Southern California is the birthplace of Del Taco, a fast-food joint where my friends and I ate many a meal during our formative years.
As you might guess from the name, which translates to “of the taco,” the food isn’t exactly authentic.
Their menu consists mostly of what could be described as American-style Mexican food (tacos and burritos), with some classic American fare (burgers and fries) sprinkled in.
That former category was my wheelhouse growing up, particularly the Del Beef Burrito, which I could freely slather in their spiciest hot sauce – Del Inferno – without a concern, thanks to a cast-iron stomach.
But a few years back, my formerly robust stomach began to lose its impervious nature - a common occurrence when you cross the half-century mark and still eat the same way you did as a teenager – necessitating a visit to a gastroenterologist.
I had a series of tests done and then went to meet with the doctor to get the results.
“Mr. Lund,” he began, “I think we can do something about your problem.”
“Great,” I said, pulling out my notepad, ready to write down the details of my new medications and diet plan.
“What I want you to do,” he said.
“Yes?” I replied.
“Is first thing each morning…”
“Eat some yogurt.”
After a long pause, I replied, “Okay. And what else?”
“That’s it,” he said.
“That’s it?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “We need to re-set your metabolic clock to get your stomach in sync with your brain.”
“Hmm,” I said. “That’s all I need to do?”
And with that, he delivered the line that guarantees that no matter how delusional you are, you’re now old.
“Well, it wouldn’t hurt to get some more fiber in your diet.”
Shocked but relieved by the apparent simplicity of the plan, I immediately headed to the grocery store to stock up, only to find that the business of producing this bacterium-filled fermentation of milk cultures had changed a lot since I’d last eaten it as a kid.
I was shocked by the number of brands. Intimidated by the number of styles.
“Hi, could you suggest a good yogurt?” I made the mistake of asking the hipster working the dairy case at Whole Foods.
“French, Greek, Australian, or Icelandic?” he asked.
“Uh, you got anything local?” I stammered.
“Domestic?” he snapped derisively. “Cow, sheep, or goat’s milk?”
“I guess cow,” I replied.
“Soy, almond, low fat, non-fat, vegan…”
After he finished navigating me through the identity politics of yogurt, I landed on a candidate – Oikos, a low-fat Greek-style with 27 different flavors.
Initially, I bought a variety. I felt like I had to.
Somewhere along the line, I had subliminally bought into the appropriate cliches.
“Variety is the spice of life.”
“Be bold and adventuresome.”
“Don’t get stuck in a rut.”
However, after a few weeks, I realized that I didn’t particularly like most of them and found myself disappointed when I pulled out a peach, a coconut crème, or a wild cherry.
But I did like strawberry.
It was balanced - not too sweet, not too bland – and had a smooth, creamy consistency every time, and most importantly, it did the job as intended.
Within a few months, all my stomach issues abated, and I was able to once again revisit my beloved Del Taco, though now I limit myself to their less intense Del Scorcho sauce.
One of the great things about having a newsletter is being able to interact with subscribers, and this week I got a call from one who is about to retire and wants to transition into full-time trading.
After asking why on earth he would make such an insane decision, we talked about the questions and concerns he has regarding this big move, specifically around the trading strategy he’s chosen.
He laid it all out for me, how it works, why he chose it, and how it helps him manage positions.
“What do you think of it,” he asked somewhat apprehensively.
It was a simple, well thought-out, risk-conscious strategy and I wanted to say, “you found your strawberry,” but without the context I just provided, it might have sounded a bit odd.
A common failing among traders, and one that I’ve been especially susceptible to over the years, is the desire to seek out exotic and outlier trading vehicles.
You can’t just stick with trading FAANG, you’ve got to trade that low float Albanian crypto stock instead.
But in the end, money is money, so why would you want to complicate the process?
Ever hear the saying, “all you need is Apple?”
Back in the day, I knew a trader who only traded Apple. And he made a ton of money doing so.
He got to know everything about the stock. How it moved at the open and near the close. Which intraday patterns worked best and which moving averages provided the most support on a daily chart.
He literally got to the point where he knew the personality of the stock - could feel its pulse - and used that knowledge to turn it into his own personal ATM.
His trading wasn’t bold. There was no variety. And though it may have felt like he was in a rut, it was a goddamn lucrative rut.
In today’s climate, it’s hard to ignore the fireworks going off on your trading screen each day.
Stocks are running harder and faster than we’ve seen in over 20 years and the idea of only trading a handful of stocks – let alone one - seems silly.
There’s a fear that if you do, you’ll be missing out – not on money, but on everything.
Unfortunately, this leads to overtrading, bad decision-making, and bad risk management. In this most forgiving of markets, you can get away with that.
But it won’t last forever.
So enjoy this market and take advantage of it while you can, but if you plan to be in the game for the long run, you might consider taking some time to learn how to get good at eating just strawberry.
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P.S. It should go without saying - but I’ll say it anyway - all opinions expressed in The Lund Loop are my own personal opinions and don’t reflect the views of my employer, any associated entities, or other organizations I’m associated with.
Nothing written, expressed, or implied here should be looked at as investment advice or an admonition to buy, sell, or trade any security or financial instrument. As always, do your own diligence.