Dykstra: Discipline Key in Facing Life's Curveballs
Updated from 12:04 p.m. EST
As mentioned in previous columns, I am forever seeking a competitive edge in order to maximize my chances for success. This begins with impeccable preparation, which commences at 5:30 a.m. each morning, and rarely culminates prior to midnight. But regardless of how well prepared you are, life has an uncanny way of presenting you with situations in which your preparation is virtually worthless.
In essence, my strategy is to stay disciplined, regardless of the situation. This approach has served me well throughout my career, be it baseball, my various businesses or investing. Discipline allowed me to develop into the consummate leadoff hitter. I saw more pitches than anybody in the history of Major League Baseball during the magical 1993 season with the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies. This was directly attributable to the fact that I approached each at-bat with a plan. That plan had to be flexible in order to respond to the situation dictated by the scoreboard.
In other words, you must have a strategy to deal not only with the expected, but perhaps more importantly, a strategy to deal with the unexpected.Discipline yourself, as I do, to always play the percentages, thereby creating that competitive edge that is integral to success. Furthermore, recognize, acknowledge, and accept when the percentages are not in your favor, so that you do not take on unnecessary risk. Unfortunately, precious few of us are truly clairvoyant; therefore, we are bound to pick stocks that will go down in price. When this inevitability occurs, I believe in stopping the losses from the start and moving on. Remember, this can happen only through a disciplined approach, which for my trading means:
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV