You Are Average

I once quite offended one of my good friends, a reasonably successful trader, by telling him that he was average. That is not how we are trained to think: we are conditioned to think of ourselves as high-performance alpha-type people who are a cut above the rest. Few traders have a self-image of themselves as average.

The problem is, the markets are made up of lots of people like that. Everyone has access to similar technology. Everyone can see the same charts and publicly available fundamentals. Everyone is intelligent, hard-working and highly motivated.

My friend took being called average as an insult, but it really wasn’t. My point was that everyone else in the markets has a good reason for being there, or at least they think they do. Every trade consists of a buy and a sell, and both counterparties have good reasons to think that they are going to be right.

When you do a trade, you’d better have a good reason. Because the guy on the other side does.

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