Turn the Page

  • Posted by
  • on March 5th, 2012

I learned something valuable in the past year. To put it in football terms, I learned that I’m better suited to be a coordinator than head coach. I love the X’s and O’s, love the planning and execution of the plan and changing on the fly. I don’t love administrating non-game issues. Or managing people. Or charging people to provide a service. And so, I’m pretty awful at those things.

Fortunately, I found my calling. I found a pair of true gentlemen who spent a decade on their own & then a decade together building the firm I had hoped to build. Who built it on the principle of putting the client’s needs first. Who did the hard work of putting in place many of the business ideas that had been on my wish list; ones that were likely to remain on my list for a decade. They decided that hiring someone focused exclusively on executing a tactical approach might relieve them of information overload and free them for improved client engagement. When the first names mentioned as strategy inputs were Ed Easterling, Van Tharp, and Alexander Elder, I knew I could fit in.

So I folded my shop and joined a much better one. One that allows me to commit 100% of my time to that which I love…studying market themes, developing a plan, implementing that plan, adjusting to market outcomes, rinse and repeat. Still passionate about delivering the best experience possible for the client, I have a voice on business issues. But I no longer bear the responsibility of business decisions on top of investment decisions.

There was a time I may not have accepted my limitations. Brash and single, the answer was to work harder. With a wife and kids, the answer has to be work smarter. It was not smart(for me, at least) to accept control over every decision made in the firm. For a control freak like me, that inevitably leads to decision fatigue. Trading provides me the opportunity to be wrong often and still deliver profits; operating a business isn’t quite as forgiving.

So I guess the day I hit enter on our registration withdrawal was the same feeling many of us have with a boat…those infamous first and last days of ownership being the 2 best days. Had to do it with a heavy heart towards my team that had worked so hard, but I was doing them no favors with a scattered execution of our business plan. In the end, it’s a huge win for all parties involved, from clients to partners to more “focused” family time at home.

Ego kept me in control of everything; experience pointed me to the exit and said “let go”. My initial days have been long, but replacing business process with investment process is an absolute win for me, not to mention clients. Along with ensuring full compliance, that explains my infrequent posts of late. Given how much I enjoy the dialogue with my peers, I expect to soon be back doing my best to return the favor.

I love the idea of entrepreneurism but being a market operator is enough to quench that drive; for me to thrive in the markets someone else needs to be at the helm making the business decisions. I’m lucky to have found that “someone else”, and so begins the next chapter of my life in the markets.

The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.

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