The Key to a Clear Mind

In the Middle East we talk a lot about how God wants us to control our desires. For trading stocks, it creates a distinct advantage. You get to think straight.

David Ben Horin                

Let your mind rule, then let your heart run wild.

We talk a lot about God in the Middle East.

Sure, there are those who go in a direction that can be a little, ahem, scary.

I know lots of Jews and Muslims here who love God and don't hate one another.

My auto mechanic is an Arab Muslim who operates his business in a Jewish city and employs Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

He laughs when he talks about it.

"God commands us to love. It's men who pervert His word that try to convince us to hate."

He gets invited to a lot of holiday dinners.

Emotion

I am studying with my learning partner the Tanya, a mix of Jewish Mysticism and Faith.

We are on the subject of the mind and the heart.

The brain is a cold place.

Says my partner. He is quoting his Rebbe.

"But the heart is too hot. If we follow our heart, we are dragged by emotion. We make decisions on emotion."

I quoted a sales legend:

We make decisions on emotion, then justify it with logic.

He laughed.

"Exactly. It's a lot like vegans. They see animals getting slaughtered and they want to stop eating them. It's all emotion. When you think about it, an animal that gets eaten serves a purpose. He didn't live and die for nothing. He served man, even if on a dish with some cole slaw."

"But it's good to get emotional. We live in the most passionate place on earth. Emotion is like air here. You cannot ignore it."

"That is why you have to turn your friend Brian Tracy around. We cannot mix our emotion with logic, but we should mix our logic with emotion."

"The mind must reign over the heart at all times. Once it does, then you can let the heart take some space."

Trading & Investing

It's the same with trading.

People ask me, "Where are all your charts?"

I don't post them.

I use them, a lot. Who doesn't. But I don't like to make the most powerful logical case for any transaction.

The reason is that the logic is so powerful, people get emotional about it.

You can take any position, and create an army of numbers to make it look like the most brilliant move ever.

With a few lines, points, and colors, you can convince someone the stock at $12 will be the next Google by week's end.

That's scary. I have seen it too many times. People buy when they should sell. People selling when they should hold.

It would be best if we could divest ourselves of all emotion when we trade, but that's not possible.

Passion is part and parcel of the trade.

The key is to keep your mind in control. To know that your logic can be wrong, or the current market sentiment (read -- emotion) is overruling your thesis for the foreseeable future and you have to regroup.

Most trades do see a period of red before black. If you are too emotoinal, you could sell right when it's about to turn.

That's why the noggin has to rule. A practical head makes you flexible, dynamic, and able to adapt to changes fast.


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