How it was meant to end


The following quotes from Lord Katsumoto, the warrior-poet in ‘The Last Samurai’, have a certain resonance with my trading life:

KATSUMOTO: A Samurai cannot stand the shame of defeat. I was honoured to cut off his head.

KATSUMOTO: It was a good death. Hirotaro died in battle. He tried to kill the American, and he was defeated. It was Karma.

There is death with honour and death without honour, and there is the shameful death. Like the death of Katsumoto in The Last Samurai, so my end was supposed to be an honourable one. This is not what is transpiring and only I am to blame; there is no one else, only me and my weaknesses. In my trading plan the point of ruin was at 50% of the original equity and if I had stuck to the plan I would have committed Seppuku (self-sacrifice) several months ago. At least then I could have proceeded to get on with my daily life. Instead, I have ignored my well thought-out plan and seem to have chosen the option of further squandering my capital. My grandiose ambitions were unrealistic, I lacked fortitude, and I have let greed blind me from the reality the unfolding reality of capital destruction. As my trading death nears, I am fully aware there is no honour in my actions. It is quite possible that I am beyond an honourable death. 

KATSUMOTO: Taking a man’s life is nothing. You cannot take away his honor. To know life in every breath. Every cup of tea. Every life we take. That is the way of the warrior. …that is Bushido.

It saddens me when I realise how the quest for perfection can extend from trading to all of a person’s actions, from the moment he wakes to the moment he sleeps. It saddens me because I have allowed the weaknesses in my trading to extend and infect other aspects of my life, eroding my motivation for good health, dulling my previous interests, and closing my mind’s eye of to beauty of life.

KATSUMOTO: …man can change his destiny? ALGREN: No. I think a man can only do what he can, until his destiny is revealed.

KATSUMOTO: This is not your battle. You do not have to die here.

If only.


2 responses to “How it was meant to end

  1. … closing my minds eye to the beauty of life!

    Rings very close to home! That is one of the things that trading has taken from me. But, like you, I must go on. I’ve tasted success in trading and now I’m left chasing the dragon for that next profitable trade. I think I will resolve myself to trade only a few times a year, when the markets really present an opportunity. I have learnt a lot and am better for the experience (if not financially)

    The best of luck to you!

    Just remember, the most important things in life do not have a price tag!

  2. This game sure does sucker us in. We get beaten, bruised and blackened, and yet we go back for more. It can be quite sadistic.

    I have also learned a great deal about myself from this trading experience. In fact, I’ve probably learned more about myself than I have learned about actual trading – maybe I should have just spent a fraction of the money of some good therapy sessions instead. Overall, I’ve learned that I was weak when I thought I was strong. My weaknesses have been laid bare and I want to change them, and I am trying. I am glad for having taken this journey, albeit a journey that has turned in to a real struggle. It has given me a new awareness of myself and capabilities, but as to whether I am better for the experience, I simply don’t know. All I know is that I had to try.

    Also, I very much agree that the important things in life do not have a price tag. Over and above the basics requirements in life, I find that money is of limited value in improving one’s well being through material acquisition. However, I didn’t have the basics of life secured when I started trading and feel that was a major mistake.

    PS – I applaud your approach of cherry picking the very best opportunities through the year and also wish you success.

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