Trusting the Gut and Hiding Your Watch

Sometimes we forget to trust what we sense.

I have just walked out of a seminar at about the half way point.

It was the type of ‘Ra-Ra’ nonsense we’ve all seen before. Internet marketers use it. Pre-GFC property sprukers used it. There were even a couple of magic options trading systems that used it.

The format is the same. Big crowds, pumped up music, stupid clapping and a poorly disguised emotion tugging sales pitch for a big ticket item.

Sometimes you have to go to seminars simply with the idea of one thing learnt makes the day worthwhile. Other times, you have to learn to trust your gut. It’s at those other times when there is a little voice that tells you this is a good idea or a bad idea. The voice tells you there is something more to a situation, even an ulterior motive.

This seminar was advertised to deliver a certain thing: education. In actuality it was a sales pitch for a previously undisclosed big ticket item. My gut knew this but I went anyway. I forgot to trust it.

Everyone has gut feel. A trader has to learn to use it.

Here’s another example of gut feel. A good friend of mine has a nice gold watch. We were at a circus carnival a few months back with his son. Along sideshow alley, three questionable looking guys came up to him and asked him for the time. He looked at his phone and gave them the time. They nodded and walked away.

I noticed my friend didn’t have his watch on. He later told me that he had put his watch in his pocket only twenty minutes earlier. Out of the corner of his eye, he’d seen the three guys and thought there is something odd about them. Something told him to hide the watch.

Then out of a big crowd of people the dodgy guys pick him to ask for the time. Why would anyone have to ask for the time these days? Everyone carries smart phones as I’m sure at least one of those three would have.

It seems by listening to gut feel, a possible incident was prevented. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, he still has his watch.

These ‘things’ happen in trading too. A lot of the time that little voice can be the voice of doubt, so it has to be refined. It’s something you learn to do over time, but it’s an important part of your internal make up that should be respected.

One of the former Turtles Curtis Faith, wrote a good book about it: Trading From Your Gut. It’s worth a read.