The Commander's Intent

From the Battlefield to Trading Screens

The (Trader's) Commander's Intent

I heard this phrase recently and it intrigued me. In simple terms, as I understand it, it’s a statement from the top that guides every decision on the battlefieldThe idea is that no matter what happens, what goes wrong, that commander’s intent remains the purpose.

All decisions regardless of how small should align with that intent.

In trading our commander’s intent tends to default to “make money”. So, all small decisions are made in alignment with that objective. I believe that to be a mistake.

We should be more intentional than that. Sure, making money is our long-term objective, but above all else? Probably not. If we didn’t care about anything but making money we’d probably take the highest risk trades possible. Full position on a tech stock over earnings for example… After all, if money is all that matters, risk doesn’t come into it.

Of course, I’m exaggerating the point, but you get the idea…

Our commander’s intent can be much smarter:

  1. To stick to my trading rules no matter what
  2. To trade in alignment with the trader I am becoming
  3. To make as much as possible whilst risking £X

These are so much better.

A north star to guide all of your trading decisions to serve you long term.

A trader’s commander’s intent.

What’s yours?

If anyone who has served in the military would like to share any strategies or methods they used that could be applied to trading, please do send me an email.

Hat tip to Kaan for sharing the idea of an OODA loop with me.

Which I recently discussed on the podcast.

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