What if I told you being lazy might actually help your trading?
Most traders would say they are anything but lazy. It takes a ton of work to be a successful trader. But what if you were trying too hard? What if there was an actual way to trade smarter, not harder?
Here is my story on how I learned this valuable lesson.
One of the laziest people I have ever met was a man named Marvin. We worked at a commodity brokerage firm together for several years. He was a creature of habit. Everyday he would come into the office at exactly 4:45 am and would leave 3 pm on the dot. His office was usually a mess and never did anything more than what was required by him. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how a guy like him was so successful.
I started observing him. It seemed that he would always just do the bare minimum with everything in life, especially trading, yet he would consistently help his clients make money.
Meanwhile, I was working as hard as I could everyday, trying to prove myself to the veteran traders. I would get to the office as early as I could and stay later than everyone else. Day in and day out, I would push myself to be the hardest working guy in company.
But guess what. No one noticed.
We had a giant white board on the wall where everyone was ranked based on several metrics. My name was not anywhere on the board, but guess who was? Yup, Marvin.
One day I had enough and was frustrated about why I was working so hard yet not getting any results. My trades were just OK. Regardless of how much time I poured into news and research, my trades never improved.
I was near my wit’s end and had to find out what Marvin’s secret was. On his way out of the office one day, I asked if I could take the elevator down with him. He was a little caught off guard and begrudgingly agreed.
I explained mypredicament with him and left out the part where I thought he was lazy. By the time we got to his car I realized that I had done all the talking and quickly asked him what he thought I was doing wrong.
He smiled and said, “Junior, you got it this business of options trading all wrong. You’re spending all your time trying to outsmart the market. Instead, you need to not try so hard. There is a smarter way if you just stop and think about it.”
His car door shut and he drove off. I was lost.
Being the type of guy who has all the answers and hearing there was a smarter way was a challenging thing to get my mind around.
That night, I couldn’t stop thinking about what he meant. I thought of all these different ways to trade options and nothing seemed to be easier or better. Tomorrow I am going to find out.
The next day, I waited at the his desk for him waiting for him to arrive. On time as per usual, Marvin walked in at 4:45am and smile broke over his face when he saw me waiting for him.
He knew exactly what I wanted and said, “I am not going to let you sit with me and watch what I do all day. You are going to drive me crazy and I don’t have the energy for it. So I am just goingtell you what you need to do.”
This was huge.
He told me to stop trying to pick where the market will go. Instead, try to figure out where the market will not go.
Like a lightbulb going off in my head suddenly it all made sense. Marvin was right. Instead trying to do the impossible and pick market direction, I should pick the easier and albeit lazier route and try to understand where the market is most likely not going to go.
Think about that for a minute. Which is easier to be right about. Where Apple is going to be in three months or where it’s most likely not going to be?
Sometimes we are trying too hard. Sometimes the simpler way is the better way. Being lazy and finding the path of least resistance might be exactly the type of strategy that will work for you.
Later, I went on to adopt a lot principles that Marvin used to finally get my name on that board. I started selling options instead of buying them. Eventually, my team became the number one options team in the company.
I am still as driven as ever, but this was an important lesson to learn. If you want to an easier way to trade options that also offers more consistency and better long term profits, than you are in luck. Investing Shortcuts will be launching its first ever education course on how to trade options and several of the strategies will help you trade smarter not harder.
Can you relate? If so, let me know and I will feature your story on our website. Just email me at [email protected]