Ernest Hemingway


‘The Old Man and the Sea’ is my favourite work by Hemingway. Here are two quotes that have direct parallels with trading:  

He looked down into the water and watched the lines that went straight down into the dark of the water. He kept them straighter than anyone did, so that each level in the darkness of the stream there would be a bait waiting exactly where he wished it to be for any fish that swam there. Others let them drift with the current and sometimes they were at sixty fathoms when the fishermen thought they were at a hundred. But, he thought, I keep them with precision. Only I have no luck any more. But who knows? Maybe today. Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.’ 

And the great sea with its friends and its enemies. And bed, he thought. Bed is my friend. Just bed, he thought. Bed will be a great thing. It is easy when you are beaten, he thought. I never knew how easy it was. And what beat you, he thought. ‘Nothing’, he said aloud. ‘I went out too far.’

3 responses to “Ernest Hemingway

  1. Caravaggio, Thanks for that beautiful and profound quote.

  2. Friend,

    Keep in mind that a GOOD TRADE makes GOOD SENSE. Always say that to yourself, despite the level of risk. By varying the level of risk in certain trades, in my opinion, one is actually admitting defeat on that trade.

    For example, if you see a certain trade opportunity has a low probability of succeeding, or in general a trade of low probability, and you vary your risk accordingly, then you shouldn’t be in the trade from the start. It’s important to keep in mind that high-probability trades occur dozens of times every month.

    Lastly, one statement that I’ve preached to all of my fellow traders, “it is with near-certainty that the markets will be there tomorrow. It is uncertain whether you will be there tomorrow.” This quote can be akined to a person who loads up his entire plate on the first trip to the buffet. The markets is a never-ending buffet. 🙂

    On a different note, it is excellent for you to keep such a blog! It helps reconfirm your thoughts and integrate it into your trading. Just as this comment is to share thoughts with you, it helps me as well by reconfirming my thoughts. Good luck!



  3. Hi Michelle. Great quotes from a great book!

    Dan, it is so true that the market will always be around, and with it opportunities to make and to lose money; and indeed it is uncertain whether I will be around tomorrow. Also, I appreciate your conviction but I cannot risk the same amount on every trade as I have limited faith and limited conviction in my beliefs and ability, and so I try to match the risk of the trade accordingly. For me, every time I place a trade I admit the possibility of defeat. Afterall, my record of losses says I would be mentally unstable if I didn’t accept this reality. That said, the jury may still be out on my sanity, because on occasion I am sure I look into the mirror and see who I want to see, not who I really am.

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