I've reached my limit and I just
have got to ask: Isn't running money supposed to be a
meritocracy? Would you even believe me if I told you that the
highest performing PM in my fund is getting treated like
Well believe me, because it is me!
I don't know if someone is jealous or if I pissed off the Gods
but in the span of six months, I've had two of my best analysts
pulled from me, my windowed office now belongs to a sycophant,
and getting more capital feels just like it did back when I had
a few mil and a short track record.
Last year I was up 11% and this
year I'm tracking at 16%. The firm, however, is mired in the
mid-single digits. What is going on here? More importantly,
what should I do?
You are absolutely right! This makes NO sense!
Nevertheless, you've got two choices: Figure out
who doesn't like you and ask straight away to discuss it with
them...or leave. With the first, prepare yourself to hear
things you vehemently disagree with. This won't be easy but you
are trying to decode others' perception of you and this takes a
resolve against defensiveness (i.e., don't look or act like
Obama in his first debate).
Truthfully, however, I'd also like to know if you
have ever felt this way before. Is the experience familiar or
repetitive in any way? Did you perform the best on your
basketball team but not always get invited for beer? If so,
consider that what's called "projection" is involved. This is
when we feel a certain way but believe the other person feels
that way. Rarely do we realize we are accusing others of
feeling how we feel. We then act on our misperception and in
turn indeed induce others to treat us how we unconsciously want
to treat them. I know, it gets a little confusing. But if you
were honest with yourself, are there people--your CIO for
instance--whom if you had your way you would be pushing out of
the corner office?
Once you've acquired more intel--on them and on
yourself--you've got to ask yourself, is this fixable?
Clearly merit counts more in some places than others. The
human brain is a very social thing. So-called cultural fit
can surreptitiously trump every other
factor. My guess is, in the end, the only plausible solution is
to find a firm where a number of eccentrics coexist. This will
prove that performance counts most and you will be a lot
Readers are invited to write to trading coach
Denise Shull, a recognized expert in risk psychology and author
of Market Mind Games. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newly-minted PM asks "What's the point?" -
Avoiding afternoon impotence -
When the shadow boxes back