Time and again I hear the often told story of the battle hardened soldier leading his troops to war. Sword and shield in hand, they sail to a foreign beach and make their landing. Crate by crate and barrel by barrel they row their weapons and provisions ashore and stack them orderly on the beach.
When every man, beast, provision and implement of war is accounted for, the mighty warrior stands at the edge of the water’s edge, the waves lapping up at his boots. Looking up the gentle slope of the beach at the faces of his trusting troops he begins to speak.
“Though we are vastly out numbered and fighting in a foreign land, though we face overwhelming odds against us and most expect that we will be slaughtered like cattle, we have come here to claim victory for our beloved queen, country, nation, people, faith and yes even God. To prove our absolute and unwavering commitment to our cause we will burn our ships as they sit at anchor just off shore.”
And with this, the flames begin to rise from the decks and lick the sails as the oiled wood of the ships turns into a raging torrent of flame. “If we are to live to make the return voyage across the sea to our beloved homes and families it will be on their ships that we shall take from them, after our sacred victory.”
The thing almost never considered is, who originally told that story? Presuming that the story is true, some voice who was a firsthand witness to the event first recalled the event to someone else.
How many warriors in the intervening centuries attempted this valiant stand only to have every man in the entire company slaughtered like cattle and none left even to tell the story.
I am reminded of a scene form the fairly recent film Pirates of the Caribbean (On Stranger Tides). Make a note of that man’s bravery.
Never confuse foolishness with valiance.
As the old adage goes “discretion is the better part of valor” or, more simply put, pick the battles (or in this case trades) that you are likely to win and leave the foolish long shots to fools.
As professional traders running a trading business we do NOT have the luxury of being committed to any single stock let alone any single trade.
Can you imagine a car dealer being immovably committed to the options available on a single car? The fact is sometimes you sell the extended warranty and make a bunch of money and sometimes you don’t . The car dealer offers it every time because he knows that on a percentage basis enough people will buy them to make them highly profitable.