E Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: How Getting In Shape Made Me A Better Investor

Stock traders are, by in large, a very quick-acting yet analytical bunch. That's not to say they generally act correctly or analyze clearly; every trade has two sides and one of those tends to be a loser. Much like high-stakes poker players glorified on TV, professional traders and analysts are not all winners and, in fact, very few analysts outperform the overall market. It's a game fueled by entitlement, addiction, and ego. Those three traits sum up why traders and investors lose money, but what makes the winners the winners? That's certainly a tougher question and I believe Lance Roberts touched on it in his recent article: Think Like a Bear, Invest Like a Bull

In a word, the answer is discipline. But being disciplined is not a decision in and of itself, it really is a way of existence. I have come to believe that one cannot be a disciplined investor without living a disciplined life.

I've been following financial markets since 2009, with no academic or practical experience prior. I immersed myself in the financial blogosphere and realized just how wrong most analysts had been both at the top and the recent bottom. Stocks were so cheap then that I was able to make enough of a return in small caps to develop an addiction to entitlement fueled by ego very quickly. I was certainly smarter than all those other guys and would forever crush the market.

After losing a large chunk of profits buying put options in 2010-11, trying to sustain my "100% every month or two" expectations by shorting a market that was no longer dirt cheap, I decided the finance world was not for me and decided to stick with what I know best; tennis. 

From 2012-15 I never really stopped following financial markets but avoided financial media like pop music, the plague, etc. It reminded me of my failures. 

I've played tennis my whole life. Despite earning a college scholarship and competing at a fairly high level, I've never really been in great physical shape. Neither has anyone in my near or distant family that I know of. On top of that, my maternal grandfather died at age 33, my brother has a genetic kidney disease and had two major heart attacks before age 26, heart disease runs rampant on my dad's side of the family, the list goes on... 

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