I was the summer intern at Eaton Vance, in the Strategic Income Fund team a few summers ago. Taking my job very seriously, I did everything to make sure that my duties were carried out to absolute perfection with attention to every detail. After a few weeks, the team got used to having everything in order; and I realized that I had created a process where I could have a few hours free at the end of every day to ask questions, check the markets, read the hundreds of research papers that came to our group, and learn. I tried to learn as much as I could from this small group of very bright people who managed two mutual funds.
At the end of the summer, I received Victor Niederhoffer’s book The Education of a Speculator as a farewell gift. In addition to all the wisdom in the book, there are a few notes inside the front cover and the farewell card.
“From one amateur speculator to another…”
“I’m sure you’ll succeed in your American adventure…”
“I hope you’ll know what Victor means – come back and visit when you’re rich…”
“Just remember the market could go up or it could go down…”
Over the years, I have often remembered these last three parting wishes. I have not visited them yet and will probably not visit for quite some time. I’m still working on the achievements but having just read The Crisis & What to Do About It by George Soros, I have a long way to go. And there’s not a day (especially today) when I don’t remember the last reminder…