a reluctant automated trader

for an...err...automated trader, i tend to be reluctant to automate things.

a few reasons:

when other traders watch me do my thing, it looks like I have a bunch of unnecessary repetitive manual processes that could and should be automated.

"automate the boring stuff" they have been told.

so, they want to automate things or make me tools to help.

i appreciate this, but I don't usually want it.


because what looks like a rigid repetitive process is not really.

it's just what I'm currently doing.

but it's exploration. It's going through the line items, it's asking questions, it's dealing with the certainty i'm losing edge.

if you looked in a few weeks it'll look slightly different. flexibility is incredibly important.

if you automate and optimize my current process you set it in stone.

but I never considered it "The Process" in the first place, just what I was currently doing.

the thing I'm trying to optimize is my interest in and connection to the data and flexibility in adapting to it.

in many cases "the process" itself is the point, not the output of it.

the process of manually doing pnl attribution or a portfolio var estimate is the valuable bit... not the numbers that get spat out at the end.

automate that entirely and you take out the thing that keeps you connected.

if you lose touch, you lose edge. that is a certainty. There is no "set and forget" ever.

now... certainly there exist boring repetitive things that can and should be automated.

just be careful you know what they, are and what you're giving up when you do.