Today marks 30 years since a confident young man walked into the back office of Schroder Investment Management in London, to start his first day on the job, the first in his career. Ask me a question back then and I would have answered assuredly and quickly. Today I’d be more likely to say ‘I don’t know’ with just as much confidence.
Now older, wiser, but with just as much hair, I have over the years seen many people come and go. Clients, colleagues, bosses, company mergers, bankruptcies (thankfully not my own), through bull and bear markets, booms, crashes, and have seen my own fortunes fluctuate too before setting out on my own a few years ago.
Thirty years is a long time. The good news is it was all worth it.
The first thing to point out is I don’t have all the answers. That’s not what this post is about. I’m always learning. But I have benefited enormously from people sharing their time and expertise, so if I can help others in the same way, I’m happy to share what I’ve learnt also.
These are 30 observations, guiding principles, or simply things that work for me. Some of you who have followed me for a while will recognise many of them. These aren’t universal truths, they’re my truths, my beliefs, shaped by my experience.
And that’s probably a good place to start.
“The more you believe something to be true, the more you will have accumulated evidence to support it.”
That’s a quote from trading coach Van Tharp, and I’ve applied it to so many areas as a simple way of explaining people’s expression of their beliefs, my own, and the realisation of how powerful confirmation bias is. Van believes we don’t trade the markets, we trade our beliefs in the market. A trading system therefore is simply a set of beliefs, and I think he’s right.