Keegz. If I sum him up in one word, it’s mensch. Family man, amateur boxer, futures & stock trader, among other things he does. I’m going to share summed up principles of what I’ve picked up from talking to “Keegz” because a lot of it is further confirmation of often repeated principles for succeeding in business & life. Although, in this case those principles are embodied in someone I’ve seen sleep on an office floor, aggressively bang on his desk and cheer on the market, and I’ve also seen his actual results. Whatever you’ve seen traders make on random Youtube channels pales in comparison to some of the positions Keegz has put on.
Primacy of Experience
I don’t know how else to name this, perhaps “small experiments” or “small bets.” It’s similar to what Sam Kirsner does. For example, if you want to learn to trade stocks, what do you do? Some people might spend inordinate amounts of time researching and thinking about how to approach it. Keegz when learning to trade stocks relatively quickly opens up accounts and puts up some amount of money he’s willing to lose then starts “hitting around” in them to “see what I can do.” This is not a mindless process, it’s just one that ensures constant feedback. Start with a small idea and make constant incremental tests and put something at stake, otherwise you’re just building up theoretical castles in the air without any solid basis. This approach means it’s more like laying brick by brick and ensuring the castle is solid and built on something real.
Another case for having responsibility and having something at stake. When you have something you hold dear, something meaningful, every activity that sustains that meaningful thing becomes more important. For Keegz, that’s his family. A lot of the energy he gets to continue fighting for him comes from his family and kids. It’s easy to get to a point where you lose interest in something or just give up out of frustration and defeat. One (of a few things) that holds Keegz to account and motivates him to keep fighting (in trading) is his family.
Keegz told me a story of when he used to train at his boxing gym he’d always want to pair up with whoever was best so he could learn from them. Losing is not losing, but a lesson. It’s an aggression that’s willing to take risks and not see each loss as a catastrophic defeat. He also has a strong sense of inner confidence: that he’ll figure things out. This is not something that can be taught, but a character that has to be cultivated. For Keegz, that’s something that has come with his life experiences, e.g., from competing in amateur boxing.
Why is this helpful? Well I can share just one example: Keegz was once offside an enormous amount in futures – an amount that would cause the average person and probably most traders cardiac arrest – and he stayed up for 16 hours straight and made it all back and more. Personally, I’ve sometimes been so mentally crushed I ended up taking a whole week off when losing 1/4 or less of what he was offside for.
What can anyone takeaway from this? Attitude matters. Don’t worry if you don’t have an attitude that matches someone better than you. Just seek to cultivate that same attitude piece-meal, bit by bit. And learn from those that are better than you. Ask them questions. Try and look at things how they do. Learn from them.
Feedback & Notes
Yes, Keegz is all about experiments and experience but he also takes extensive notes. He is alert. He’s watching what other markets are doing at what times. He keeps a diary for his trading.
You might get the impression that Keegz is all about “intuition” like Sam Kirsner is. But he similarly has specific strategies built from a keen perception. Some of the things he’s shared with me have not been obvious to me even though I’ve sometimes looked at that same market that he is.
Mike Bella’s ‘One Good Trade’ for the diary templates.