The Super Bowl is over now (my condolences to all the Chicago traders), so this is my last chance to provide a football analogy for awhile.
There’s an ancient Chinese saying about football. It goes like this:
“Any given Sunday.”
It’s such a well-known axiom that a movie was even made about it!
It basically means, “Anything can happen on any given Sunday.”
The saying acknowledges that there’s a lot that happens in the sport that is beyond anyone’s control.
In the movie by the same name, Al Pacino delivers the unbelievably powerful “inch” speech. In it he tells his men that the entire game of football, moving up and down that 100 yard gridiron, comes down to fighting over any given inch.
Here’s just part of the speech:
You find out that life is just a game of inches.
So is football.
Because in either game
life or football
the margin for error is so small.
one half step too late or to early
you don’t quite make it.
One half second too slow or too fast
and you don’t quite catch it.
The inches we need are everywhere around us.
They are in every break of the game
every minute, every second.
On this team, we fight for that inch
On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us
to pieces for that inch.
We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.
Cause we know
when we add up all those inches
that’s going to make the XXXXing difference
between WINNING and LOSING
between LIVING and DYING.
I’ll tell you this
in any fight
it is the guy who is willing to die
who is going to win that inch.
And I know
if I am going to have any life anymore
it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch
because that is what LIVING is.
The six inches in front of your face.
And that pretty much sums up trading.
We’re constantly aware that the market is a wild animal, and it can do “anything at anytime.”
Our job is primarily to manage risk by fighting over every tick.
And so it is that by applying professional athlete quality self-discipline, perfectly managing our money, never getting sloppy or lazy, and fighting for every tick of every trade, that over the days, weeks and months, we find profits.