Do you ever have those days where your trading just appears so cack-handed that everything you touch just doesn't do what you thought it so obviously should or what everyone else told you it would? Out last post touched on the "meh"ness of the markets as summer doldrums take hold. In these environments the sensible thing to do is to leave well alone and let core positions grind out their dividend or coupon. What you should NOT do is think that you are capable of trading new things due to bored curiosity. They really should be left to others.
It is with this in mind that TMM ask you to read the following account of their weekend experiences as a parable on such dealing foolery. [market comparative notes in brackets]
And so it came to pass that the UK's weekend sporting victories and resulting "you can achieve anything if you try" mood, drove TMM to venture forth and attempt some DIY. (Do It Yourself - A quaint pastime which ensures the livelihoods of home improvement superstore staff and a variety of professional builders and decorators who will ultimately be called in to repair the resulting mess). The wood rot at the bottom of the French windows would surely be no match for supreme confidence and minimal experience.
All progressed well as the rot was excavated with sharp tools leaving gaping holes ready for filling. [books and funds identified that can take the trade].
The next hour was filled fighting traffic and like minded fools with a trip to the local town's DIY superstore to buy wood hardener and filler. [check and set up lines with counterparts]
The application of the hardener was progressing well [deals initiated and so far so good]
Until the fast drying "super glue" type solvents resulted in the pot sticking to the fingers tipping the contents over the sill and terrace. [first "oh its probably just a dip" moment]
At which point Mrs TMM pops out and remarks on the staining and asks what is to be done about it [Boss asks why you have picked up some untidy losses and please do something about it].
Remedial attention with soapy water fails so gasoline is fetched from the garage. [oh this is getting inconvenient]
Stains finally removed after heavy scrubbing followed by a caustic degreaser (a product that dramatically degreases skin too) [annoying non correlated attributes finally tidied up]
Finally dry out the flagstones to reveal the bits missed which have to be attacked with acetone [convinced now that ALL annoying non correlated bits tidied up]
Wash brushes with same solvents in the utility room resulting in complaints from Mrs. TMM about the solvent stinks [Boss asks whether you know what you are doing and why the group books still smell]
Move on to the filler. Open the tin to find the catalyst/hardener you need to mix in is missing. Have to go back into town to exchange tin for a complete one, wasting another hour [Middle office calls to say not all the docs you needed to do the trade were in place]
Finally return home and mix the filler following the interesting instructions of "squeeze out 38mm of hardener and mix with a golf ball volume (38mm diameter) of filler". The filler is too runny to go ball shaped so its all very hit and miss. [realise that maybe this trade really wasn't such a good idea as pretty difficult to manage]
Start filling but find there is only a 15 second window between too runny to stay in place and too clumpy which results in dragging setting clumps through soft unset parts resulting in a moon like surface and chunks glooping back on to the terrace and sill (and no, we didn't masking tape it first). [Jeez why isn't this instrument doing what it said it would. I thought this would be easy. My book's becoming mess]
Every new batch of mixed filler is clagging on the once smooth pallet knife which is now growing into a solid epoxy ball devoid of straight edges with it's own gravitational field attracting half set clumps resulting in an apocalyptic mess of setting epoxy a fraction of which is where it should be [Ok I just want out of this trade but unpicking all my hedges is going to be horrendous]
Decide that more is better than less so liberal application ends up with a window that looks as though it's been sprayed with quick set concrete diarrhoea. Spend another hour chipping the stuff off self and tools, blocking the kitchen sink in the process [Trade is now locked down in a passive state hopefully not going anywhere but it's been a hell of struggle and you really wish you hadnt gone anywhere near it]
Mrs. approaches and is kinder than you were expecting "There dear, I really appreciate you trying. Don't worry that you just aren't very good at it" [Boss allows you to keep your job and warns you not to trade stuff you don't know, but unfortunately you and he know you owe him]
The moral of the story? Nice days are for going out and enjoying oneself, not embarking on foolish projects.
So with that we are off to the pub.