Knowing how to see both sides of a story is an invaluable skill to both traders and people wanting to develop world class habits and mental models. By looking at each side from an objective point of view, you open yourself up to seeing the full picture. This will prevent you from limiting yourself to only your viewpoints and open up unseen opportunities.
In one of my grad school classes my professor on the last day with the last 5 minutes of class told us something that is probably one of the most prolific, helpful statements I received in school. He said 99% of all people are not stupid so before we are quick to judge or paint someone or something with a certain perception, just remember that everyone has their reasons for what they are doing, saying, or thinking. Try and take a quick walk in their shoes, have some empathy and it will give you incredible positive power over any situation.
The market is about as impersonal as a profession can get. We just see numbers on our screens and nothing else. It’s easy to forget that a real person is on the other side of our trade. As much as you might call them an idiot for taking the other side of your trade, they are calling you an idiot for taking the other side of their trade. When entering a trade both people believe that they are right. Asking yourself why the other side of your trade is right can greatly help you with risk management. It will allow you to see more quickly when you are wrong so you can minimize your losses.
Not being open to seeing the other side of a story is incredibly limiting. It can lead to half worldviews that can cost you money or great opportunities. Thinking back to the 1400’s the entire world held the belief that nothing existed beyond the oceans. It wasn’t until the Europeans questioned otherwise that a whole new world and its riches were discovered. Imagine what you could be missing out on by not seeing both sides of the story.
Written and contributed by TM from Blackpier Capital
Wayne Klump says
Very nice article TM. Reminds me of the movie Dead Poet Society. Stand on the desk., get out of your box and look at the world from another perspective. Nice to hear from a veteran how it can be utilized in trading.