Zen Trading

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Zen and execution.

The moment of executing a trade is like the moment of an arrow leaving the bow. A zen moment. This is a proactive action that requires the confluences of the forces of nature to come together at one moment. In trading we can go up or down and both can be the right call and both can be wrong. The time factor then becomes defining. It is in this timing that the trader errs; this is the concept that has become known as the emotional aspect or the human side. The graphs are so seductive that we as humans find it impossible not to react and overreact usually.

There are quite a few metaphors for this zen moment, there is the moment that the arrow is launched, the 3 point shot in basketball when the ball leaves the hands, the first brush stroke on a virgin canvas. Thinking of virgins, also the moment when the gallant suitor decides that right here right now this is the moment that all the stars have lined up for and kneels to ask for the hand of his true loved one.
Corny I know but the point is that research, knowledge and instinct go into the execution of an action.

I often laugh about how everything that one knows about everything goes into every trade that they make. After watching hundreds of trader’s trade and some of them good friends it is amazing how the trading techniques gravitate towards their personality traits. Some will not put stop losses on principle and I wonder why it is that they cannot accept loss. Some never place a take profit as they prefer to dream of exponential possibilities than to secure solid gains modestly. Some are manic and have so many trades that they cannot keep track and others are so over cautious that it is inevitable that they join the ‘if only’ group. Of course the successful traders have the ability to balance all the natural emotions. The common trait that successful traders have is that they are consistent in their approach, and have many decisions predetermined by their own systematic analysis so that the execution is confident and the contingencies are preprogrammed into the process.

When I read the below I read phrases like ‘create as a result of carrying out a design’ and see that as usual the definition of an action most completely describes it. The execution for a trader is the proactive action taken from the infinite possibilities making the choices that make the most sense at the time.

Websters Dictionary.

Definition of EXECUTE

Transitive verb
1: to carry out fully: put completely into effect <execute a command>
2: to do what is provided or required by <execute a decree>
3: to put to death especially in compliance with a legal sentence
4: to make or produce (as a work of art) especially by carrying out a design
5: to perform what is required to give validity to <execute a deed>
6: PLAY <execute a piece of music>

Intransitive verb
1: to perform properly or skillfully the fundamentals of a sport or of a particular play <never had a team execute better — Bobby Knight>
2: to perform indicated tasks according to encoded instructions —used of a computer program or routine


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