Adding To Winners – The Dad Move

The Dad Move :

"Any action or actions where a person (usually a Dad), being unconcerned with appearance or perceptions,  uses their experience and skill to position themselves for inevitable victory. "

I don’t think about adding to winners the way I used to.

In the beginning, I traded like a nervous teenager. Unable to really commit to anything meaningful. Always in and out, trying to find the next hot idea or trade. I would enter a trade, take some off, let some ride but never long enough. I would fight the trend like it was my parents forcing me to go to grandma’s 75th birthday party on a Friday night.

Over time, the youthful optimism and eagerness gives way to experience. Disappointment turns into resolve.

Now, I trade like a Dad.

I’ve been here a while. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve seen eager young bucks laid to waste on the sidelines. I know what one side needs to do and where they need to do it in order for them to continue.

I know what happens when they fail…

Now, I think of adding to winners as a way of taking advantage of my experience. I’ve been here before, I’ve seen this game play out. In many cases, I know the counter position is wrong, if not outright wrong, they are deeply disadvantaged. We are going against them. When you are in a position that is correct, it is the other side’s job to fix it and run you back over. Until they do, stay in Dad mode.

Dad is invincible. Dad knows everything. Dad is never embarrassed. Dad doesn’t care if it hurts. Dad also doesn’t waste his time with nonsense. Dad takes his stops.

This is Dad Mode. The Dad Move?

The Dad Move is pressing those winners. Let the youth scramble to find their “right answer”, to get what they need. Dad just sits and waits. Dad will press them into the ground. My goal is to press that advantage until capitulation of the other side. I have clear metrics for that this looks like and when it might happen. As a Dad, I am happy to do it.

Finding The Dad Move

Last fall, I was on a weekend outing with a bunch of fellas. We had rented a cabin and the first night, as fellas do, got to a little bravado based antagonizing. I challenged a 22 year old dude, fresh out of college, to an arm wrestle.

The guy was confident, as he should be. A bit of a surprise to me, before we fired up, he said, “Ah man, you’ve got that old man strength!”. I laughed, I don’t consider myself old.

I did win that match. I won it with Devon Larratt’s “Dad Move”. I knew I could hold him as long as I needed. Plenty patient. It was just a matter of letting his youthful intensity wear off a while before I would reveal my clear advantage.

A lightbulb went off in my head. I thought “This is exactly what trading is like”.
This is what it feels like to press your winners.

Some technical items you need to do the Dad Move

First, you need to have full confidence in what you are able to do, what your system can produce.

Second, you need resolve. You need to be able to sit there and hold the intensity. As long as it takes.

Third, You need to have a way of adding and “auto managing” your positions. My entry determines my stop, simple as that. My target, when I feel like I’ve got them pined.

Building the Dad Path

Another important lesson for me in adding to winners came from a simple Coin Flip game.

One evening, I grabbed a kid (I have three), we drew out a graph and played this game on paper.

The Rules: If the coin flips heads, bet 10. If you win, bet 20.
This is a reverse martingale betting structure and, if timing works out and you catch a trend, can have serious implications to your PnL.

We did this a few nights and I ran this above linked simulator a while. This build a habit of adding to winning positions but also getting used to the consequences of the method. It’s not for everyone. You can take some big slaps. I might even say, it’s for Dad’s only. This game created an action path or habit where, once in a trade, I was able to open up the same path and add (even aggressively) to my positions.

The Bigger Lesson

Yes, this has been important for my trading. Maybe more important however is the idea that being a Dad isn’t in conflict with my work. In fact, it feeds my work, makes me better with my time and demands a higher standard for my efforts.

Many traders out there need perfect conditions to trade.

I do not. I am a Dad after all.

There are times where other things take priority and trading is on the back burner. More importantly, allowing the human elements of life work their way into my every day flow has slowed me down, made me more thoughtful and come up with some very interesting solutions.

So next time you find yourself in a trade where you clearly have the advantage, do the Dad thing and really stick it to ’em.