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Team + Goal = Money
Although I hate violence and abhor guns I must to admit that the Army is an amazing institution. It takes the most unruly members of our society (typically 18 year old boys) from disparate parts of the country with a wide array of cultural, physical and emotional problems and molds them into highly functioning human beings that often go on to achieve great things in life.
I am always astounded at how surly, sloppy, lazy boys are turned into rock hard men that suddenly understand the demands of responsibility and the need for execution of every task. No doubt military strategists the world over have perfected ways to take ragtag bands of strangers and create highly efficient teams, but I think there are two factors that are primarily responsible for this phenomenon -- 1). a sense of community and 2). a sense of purpose.
I thought about this dynamic a lot this week as traded in our BK Trading room. We have always had a strong sense of community, with many different people from all corners of the world, collaborating on my day trading strategy. Over the past several months collaboration has produced better and better methods for trading the market. But this week I did something different. I set a target for everyone to make 100 pips by end of day Friday.
On Friday on the EU close I polled everyone in the room and was shocked to find out that I was actually one of the lowest producers in the room ( I managed to eke out just a bit more than 100 pips in my account this week). Some people banked 250, 400 even 1200 pips!!! ( yes -- I did see his statement of trading) -- stuff that made my eyes bulge out at the surprise of how well most people traded.
What was particularly interesting is that this was not a highly volatile week and we did not do anything markedly different. However, every person, myself included, had a goal, a target, a purpose.
The notion of goals in trading is controversial. After all markets are not predictable so you can’t put a hard target on someone and expect them to make it given the variance in trading environments every day. I used to believe that was true -- but no more. Trading, especially highly controlled day trading in the way we practice it at BK is much more like a regular job. In daytrading we are flat the market every day on the New York close. Some day will no doubt be losers, but the overall function of our strategy is to claw out small but steady gains.
That’s why setting a goal was the right thing to do. Together with focus that I discussed last week it proved to be a winning combination for the whole team.