What You Can Learn From An Aggressive 24-Year Old Marine Sergeant

It was at my wedding ceremony at the US Ambassador’s residence in
Tokyo, Japan in March of 1999. Former Speaker of the House, and then Ambassador
to Japan, Thomas Foley was kind enough to impart some encouraging words to the
attendees of the ceremony. It was an illuminating speech that discussed the
dynamics of being a young couple as he touched on several topics including his
own marriage, which had surpassed 40 years. He concluded his presentation by
quoting Reinhold Niebuhr with words that have resonated with me since:

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change..the Courage to
change the things I can…and the Wisdom to know the difference

I have gamely tried to incorporate this into every aspect of my life. When I
heard it, I was an aggressive 24-year old Marine Corps Sergeant, who was dead
bent on changing everything to make it right. At 31, I have grown and matured
enough to let some of those uncontrollable things go and not let them serve as
an energy drain. It’s important as traders to be able to let losses go and move
on. Sometimes in trading, we can do everything right and still lose money on a
trade. At that point, it’s beyond our control, and having the right mindset is
paramount to being successful.

As always, best of luck in the markets,

John Netto