Responsibility by Malcolm Morley

Responsibility by Malcolm Morley

GrimFD is a trader over on the OANDA forums. He is also a deep sea diver by trade, diving off the rigs. This must be just about the most dangerous civil profession there is, which makes him especially qualified to talk on the subject of personal responsibility.

GrimFD is a trader over on the OANDA forums. He is also a deep sea diver by trade, diving off the rigs. This must be just about the most dangerous civil profession there is, which makes him especially qualified to talk on the subject of personal responsibility.

quote…. (author GrimFD)

… all of this is relevant in developing a decent working system

1. You have to train and train and train till handling any event is second nature. It means you have to experience the events in a controlled environment. In fact you have to train to the point where you subconsciously react before you even consciously realise you have a problem. Spikes, slow markets, trends, re-quotes…with training/practice you can bring them on, no problem…trade those demo’s….experience the problems.

2. Know your craft. Equipment, procedures, back-up procedures. Which gasses, which mixtures for which depths, what tables to use? Your team. Who is responsible for what and how much you can rely on the individuals to help you prepare? The team here is the forums. People working towards a common goal. Everybody brings something to the table. Ask yourself what do you bring and how are you sharing? Learn things like what to do if you lose connectivity, if bad data causes spikes that kick you out of trades. Who to phone, how to get back online in a hurry etc…what happens in if you’re off-line 24 hours…

3. Take whatever you think is possible and time’s it by 10. Even then you’re not even close to what is really possible with the right motivation. If you think 10 pips a day is possible, aim for 100 and you’ll fail at 20 or 30. If you aim for 10 you’ll get 5.

4. Don’t pass the buck or blink under pressure. You’re the one swinging the hammer. If the bung implodes in your face and rips of your head it’s your problem. With a diving problem you probably have less than 45 seconds to sort it out (or as long as you can hold an exhaled breath, you only realise an equipment failure when you take the next breath). Stuff happens. You either stay cool and handle it, or you make the papers. If stuff happens in the market same thing. Might be somebody else’s fault, but it’s your problem. Stay cool.

5. Procedures. Work them out before the dive. Comms fail. Fine, 3 pulls on the umbilical or flashing light on the helmet. Primary fails, go to back up, back up fails…call for a Pneuma, Pneuma fails, signal like hell and hope your buddy was paying attention in CPR class, your last chance just became his retention span and how much attention he’s paying to the umbilical. …have those procedures in place for market events. Know your back ups as well as you know the trading…

6. Safety, safety, safety…on rigs you have to report near misses. They know for every 600 or so they have, one fatality occurs. If a rig owner sees the near miss reports climbing he’s on the radio, the rig’s getting sloppy and a fatality is one incident closer. Watch your near misses. If you’re making mistakes something’s slipping and your margin call is that much closer. Tighten up your ship…

He also says:

Our job is to win with the hand we’ve been dealt…we can ask for a new card or two, but you can only draw so many new cards before you have to play the hand.

I have lived and breathed trading ever since trading fx professionally in London, Toronto and Philadelphia in the early 70's (yes I know that shows my age!). While my professional career subsequently took me from the trading desk to designing treasury systems for some of the world's leading financial institutions, my desire was to always trade for myself. As a consequence, following 5 years with a major international stock-broker (the last 3 as... More