Larry Pesavento sent me a small pamphlet – written by (I think ) Roy Longstreet. It is written 60 years ago. I hope you will enjoy it:
Principles and Profits – for Commodity Traders ( by Clayton Brokerage Co.)
There are certain truths that have been with us since the beginning that form the foundation for action. They cannot be ignored. Commodity trading is on art. It can be mastered by anyone provided he is willing to pay the price in time and concentration. Each of the following ten principles must become a part of one’s personality. Each principle must become a habit in living.
Whatever success I achieve will be the result of my efforts. The help I receive from others will be as a molehill compared to the mountains I must move myself. I must prove that I can endure the life of a trader. It will not be an easy lot. The rewords of success will be great because so few succeed. I must overcome obstacles to success because victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. I cannot regard myself as a trader until I have been exposed to knowledge and experience. I will become what I think about. My thoughts will determine my habits. I should form good habits and henceforth become their slave. I am a unique person. Nobody has ever been like me. I have talents that others do not have. It is my privilege to develop them to the utmost. I will abandon vain efforts to imitate another. I am a tree. My wealth is the vine. The vine can grow no higher than the tree. I have limitations, too. These I will recognize and learn to live with. I can learn to be content and also achieve victory. There is only one person I can depend on for success – myself. The only thing I can expect from others is that they wish me well. When I blame my failures on somebody else, I am a complete failure.
I will master my emotions. The market will add to my emotional problems. After victory there is a tendency to overact. After defeat the tendency is to underact. I will recognize these human weaknesses and overcome them. Each day I awake with moods different from yesterday. One day is sad; the next is joy. There is exultation and depression. These can do me injury unless controlled. My secret of control of self lies in my ability to force my actions to control thought. I will exercise. Walking stimulates positive thinking. Sadness vanishes with increased circulation of blood.
When I feel inferior, I will buy a new suit. When defeated, I will eat o good meal at a fine restaurant. When I fear, I will act and fear will disappear. When I feel bold, I will remember past defeats. I will regard discipline as my greatest friend. Horses and traders hove one thing in common – neither are worth much until broken.
No man reaches the peak by doing what he wants to do, the way he wants to do it, when he wants to do it. Only those who do what must be done when it should be done reach the pinnacle.
ACCEPT COMMODITY TRADING FOR WHAT IT IS
Commodity trading is a contest.Skill counts. Knowledge is necessary, but it is not sufficient. Courage, too, is needed. Commodity trading is high-risk speculation. It is possible to be right seven times out of ten. Some of the big winners are wrong seven times out of ten. It is possible to make a great fortune quickly. It is also possible to lose all quickly. Prices do not always act in o rational manner. Sometimes the market pays no attention to value. There is not much that con be said about commodity trading with any degree of certainty. Everything must be qualified with maybe, perhaps, probably, potentially, etc. The one sure thing is that commodity trading is war; and to the victor belong the spoils.
PICK BIG MOVES
The one important thing that commodity trading offers that makes it all worth while is the opportunity to make o lot of money with a little. I must be alert to pick the big moves. They
will not always be forecast. They may start unnoticed. They depend in part on luck. The sequence of fundamental events occurs rarely. Each day I will look for the opportunity where
I can multiply my fortune a hundredfold. When I find the market, I will apply my skill to take full advantage of the opportunity, should it develop, and protect myself should it not. The greatness of my goal will not hold me in awe. I may stumble many times before it is reached. This will not concern me, for I know that all men who achieve stumble often. I am not a sheep that follows others. I am myself – a man. I will build castles in the air. That is where they belong. Then I will build foundations under them.
Substituting hope for fact is the greatest gamble. It leads to wishful thinking. Bias is the greatest of pitfalls to a trader. One sees things he wants to see – sometimes when they are not there. I will hove the courage to face facts even though they cause me pain. Each day I will see the market as it is – not as I hoped it would be yesterday. I will know my position each day so that I may close out losing trades and hold the winners. I will accept the verdict of the market, even though it is contrary to my expectations. I will not be like the ostrich that sticks his head in the sand and hopes that adversity will go away. I am a man. I will face facts.
I cannot succeed and at the some time escape the hard realities of trading by daydreaming. I must act. If I act, my mind becomes heated and the job will be completed. If I hesitate, I will only become confused. When I am afraid to act, I will act. Then fear will disappear. All my dreams and plans are nothing unless followed by action. When tempted to procrastinate, I will gain courage by action. I will not avoid the tasks of today in hope that tomorrow will change my fortune. My actions may not bring me success, but it is better to act and foil than not to act and flounder. When I om tempted to quit, I will act. That is the only way I con be sure of being in on the big one. The market will not wait. While I dolly, opportunity posses me by. There is a time to do the right thing in the right volume. When confronted with losses, I will not hold on until my capitol is depleted. I will act to conserve my capitol and my will to win. When opportunity knock, I will be ready, mentally and financially, to act. I will be like the good general who never loses all of his army and who always takes full advantage of every opportunity.
My money is my army. It has power. The more I have, the more power I have. I will take steps to manage my money. It must not manage me. I will not trade just because I hove money. My object is to trade to make more money. I must always regard what I have as being more TEXT MISSING FROM PAMPHLET
LEARN TO LAUGH
As traders, if we do not learn to laugh, we can say with Lincoln, “My heart would break.” Traders ore bruised souls. Try as they will, they make mistake after mistake. What does one do with his mistake? They are serious. They cannot be token lightly. One learns from them and forgets them. If I am to succeed, I must learn to forget. Unpleasant truth must be made invisible. Anything that reminds me of errors must be obliterated from my memory. If I can re-establish a favorable image by Achievement, I will do so. But nothing must be permitted to be a millstone around my neck in my pursuit of victory. Therefore, I will learn to forget those unpleasant truths which I cannot change.I will laugh and my burdens will be lightened. Most of all, I will laugh at myself, for am I not most comical when I take myself seriously? Everything that man does looks amusing from a distance. I will learn the great truth that never changes – that this, too, shall pass. When heavy hearted with unbearable losses, I shall console myself that this, too, shall poss. When men offend me with disrespect, I shall laugh as I remember Henry Ford, Edison, and Pasteur and how they built success on failure. I will laugh at my failures and they will vanish in clouds of castles I build in the air. I will laugh until others laugh, too. Never should I become so important, so wise, so dignified, so powerful, that I cannot laugh at myself and at the world. I will laugh because, with other traders, I am a bruised soul. It is the only way I con find happiness in a world filled with people who can be made happy because I laugh.