Like many traders, I read Market Wizards as a kid. If you don’t know it, it’s a collection of interviews with the most legendary traders of the 1980s.
Back when I first read it, I really had no idea what the hell I was doing. I read it, thought I got it and moved on.
But I didn’t get it.
The reason was simple. I didn’t have the life experience and wisdom to understand it. That would take many, many more years.
A few months ago I picked up my old, dog eared and highlighted copy and started thumbing through it. I expected to snag a few quotes and move on but pretty soon I found myself hooked, reading it cover to cover all over again.
Two things struck me immediately.
- First, I’d highlighted all the wrong things.
- Second, I saw instantly how much these men were alike.
No matter where they came from or how they got started, they all remembered one devastating loss early in their career. They all started with little to no idea what they were doing. All of them transcended false beliefs and developed an amazing ability to adapt and change their minds in a flash.
Their styles, politics and temperament all varied widely but the rest of their lives followed a remarkably similar path.
That’s when I realized I was seeing something bigger, a meta-pattern, a pattern of patterns.