Trend follower Kevin Bruce once had the opportunity to go to New York and see one of the major brokerage firms’ trading floors. He found it like Battlestar Galactica, with more screens and lights than you could imagine. He decided: “I couldn’t think in this environment.” You can never make decisions when the market is open; everything is like a flight plan, it’s got to be pre-planned. Trying to make decisions when the market is open is going to lead to emotional decisions. Everything must be thought out ahead of time. Know what you are going to do if it goes up, if it goes down, and if it doesn’t do anything. When all that is figured out, you put your system on autopilot. It almost sounds too simple, but that’s the way you need to do it, and that’s why you don’t need to stress out about anybody’s opinion.
More? See: The Little Book of Trading.
From The Little Book of Trading:
Kevin Bruce is living proof that there is no need to be in New York, London, or Chicago–flaunting a sharp business suit and trading in a sky rise. Bruce is a small-town guy from Georgia with no ancestral connection to Wall Street, who has not only made it on Wall Street but conquered it. Heed his path.
Bruce spends his time far away tucked in quiet spots in Richmond, Virginia. He works out six times a week at his local YMCA, and still drives his 1996 Ford pickup. With a net worth of nearly $100 million, he prefers to live life just as he always did before making that fortune. He is low profile. Most people have no idea of his wealth. He says, “I guess that means I’ve done a pretty good job of just being me.”
While Bruce was crafty in his early trading, almost tripling his initial seed money, he was really crafty in the way he built up his $5,000 nest egg. When he was about 15, he started the practice of packing a lunch and taking it to school. The cafeteria food wasn’t great, but he could buy a lunch for just 35 cents. Bruce would meet other kids in the bathroom daily and auction off his home-style lunch. He would then eat the cafeteria lunch–and would usually net about $2. Nice trade!
Inspirational? Yes, absolutely.
Of course, you could always grab a tent, your best protest vibe and head to lower Manhattan to live at Occupy Wall Street. However, I am willing to bet the next Kevin Bruce is not hanging out there.