Never Forget What You Are

April 22, 2013
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“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

- Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)

JS Comment:

Tyrion Lannister is a fictional character, but Julius Caesar lost his life to the above lesson.

Caesar was ultimately a dictator who took Rome by force. But in his mind, Caesar did not see himself as a dictator. He wanted to be benevolent and beloved… which is why he spared Marcus Brutus, who in turn had Caesar killed for the good of Rome.

If Caesar had embraced who he and what he was — a dictator, for better or worse — he would have smelled the Brutus threat first, and dealt with it ruthlessly. (Love of the people could have come later.)

How does this apply to trading and investing? “Never forget what you are” means knowing your core strengths and weaknesses — and not diluting those strengths or pretending to be what you’re not.

If you excel at cutting losses but are terrible at letting profits run, don’t pretend to be an investor. If you have the patience and conviction to hold for long periods but hate taking quick losses, don’t pretend to be a trader. Don’t dilute your natural style because of undue influence from someone else.

Know your core strengths and build a game plan around them. Work on mitigating weaknesses, but never forget what you are (and find out soon if you aren’t sure).

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