interested in me writing something for you or creating a systematic trading strategy for you! Please also come to our regular finance talks in London, New York, Budapest, Prague, Frankfurt, Zurich & San Francisco - join our Meetup.com group for more details here (Thalesians calendar below)
25 Nov - London - Panel - Macro Markets Discussion
26 Nov - Zurich - Thomas Schmelzer - Portfolio Optimization, Regression and Conic Programming
14 Dec - London - Matthew Dixon - Machine Learning in Trading (Thalesians Xmas Dinner)