“During one of his answers, he shared an enlightened observation about people who are “right a lot”.
“He said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.
“He’s observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.
“This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.
“What trait signified someone who was wrong a lot of the time? Someone obsessed with details that only support one point of view. If someone can’t climb out of the details, and see the bigger picture from multiple angles, they’re often wrong most of the time.
- Jason Fried, Some Advice From Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, is a Fortune 100 CEO and e-commerce empire builder, not a trader. Yet his perspective makes perfect sense for traders too: Mental flexibility and viewpoint adaptability are prized. Excess rigidity is frowned upon.
Trading legends like George Soros and Paul Tudor Jones embody this mental flexibility. They can have a table-pounding opinion on a market one day… and yet completely change their minds 36 hours later, possibly reversing from long to short or vice versa.
Those traders and investors who blow up, on the other hand, often do so by taking a rigid view, refusing to budge an inch, and following the position down like a boat anchor…
Are you flexible and open-minded in your market views, with little fear of self-contradiction? How does one cultivate such traits without becoming a wishy washy Charlie Brown type?
What are the key differences between a trader who is smart and sharp in their adaptive decision making capability, and the shallow flip-flopper who blows with the wind and rarely has a firm grasp on anything?
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