What Are You Afraid Of?


“Have you ever watched Inside the Actors Studio? The host, James Lipton invariably asks his guest, ‘What factors make you decide to take a particular role?’ The actor always answers: ‘Because I’m afraid of it.'” – Steven Pressfield

Most of the world believes that normal people aren’t capable of consistently taking profits out of the stock market. They believe that the market is efficient, and that the only way to beat is is by some form of cheating.

These are the people that argue that high-frequency trading is the new technology that is making small trader obsolete. They simply can’t fathom a world where it is possible to compete with these fancy computers.

These are also the people who argue that you can’t possible beat those big shots at Goldman Sachs at their own game. They make the rules and can change them on you at any time. You don’t stand a chance against them.

Our world is filled with people who buy-in to these ideas and use them as an excuse to delegate their investments to some guy down the street that just so happens to make a commission on the products he sells them.

Or worse yet, they simple blow off investing altogether and take the less-than-1% that their local bank tells them is a good deal because it’s “safe.”

They’re afraid. They give in to the Resistance.

For some reason, you and I have rejected the logic that these people subscribe to. I have my reasons, and I’m sure you have yours. They’re probably quite similar. We believe that we can do better, but that opens us up to a whole different level of fear.

Now we are out in the open. Available for anyone who didn’t have the guts to try to tell us how foolish we are if we fail…and there is a damn good chance that we will fail. Most successful traders bust out their accounts multiple times before they make it.

When I tell people that both the QG Fund and the Baseball Fund are lagging the S&P 500 by a large margin so far this year, they look at me with pity, as if I am wasting my time.It’s the same look I give my dogs when they try to bury bones in the bed.

While I know that successful trading is possible, I am constantly confronted with the fear that I am wasting my time trying to master it. I am afraid that at the end of the next 40 years, simple buy-and-hold will have outperformed my thousands of hours worth of effort and I will have wasted a huge portion of my life.

That is the fear that Pressfield is talking about. That is the Resistance.

The presence of the fear is exactly how you know that you are participating in a worthwhile endeavor. So rather than giving in to your fears, allow them to fuel you. They are expicit evidence that you are on the right path.

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