— The Trader
What’s Your Trading Personality?
Years ago the Phoenix Suns acquired the rights to an aging Shaquille O’Neal because they felt they needed help in the post against the big men in the West.
In years prior, the Suns had been a high octane, high scoring, running team. They often beat other teams by effectively running them off the court… Both figuratively and literally.
Adding Shaq was literally like adding oil to water.
In his youth, Shaq would have been a dangerous addition to the Suns given his ability to run the floor like a gazelle… But this aged, slower Shaq was unable to run with his teammates and his minutes plummeted. Adding insult to injury, the Suns were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs the following year.
Predictably, the experiment was deemed a failure on almost every level. Something I’ve seen before in other contexts…
At first glance, it seemed Shaq was clearly the issue. He couldn’t keep up with his speedy mates and their style of play. He was slow to the post on offense and a defensive liability unless the Suns happened to be facing a team with a traditional half court offense with an equally traditional post up style center. Since that’s a style of play that is quickly disappearing, the Suns faced fewer and fewer teams of the type.
That said, those who rushed to place blame on Shaq’s broad shoulders were wrong to put it mildly…
Others thought the Phoenix Suns caused the trade to fail. They weren’t willing to adjust their style of play to take advantage of the future Hall Of Famer for whom they had traded.
That position was wrong as well… although, perhaps a bit less so.
In truth, the problem was neither the Suns nor Shaq… General Manager Steve Kerr’s (yes, that Steve Kerr) controversial move failed because he tried to place a declining, plodding post up center on a team of fleet footed thoroughbreds.
He mixed mutually exclusive basketball personalities.
Traders must take care to avoid repeating the Suns’ mistake. I’ve worked hard to match my personality to an appropriate trading vehicle, time-frame, style and strategy. I’ve carefully designed my approach to produce just a few setups each day around chart patterns and behavior that I recognize and can exploit.
This simplifies my program and allows me to focus on maximizing my Emotional Capital™… the most important tool of any trader, but especially, short-term traders.
I have no doubt that I could trade a strategy that produced many more opportunities each day… like other strategies, my own approach would produce many more opportunities on lower time-frames. However, I’ve found what I consider the proverbial “sweet spot” for my trading.
Traders of all levels should take great pains to understand themselves and, just as important, find a trading approach that matches that understanding (i.e., matches their trading personality).
The results will be well worth the effort.