Module 12 Innerworth — Mind over markets

Chapter 59

The Dynamics of Greed

In the movie “Wall Street,” Gordon Geckko argues, “Greed is good.” Greed can motivate you to strive for perfection and keep you persisting in the face of adversity, but greed has its downside. It is often said that the markets are driven by fear and greed. The masses have a natural desire for wealth and all the advantages that money can buy. In their zeal, the masses invest in stocks and believe that their investments will allow them to achieve their financial goals. When the price starts going down, though, they fear losing their investment and they sell, often too prematurely and at a loss. The dynamics of greed drive the dynamics of the market.

As individual trader greed may drive you. Trading is a challenging profession. Not everyone makes it. You have to study the markets and learn how to take out profits from the market action. How to do this is not obvious. Finding profitable trading strategies is an unending search. You may find a strategy that works for a while, but market conditions change and the strategy no longer works. The challenge is to make profits in the market aftermarket. Why bother? If you aren’t driven to achieve success, you won’t make it. You won’t persist. You won’t try to overcome setback after setback. Greed is a powerful motivator. It is natural to seek out happiness. If you are similar to most people, you dream of eternal bliss.

For centuries people have fantasized that if they had immense wealth, they could solve all their problems, but this fantasy is often unrealistic. The human mind is capable of fooling itself into falsely believing that unrealistic fantasies can come true. It may be nice to have enough wealth to make your life more pleasant, but money does not buy happiness. Nonetheless, dreaming of wealth and how we can achieve great wealth through trading is a powerful motivator. Sometimes it is useful to indulge in fantasy and enjoy feeling the passion for success. It keeps us going when we are beaten down. It gives us something to strive for. That said, greed does have its downside.

Money is a powerful motivator, but many people know deep down that money can’t solve all our problems. And those thoughts and feelings that lie deep down in our psyche can often influence us when we don’t want them to. Since we know that money isn’t going to solve our problems, we can lose hope when everything seems to be going against us. It’s vital that we acknowledge how greed can be a motivator but also a barrier. It can distract us from focusing on our trading plan.

We can become so consumed with the pursuit of money that we fail to appreciate the inherent rewards of trading. Trading offers an intellectual challenge. You can build up your trading skills through practice and experience and feel good knowing that you have mastered a skill that few have developed. Don’t focus all your energy on money and the accumulation of it. Instead, focus on developing your skills and enjoying the process of trading. In the long run, you’ll find that you will enjoy the game, and ironically, when you don’t worry about the profits, you will actually trade more profitably in the long run.

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