I've been writing these articles for quite a long time, now (maybe too long) and I have received many, many comments. Some have been very thoughtful, others very kind, and some just plain annoying, but, in retrospect, they have taught me a lot about the widely varied perspectives of the readers. I know, for example, that if I write anything with even the slightest political overtones I can expect high praise and ultimate damnation. I've seen that I can rile up the readership with any discussion of social security and I certainly am not going to discuss health care. I once entitled an article "More Than One Way to Skin a Cat" and got a couple of the nastiest comments I ever hope to receive. I guess those few readers took it a little too literally and thought I was going to write a set of instructions. Actually, using language from Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, I only meant there were many ways to accomplish a task.
Last weekend, there were a couple of apparently divergent comments on the blog that got me to thinking about the different perspectives readers have as they read these articles. The first comment suggested I publish all my trades and that they be audited. Better for business the writer believed. While I am sure it was very well meaning, it indicated to me that the commentator was probably both suspicious and unbelieving. He didn't just want to see everything I was doing, he wanted it audited. I'll return to that perspective shortly.
The other commentator (whom I do not know) reported that he has been in the trading business for 33 years and referred to my articles as "a breath of fresh air," and went on to elaborate how important the concept about which I had written was to successful trading.
So, as I see it, we had two very different perspectives. The old pro affirmed that I had at least attempted to write about an important and useful concept. The other writer, whose experience is unknown to me, was looking for some higher proof of credibility. I don't blame him for searching for the credible in a sea of information and misinformation. I guess what I want to say is that the suspicious fellow need only test the information for himself. That is something I have been advocating for years. Paper trade the strategy. See if it works; if it doesn't then you can be assured I am full of bean soup. If it does work, maybe you have been given some valuable information. If it is valuable, use it.
Motive, too, is important. I, quite frankly, have several motives in writing these articles. Though the disbelievers will automatically reject the first motive, it is that I really do want to help people succeed. Secondarily, I would like it if you bought my books or signed up for one of my paid subscription services, but I will tell you that whether or not you buy a book or sign up for a subscription service will have almost no effect on my life. Of course, I do receive some modest income from each of those endeavors, but if they were my livelihood I would probably starve to death. The same is true of income from the few coaching sessions I do each year. I do them because they are fun; they are challenging, and they help keep me sharp in my own trading. Whether I do them or not has no influence on my life or lifestyle other than to require me to devote 10 or 15 days a year to try to help someone else solve their own trading problems.
So, bottom line, whatever you do is up to you. You can choose to believe or disbelieve. It doesn't matter to me except when I am called dishonest. You can come from a trusting or distrusting perspective, but in the end, it is you who must determine, on your own and for yourself, what is or is not worthy. It seems, though, that if you are really serious about your own trading you should not reject things out of hand or make some demand that my life be audited for you. Instead, how about reading the concepts, see if they make common sense, apply them in situations where you are not putting money at risk (like paper trading), see whether or not they work, and if they do, use them; if they don't work, reject them. The responsibility can only lie with you.
by Bill Kraft, Editor
Copyright 2009, Makin' Hay, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
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