Lack of discipline is the root cause of ALL evil
I am ofcourse stating the obvious, but no matter how obvious the point is and how many times you mention it, you just cannot SAY this enough.
This axiom holds true in every compartment of your life be it personal or professional.
I was looking at my P&L sheet and realized my returns (on my discretionary PF) could have been double of what it was if not were for a handful of STUPID undisciplined trades.
Similarly, while I have read a lot of books in the last few years, I have not read enough, not as much as I could have if I was not lazing around and wiling away time in meaningless endeavors.
Ofcouse I am not referring to a dumb situation where you are slave to book reading , almost like an addiction and start discarding your responsibilities.
This is the reason WHY I have fully automated my momentum portfolio. No human discretion, no emotions, no ifs, no buts.
Technology, while have a lot of negatives in terms distractions and choking the bandwidth, one good aspect of it is that it allows you to take the HUMAN element out of equation. And when you take that element out, you get disciplined. (machine is more disciplined than a human any day) (You still need discipline to do what the machine says ;))
Similarly on the Value portfolio front, while Dayanand Deshpande (my partner) and I might have a lot of disagreements, we have made a CHECKLIST to ensure consistency in our decision making.
While value is a relative subject and more of an ART than accurate, it is amazing how much automation can be achieved with the help of checklists.
One has to find ways and means to overcome this INFO OVERLOAD. I must confess, I have taken so many trades in the past because I got sucked into the story or the narrative or 05 BIG shots saying good things about it. A lot of them worked sure, (Thanks to bull run) but you judge a system by its process not outcome.
Like Peter brandt says, I am happy with a loss taken on a good trade rather than a profit on a bad one.
Or like Warren baba asks, wud you like to be a horrible lover while been thought of as a great one or the other way around.
Discipline is EVERYTHING. Right from mundane things like taking a shower, brushing your teeth to your exercise regime, your daily walk, your food habits, your work ethics.
While I am a strong proponent of luck and its role. (while listening to all the big shots like Kedia, Jhunjhunwala, damani, I cannot help but think these guys had horrible risk management and basically got lucky in their initial BIG BETS)
I feel discipline is one of the BIGGEST factors differentiating men from the boys, irrespective of the luck.
Like Ed Thorpe says, consider the luck (or lack of it) you have as the cards your are dealt with. How you play those cards largely depends on your finding the EDGE and DISCIPLINE to keep pounding at it.
I wish i was half as good at implementing what I write. But its a journey and I am improving at least.