“You’re at where you’re at” is a saying you hear around traders. Traders look at things differently than investors. A trader’s existence is reliant upon their investable capital. They put their capital to work over short term periods to gain returns or profit as a business, so they can take on greater risk and keep growing. Dead capital does them no good.
The opposite view of the trader is a position by position perspective. An investor works oppositely in most cases, since an investor’s living expenses are covered by some other means of work and not trading, and can wait out positions that aren’t working currently. Yet, investors can learn a lot from the “you’re at where you’re at” view by traders.
The reason a trader’s view can be useful generally occurs during major market disruptions. When market disruptions occur they can affect most investments in a dramatic way irrespective of the investments fundamentals. As the investor is focused on the viability of the business, the trader is focused on the current opportunities at hand.
Market sell offs
When a market sells off, it can warrant looking around to determine if there may be a better opportunity for your money. If you are evaluating your capital position by position this can be hard to do, but when you take your total capital first as the preferred view then selling out of a position to move to something which may offer a better opportunity can be useful.
Good examples of this would be the 2007-2008 financial crisis or the recent 2020 covid crisis. The market sold off taking every stock with it. It created opportunities some better than others, and some faster than others.
You’re at apples
Sometimes thinking about the bucket of apples versus the apple by apple view can be better when making choices. When you have a bucket of apples, changing one apple for a new one doesn’t seem like such a huge endeavor, yet if you only have one apple then trading it for another could be a tougher decision.