Focus on Decisions, Not Outcomes

Six Secrets of Successful Bettors: Winning Insights into Playing the Horses, a book I randomly stumbled upon while walking through Barnes and Noble this weekend. Now, I haven’t read the book and probably won’t but the table of contents read like it was coming from the trading world (the two entities are very similar when run like a business). The six secrets discussed along with the titles of the chapters would be perfectly sufficient for an author writing a new book on trading.

The six secrets are:

  • Act as an entrepreneur not a gambler
  • Make the best use of available resources
  • Only bet when there is a significant edge
  • Manage bankroll effectively to maximize advantage
  • Know how to handicap yourself using effective record-keeping
  • Effectively handle emotions as well as money

Chapter Titles:

  • Chapter 1 – A Hard Way to Make An Easy Living
  • Chapter 2 – The Information Edge
  • Chapter 3 – The Never-Ending Quest for Value
  • Chapter 4 – If I Only Knew How to Bet…
  • Chapter 5 – Woulda… Coulda… Shoulda… Doesn’t Get it Done
  • Chapter 6 – It’s One Long Game
  • Chapter 7 – The Road Ahead: Issues Facing the Game

Charter six, It’s One Long Game, started with the title phrase of this blog post:
Focus on Decisions, Not Outcomes.

I quickly reminded myself how true this is when trading as too many investors focus on the short term results or the money won and lost in each trade rather than the net result.

The idea of the game is to make the right choices and understand that some of those choices will turn out to be losers. Losers are part of the game and must not affect you emotionally as long as the decision was correct. You must study, analyze and focus on your decisions, not on the amount of money won or lost on each individual trade. As long as your decisions are correct and consistent, you will be a winner over the long term.

Chapter six has been appropriately titled to translate to the trading world:
It’s One Long Game – GET USED TO IT!

On another note, I also started to read a book titled The Wolf of Wall Street while at Barnes and Noble and it had an interesting start but turned into a complete story about a scum bag from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. I can only imagine what’s going on in the sleazy Hedge Funds of today. I put it down after I realized the guy was only interested in talking about Quaaludes, cocaine and ridiculous drinking. He scammed people out of tens of millions of dollars, cheated on multiple wives, admits he lied for a living and went to prison (he sounds very proud of the accomplishments mentioned). I feel bad for his children. He was in it for the short game – get rich quick! Loser is all I can say.


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