The Taoist Trader: Tao Te Ching (Chapter Eight)
The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In daily life, be competent.
In action, be aware of the time and the season.
No fight: No blame.
(By Lao Tsu, translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)
Water is a symbol for the Tao. Water is fluid and flows around and over rigid things like rocks. Rigidity can be disguised as discipline insinuating itself into your trading as a seemingly positive thing. A rigid discipline won’t allow you to play with the markets. Playing with the markets? That’s childish, Terry! You fancy yourself a trader educator and you suggest violating a sacred principle of trading? Calm down. First of all, I’m not suggesting you trade without discipline. Secondly, I have a certain leeway in my writing since my article is titled “The Taoist Trader.”
Follow the Tao
By definition, a “Taoist Trader” follows the Tao when trading. However, remember “It flows in places men reject ….” In general, most traders reject the idea of trading for other reasons than just to make money. If the Tao asked you to play with the markets, would you do it? Or would you need a rational explanation for why you should do so? By the way, the Tao isn’t rational but can don the cloak of rationality when needed (to confuse you). What if playing with the markets led you to develop your own trading style? Would that be a good reason to play with the markets? However, the Tao casts reason to the wind or unto the water.
Should I be a Taoist Trader, or am I just stupid?
The Tao leads, the Taoist Trader follows. When you follow the Tao without a proper reason, you may doubt yourself and think you’re stupid or be called stupid by others, but remember “It flows in places men reject ….” So in spite of society’s scorn, so in spite of the trading community’s scorn, follow your own trading path. Be true to the Tao. “No fight: No blame.”