Picking students for MasterClass isn’t as easy as picking stocks. There are no probabilities or historical DNA we can pick apart, the most we can do is make them fill up a form and screen it.
The first MasterClass Zee and I had (aside from the prototype batch Erudite) was tricky. A lot gave their best vying for the slot. It wasn’t enough that they were willing to pay, it had to be the right people. The personality and location was crucial.
What we’re forming is a group of people who must gel together. They aren’t just classmates, they’re going to be a team.
On the first day of classes, I laid it down on them.
“Your profitability depends on your individual skills, but your survival will depend on one another.”
We met some of them before classes begun. One of them traveled 6 hours for a dinner that lasted 30 minutes.
W dropped by after a chance business trip, because he’s normally based abroad. L traveled all the way from the North. G did as well.
I was silently praying that they get along before we even drop by. Science don’t lie, their relationship with one another will inevitably affect their performance.
People are often very different from their spreadsheet responses. W displayed his firm personality, something I had expected but it was different seeing it in person. G was more laid back than what I had originally assumed. L is a far cry from the person who wrote his heart out in his application– in a good way. He was light and cheery.
The classes felt like it lasted forever.
Until it was over.
It didn’t help their cause that classes are cancelled if someone fails to submit the requirements… and every class has atleast 2-4 requirements each. It was something we devised to make them count on one another. The point was to make it impossible without cooperation.
But before we knew it,
it was done.
And the real work, the world without padded Styrofoam, begins.
During our minicompetition after course, Neil, one of the more chatty students wondered out loud how one ZFT caught a stock early on.
“I’ve checked for any hidden divergences”, he said.
It was $ABA at 0.86. It looked clear as day for me.
“But aren’t they quietly consolidating on top of the 100 MA?”
“Yes”, he said. “But this isn’t a downtrend.”
I shifted my gears. Neil is an academic who needs evidence, and I know I wanted to resolve this by making him find the answer by himself.
“What’s your A grade set-up, Neil?”, I gently asked him.
He answered in less than a minute.
“Great!” I typed back. “That’s my A grade set-up too, ABA’s set-up is my B grade set-up, along with bounce plays.”
I let that sink in for a while. “How about your B grade set-up? What would it be?”
I didn’t get an answer. I forgive him. It’s only been a month since the end of formal lessons, they’re now soaking in niche-finding exercises with Chester Cheng.
“My point is, I saw it clearly because I’ve seen it many times before. You’ll see it too next time, specially if you’re willing to risk a lower high set-up like that.”
Obviously it wasn’t enough. Neil like any typical trader wants to ride all the big moves of stocks, but unlike typical traders, he wanted a black and white guideline for each.
Yuri offered his sympathies, “I didn’t see that set-up too. It wasn’t even in my watchlist. I just don’t like trades like that. It’s a hard pass for me.”
But unlike Neil, Yuri had the quiet confidence of sticking to his strategy. It didn’t matter he didn’t get this fish, he knows how to repeatedly catch another one.
I offered Neil one more lesson, “Neil, you haven’t seen this set-up yes, but with whatever you currently have, you’re already leading the class by atleast double the second placer. My point is, you don’t have to know everything, just a few key ones will help you take the lead.”
The point I was trying to make was that mastery did not come from the involvement of each and every stock movement. It was enough to know a handful and then deploy it much better than the rest of the trading populace. The energy spent on endlessly pursuing more techs will never end, there will always be another indicator, another timeframe, another hot set-up. The real task lies on the smooth execution.
It’s in the tiring battle between greed and fear.
Winning against FOMO.
Engaging in trade ideas without feeling pressured to do what everyone else is doing.
Pulling the trigger and keeping to your proper position size.
Staying out of the market once your monthly quota is hit.
Remaining in neutral emotional territory even when the crowd is going wild.
That’s what Mastery needed.
By the time you figured out where the support and resistances are and how to properly plot lines, you’re almost done with techs. The rest is just frills to reassure the worrying trader.
It’s the self-mastery portion that will last a lifetime.
To go against your very nature of facing risk and danger without flinching, and sticking to your plan. To have solid confidence when placing a trade, and then to eat all that certainty up when the trade reverses, admit the mistake and take the loss without identifying with the failure and hurting the ego.
Of course adapting to market trends is important,
but you rarely should do so in the middle of the trade.
That is something you get the numbers on, study, and then plan.
Neil lost his top position when M (the batch’s admin) overtook it through strong conviction with the CEB trade. It didn’t help that it was a whipsaw market the day before.
He laughed about it and told everyone, “Now I understand why we were told that our first goal is a mere breakeven. There’s still so much more to learn.”
I had a lot of messages telling me I’ve come a long way! I coach now and I love what I’m doing. There is magic in seeing another person unfold to become a better version of themselves. It was amazing to see their potential, but even more amazing to see them fulfill it.
As I write this, Batch Infinitum drinks their morning cuppa while they lazily watch the market. W is on a bounce play, while some took a CH.
It’s our first official day in the camp, and I couldn’t be happier seeing the class act like old friends.
All the hard work paid off.
Congrats, Infinitum. I will always be rooting for you.