Woody Allen would make a great trader.
If you haven’t, try to catch the 2-part PBS documentary on Woody Allen. I watched on TV, but it’s also available via the internet: http://www.observer.com/2011/11/pbs-streams-part-one-and-two-of-woody-allen-a-documentary-video/
I’m fair weather fan of Woody Allen the filmmaker, but I’m certainly a fan of Woody Allen the comedian. Beyond that, I always applaud someone with a strong work ethic. And Allen certainly has that, directing over 46 films since 1965. It’s an uneven, but large body of work.
But what I like best about Allen is that he readily admits just that. In the documentary he clearly says that he just tries to make a lot of movies, knowing MOST will be lousy, but a few will be really good. That’s all he asks for.
And that trait — the willingness to go to bat every day — is also what makes a great trader. Other “great trader” traits he has:
1. He trusts his instincts to guide him. As a trader, that’s important: do what YOU think is the right, not what conventional wisdom or others tell you is right.
2. He doesn’t read his press reviews. For traders, I think the tranlastion is to not take business news all that seriously. It’s often wrong, particularly at turning points.
3. He doesn’t take himself too seriously. Either it’s the greatest act in the world, or he’s the humblest famous person I’ve seen. Humility is also a good trait to have as a trader. If you’re not humble, you’re usually not worried. And when you’re not worried, that’s right about the time the market bites you.
4. He has an outside interest. Allen plays clarinet. Buffett plays bridge. Find something. Anything. It just has to be something you can pursue with a passion that takes your mind out of the market.
5. He knows that good movies come in cycles. Good trading does too. You just have to acknowledge that you’re often at the whims of the market and good days will follow bad…if you hang in there.