My Trading Tao Te Ching, part 4.

The Tao is like a well:

used but never used up.

It is like the eternal void:

filled with infinite possibilities.


It is hidden but always present.

I don’t know who gave birth to it.

It is older than God.


from “Tao Te Ching,” by Stephen Mitchell


This chapter reminds me of a phrase I’ve coined: “The Paradox of Trading Success.” There are more or less about five basic ways most traders fail. They are the usual culprits: overtrading, over-leverage, bad risk management, under-capitalized, etc…

Meanwhile, there are an infinite amount of ways to make money in the markets. If I lined up 1000 successful traders, I’d find 1000 different routes taken to profitability. Sure, I would find similarities in strategies and time frames between some traders, but the differences will outweigh the commonalities. So if there is only a few ways to lose money, but an ocean of possibility to make money, why is this pursuit so hard? This is the Paradox.

And the fact that the path to success is forever present but always hidden only adds to the frustration felt. Whenever trading has me down, I need to remind myself that the path is always there. I just need to focus a little harder to see it, or better — to feel it.