Howard Seidler was a turtle. His one man company is called Saxon Investment Corporation.
Q. When did you first become involved in the markets?
A. My first exposure was actually as a child, since my father dabbled in the markets. When I was in high school, I became aware of the futures markets. Futures fascinated me because of the symmetry of being able to go short as well as long. I was also attracted by the potential for leverage. As I began to read about the futures markets, the general description seemed to be: Here’s this game, and by the way, hardly anyone ever succeeds at it. To me, that was like throwing down the gauntlet. I opened up my first account for $1,000 in high school. I had saved up that money by doing chores. It took me a little over a year before I lost it all.
Q. What advice would you give someone in regards to being successful in the markets?
A. I think the single most important element is having a plan…
Below are some insights from his interview in the New Market Wizards book:
“I think the single most important element is to have a plan. First, a plan forces discipline, which is an essential ingredient to successful trading. Second, a plan gives you a benchmark against which you can measure your performance.”
“You can be following your rules exactly and still lose money. In that situation, you certainly haven’t performed poorly as a trader. The basic idea is that if you follow your rules over the long run, the probabilities will be in your favour, and you’ll come out ahead. In the short run, however, conformance to a trading plan is more significant that short-term equity fluctuations.”
“You need to have persistence to stay with your ideas day after day, month after month, year after year, which is hard work.”
“It’s important to distinguish between respect for the market and fear of the market. While it’s essential to respect the market to assure preservation of capital, you can’t win if you’re fearful of losing. Fear will keep you from making correct decisions.”