Ed Seykota: The Jademaster

Lots of people go into trading as a way to get rich quick. The fact is that rarely if ever will happen. Trading is a career and a life-long study.  The markets are always changing, and they are always the same. I have invested so much time, money, and study into trading. To excel in trading requires extremely hard work and discipline. The same combination required for excellence in any field.

If you knew that is not way to fail in trading, how hard would you like to work on it? Would you ever quit?

Seykota is considered to be one of the best traders to ever live. The following story helped me immensely and I think of it often, very often.

The Jademaster

One cold winter morning a young man walks five miles through the snow. He knocks on the Jademaster’s door. The Jademaster answers with a broom in his hand.

“Yes?”

“I want to learn about Jade.”

“Very well then, come in out of the cold.”

They sit by the fire sipping hot green tea. The Jademaster presses a green stone deeply into the young man’s hand and begins to talk about tree frogs. After a few minutes, the young man interrupts.

“Excuse me, I am here to learn about Jade, not tree frogs.”

The Jademaster takes the stone and tells the young man to go home and return in a week. The following week the young man returns. The Jademaster presses another green stone into the young man’s hand and continues the story. Again, the young man interrupts. Again, the Jademaster sends him home. Weeks pass. The young man interrupts less and less. The young man also learns to brew the hot green tea, clean up the kitchen and sweep the floors. Spring comes.

One day, the young man observes, “The stone I hold is not genuine Jade.”