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The Spiritual Side of Trading: Dishonesty and Lying


There are two aspects of dishonesty and lying with which a trader must deal: the lies that are thrown at him from some people in the field, and the lies that the trader feeds to himself.

At Trading Educators we hear many sad stories from novice traders who have been duped by dishonest liars. Scripture says to beware of "a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood." Don't allow that blood to be yours.

But the worst kind of dishonesty and lying of all is lying to yourself. It is amazing how the human mind can rationalize to the point of deception. In the book of Galatians, chapter 6, verse 3, we read: "If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. " That goes along with what scripture has to say about pride. But we have seen traders take personal deception to extremes.

I will never forget sitting with a doctor who wanted to be a trader, and watching the ultimate self-deception. He had developed a trading system, and invited me to observe how wonderfully well it worked. He invited 3 other people as well. We were all witnesses to the absolute failure of his system. But each time the system failed, he told us: "Well, if I were trading it, I wouldn't have taken that trade!" When we pointed out to him the numerous short-comings and erroneous thinking behind his system, he simply became angry with all of us — all, that is, but one. One of the people he had invited was his broker. His broker completely agreed with him. You could almost see this broker licking his lips as he contemplated all the commissions he would make from the doctor's trading. So naturally he lied and told the doctor that the system was good. He could find nothing wrong with it. Do I have to tell you that the doctor traded his system with that broker and lost $350,000? Lying and deception can never produce anything consistently good.

So what is the truth in trading? That there are no shortcuts, no way to get around the basic need for self-control, study, and practice. And that the trader's life must be balanced and integrated into his overall physical, mental, and spiritual health and development.

Derivative transactions, including futures, are complex and carry a high degree of risk. They are intended for sophisticated investors and are not suitable for everyone. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results, and all of which can adversely affect actual trading results. For more information, see the Risk Disclosure Statement for Futures and Options.