Ray Dalio on Focus

  • You can have virtually anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want.
  • Life is like a giant smorgasbord of more delicious alternatives than you can ever hope to taste. So you have to reject having some things you want in order to get other things you want more.
  • Some people fail at this point, afraid to reject a good alternative for fear that the loss will deprive them of some essential ingredient to their personal happiness. As a result, they pursue too many goals at the same time, achieving few or none of them.
  • In other words, you can have an enormous amount: much, much more than what you need to have for a happy life. So don’t get discouraged by not being able to have everything you want, and for God’s sake, don’t be paralyzed by the choices. That’s nonsensical and unproductive. Get on with making your choices.

Trading should be effortless.

A true piece of wisdom. In my experience when I trade well it is like shooting fish in a barrel. Almost everything works. I don’t need to be overly patient with positions. The money comes in very fast. That’s exactly how trading should be. The exact opposite was the case during the first 2 months of this year. So I did what I had to do. I recognized the situation for what it was and admitted my efforts were not leading my portfolio anywhere. It was like folding when you are dealt a bad hand in poker. So I folded. Now I am waiting for the next hand. If it is a bad one I fold again. If a series of trades start to really go my way I push it hard and increase exposure and trade aggressively.