Trading Excellence

Trading Excellenceis mundane. Superlative performance is really a confluence of dozens of small skills or activities, each one learned or stumbled upon, which have been carefully drilled into habit and then fitted together in a synthesized whole. There is nothing extraordinary or superhuman in any one of those single actions; only the fact that they are done consistently, correctly, and all together, produce excellence.

The mundanity of trading excellence is typically unrecognized. I think the reason is very simple. Usually you see good traders only after they have become good – after the years of learning the methods, after years of trial and error, after the years of losing, after finally developing the habits of profitability and consistency, after becoming comfortable in their word. They have long since perfected the myriad of techniques that together constitute trading excellence. Ignorant of the specific steps and time that have led the current level of performance and confidence, or aware but refusing to accept it as necessary, new traders think that somehow excellence sprang full grown from the good trader, and it is deemed that that person has “talent” and is “gifted”. Even when seen close up on a daily basis in a live real time environment, the mundanity of trading excellence is often not believed.

Trading excellence is accomplished through the doing of actions, ordinary in themselves, performed consistently and carefully, habitualized, compounded together, added up over time. While these actions are qualitatively different from those traders at lower levels of performance, these differences are neither unmanageable nor, taken one step at a time, terribly difficult.

Note: this is paraphrased from an article written by Daniel Chambliss about the making of Olympic swimmers