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The art of war and the science of trading


Calculating appropriate risk levels, including when to take none, is the key to trading success. The wisdom of Chinese philosopher-general Sun Tzu can help. In most pursuits, be it education, business or sports, people are taught that hard work is the key to success. This is not always so in trading, at least not at first. Trading is different. Effort often seems inversely correlated with results if that effort is not spent on preparation. Indeed, trading success often appears to exist independently of life experience outside the markets. Approximately 15 months of intense effort were invested in a historically viable swing trading strategy, but it never worked. The techniques were valid but with limited trading skills and a technique that didn't fit with the trader's profile, success would have to be found elsewhere. Another key for some new traders is a strategy that trades frequently enough to offer constant input to accelerate the learning curve.

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