The Story of T.I. (Not The Rapper) and Why It Can Help You With Your Trading

by Mark Williams on January 14, 2009

I was a new sailor onboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65, no Star Trek jokes in the comments please) when I first met T.I.

T.I. could be described as one of those only in the military stories, one of those guys that there is no way in hell that they could ever exist in the “civilian” world.

You see, T.I. grew up in a racist family. No one knows why he joined the military, but here he was now surrounded by people of different backgrounds, ideals…


There is a trading lesson here, trust me.

Anyway, T.I. was on his way out, but because of his “seniority”, all new guys, including myself had to suffer — I mean — listen to him.

However, something happened to T.I. in which we will find our lesson:

T.I. found out that he was adopted.

He then found his birth parents…and discovered that he was not white, but Puerto Rican.

It gets better…

After he found his birth parents, a major change happened in T.I.

He became a “loc down GANSTA ESSE!”

I guess he thought that to be Puerto Rican meant to be your stereotypical latin gangbanger from the movies, so that is the persona he decided to take.

He even became fluent in Spanish!

But wait, there is more, and there is a lesson to be learned here.

From there, I guess he thought that if everything that he learned from his racist pseudo-baptist upbringing was wrong, hell let’s go wild!

He tried hanging out at goth clubs, rave clubs — doing anything and everything to try and find out who he REALLY was.

He even got himself a boyfriend!

In the end, the military finally kicked him out on a psychological discharge — he had gone that far down the deep end.

So, what does this have to do with you?


When many of us started out in the trading game, it is usually as a “buy and hold”-er — a wannabe Warren Buffet type.

And, (especially the returns that the market is currently giving) we eventually wake up from that premise and begin to really explore how to make money in the markets.

Eventually, we discover trading, starting with a few indicators.

Then, more and more and more indicators are used.

Eventually, we end up with 17 or more indicator monstrosity that gives conflicting signals.

Eventually we end up making up rules, like “I will listen to this indicator only if the market is trending, the low tide has come in, and only during the winter solstice”…

And then wonder why we are LOSING MONEY!

The best trading strategies have the following:

  • They are simple. The more complicated, the worse off you will be.
  • They have an EDGE.
  • They are clearly defined.

Simple. But then again, who was it that said common is sense is not so common?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jack NewhouseNo Gravatar 01.15.09 at 9:53 pm

Pretty damn good post. Reminds me of what I’ve done with my previous investing “learning curve” (no, I didn’t become an Esse and get a bf…).

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