Manages Parisian Family Office. Began Wall Street, 82. Founded investment firm, Native American Advisors. Member, White Earth Chippewa Tribe. Was NYSE/FINRA arb. Conservative. Raised on Native reservations. Pureblood, clot-shot free. In a world elevated on a tech-driven dopamine binge, he trades from Ghost Ranch on the Yellowstone River in MT, his TN farm, Pamelot or CASA TULE', his winter camp in Los Cabos, Mexico. Always been, and will always be, an optimist.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A wonderful tribute from Dr. Brett Steenbarger

April 22, 2006

It was shortly after I had come to Kingstree Trading, LLC in Chicago, and I was working with firm owner Chuck McElveen to set up a training program for new traders. I rode the Pace bus each day to the Metra station, where an express train picked up Lisle passengers and deposited them in the Chicago Loop. Across from me on the Pace bus was a young man reading a book about trading. He explained to me that he had come to Chicago from Texas to pursue a trading career. I was struck by his maturity, despite his young years: He had not yet turned 20.

I didn't tell him that I was setting up a training program, but instead let him do most the talking. His name was Derek Buending, and it was clear he did not have an easy life. His sister had died in a car accident, and the loss had taken a toll on the family. I was impressed that Derek talked much more about his concern for his parents than for himself. Here, I thought, is a good human being.

In time I told Derek who I was, and he eventually applied for and received a position in the first internship class at Kingstree. He worked diligently, maintaining a daily journal and meeting with me religiously to review his performance and improve his results. He understood risk management, and he especially understood that he had to earn the right to trade size. It wasn't long after he graduated the training program that Derek earned that right.

Like many in his family, we encouraged Derek to pursue a college education, and he decided to return to Texas and go to school. He made it clear that he would return to Chicago to continue his trading. Unfortunately, Derek did not have the opportunity to complete his education or return to Chicago. He died following a tragic car crash.

Today his family held a memorial service for Derek in Naperville. My wife, Margie, and I were there, and Chuck came in from Chicago--a gesture that showed his respect for Derek and his concern for his employees. We met Derek's mother Ani, who displayed bravery and heart in dealing with the loss of a second child.

Derek understood that there are several keys to developing trader success:

Finding a market you love and that fascinates and challenges you;
Making use of mentorship wherever it can be found, from teachers, coaches, and senior traders;
Having the patience to allow yourself to develop on a learning curve, first by practice trading in simulation mode; then by trading small; and only later with size;
Tracking your results relentlessly to figure out what you're doing right (so that you can do more of it) and what you need to improve;
Realizing that markets change and that we are all students of markets who need to learn and relearn patterns of supply and demand.

Derek understood trader performance. I will never forget him, or his eager talk over the bus rides, recounting trades and what he did right and wrong. Long life is guaranteed to none of us. Let us all resolve to live life to its fullest, like Derek: as performers who make the most of who and what we are in our chosen pursuits.

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