Understanding Loss and Reacting to it in a Winning Manner

In the world of trading, we deal with loss everyday.

We have no option but to deal with it.

If we want our performance to improve, we need to deal with it in a winning manner.

What is loss? I mean, apart from its monetary ramifications…

A loss has the propensity to suck the living daylights out of you.

That’s if you allow it to.

You see, in the world of trading, losses have the propensity to grow.

You need to cut them when they are still bearable. Period.

If you don’t, they can become unbearable.

You then still have the option of cutting the unbearable loss as opposed to letting the loss eat into your gut and cause insolvency. Choice is yours. I’ve seen it happening with my own eyes.

You see, losses not only suck out money, they also suck out emotional energy from your system. Your mind loses focus, and instead of concentrating on your A-game, your mind focuses on the loss. The result is that your A-game becomes a B- or a C-game. Unacceptable.

Health deteriorates and one is snappy around the family. Totally unacceptable. Just cut the loss, stupid.

In FY ’08 – ’09, my senior partners walked into my office. I was being consulted, hurrah, a winning moment by itself for me.

Our company was entered into a derivative USD hedge at the time. The trade had turned sour, and was showing a loss of half a million USD. I was being asked what to do.

In a situation like this, a trader does not dilly-dally. I advised my senior parners strongly to cut the loss as it stood, no ifs, and no buts. That’s what we did.

Two other companies in our town were involved in a similar hedge. They chose not to cut their losses at this stage, but to hope, pray and wait for a recovery.

Well, recovery did happen ultimately. This was that swing when the USD first went up to INR 38 and then down all the way to INR 52.50. Before recovery occured, let’s see what else happened.

One company declared insolvency, because it could not repay the 22 milllion USD loss in the hedge, because that’s the amount the loss had ballooned to at a later stage, before recovery even started. The other company, I believe, settled its losses at 25 million USD, and enjoys a cash-strapped existence today.

So that’s what. My training as a small-time trader came in handy, and I was able to help our family run export business in a major way.

This was also a big test for me. It showed me that I had understood loss as a trader, and was able to react to it in a winning manner.

And that’s the prequisite required to understanding winning and reacting to it like a champion. More on that when I’ve mastered this myself!

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