In this Beyond The Trades Interview we will be discussing some very important trading disciplines that mirror those in the hard fought boxing and life arena.
By Developing mental fortitude and true confidence ….Not Caring What Anyone Thinks Is A Superpower – Ed Latimore
QUESTION – Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Q & A session. Before we start in detail. Would you like to share with everyone who may not know, who you are, what you do, where you live, work and your experience trading or investing?
ED: Thank you for having me. My name is Ed Latimore and I’m a bit of a polymath. What I believe makes me interesting (at least interesting enough for you to interview) is that my areas of demonstrated proficiency are in fairly disparate domains.
For 12 years I was a heavyweight boxer. As an amateur, I won my state Golden Gloves in 2011, then the National Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) tournament in 2012. I’m not a police officer, but this tournament is sponsored by the Police Athletic League was one of the significant national amateur titles. As a professional I went 13-1-1 before retiring from the sport to focus on other activities.
During my time as a boxer, I completed an undergraduate degree in Physics and served 4 years in National Guard Pennsylvania division of United States Army , attaining the rank of Specialist. I’ve authored 4 books, including one about sobriety (as of this interview, I’m 5 years sober) and another on writing for Twitter (the social media platform where I’ve amassed 72k followers and I continue to grow).
I live in Pittsburgh, PA and I currently work for myself on the internet in marketing and writing. I also tutor high schoolers in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. I don’t have any investing or trading experience, but I believe that’s what makes me such an interesting profile for Beyond the Trades
QUESTION – We also understand you are a professional heavyweight boxer with a very good record. Do you still box? Any interesting stories you like to share?
ED: Boxing improved my life in every possible way. I learned how to interact with different people and remain committed and disciplined, even when things are not easy. I developed fitness habits and the belief that I can learn anything. Although there isn’t a lot of money in boxing, it also provided me with enough of a financial cushion to make other serious changes in my life.
As great as it’s been for me, I no longer box professionally. I’ve chosen to focus my energies in other places where I believe I can make a bigger impact without enduring as much punishment. One thing professional boxing did for me was expose me to many different people and perspectives. The most lasting lesson came from hearing UFC and film star Randy Couture speak about dealing with losing.
He told a group I was training with in Los Angeles leading up to the 2012 National Championships, “If the worst thing that happens to you in your life is that you lose a fight, then I’d say that your life has been pretty good”. This lesson made such an impact on me that I built a keynote speech around it last year.
That lesson put the rest of my training–and really, my life–in the proper perspective. I’ve suffered some painful injuries and embarrassing losses since then, but these words taught me to focus on how fortunate I am to even be able to fight. I took this as a great lesson for boxing and for life.
QUESTION – What failure or setback both professionally and personally have you experienced that has set you up for latter success?
ED: Professionally, getting knocked out in the first round of my television debut was the greatest professional setback I suffered, regardless of the domain. Aside from the embarrassment, I also got cut from my promoter (Roc Nation Sports). This meant that my income instantly stopped. I was physically injured, had nothing saved, and I wanted to return to school to finish my degree.
However, I missed the deadline for an internship position using my physics degree and no one would hire me at a part-time wage high enough for me to pay my bills and feed myself. I took a job delivering packages for Amazon for $10 an hour. It was cold and miserable, but I needed to buy some time until I figured something out.
Well, my time got cut short when my delivery van had a malfunction, rolled down the hill, and nearly flattened me. This actually wasn’t that bad, except the company just sent another van out for me to deliver my load, gave me the next day off, and didn’t even check to make sure I wasn’t under the influence of anything (standard protocol when driving accidents occur in any delivery position).
At that moment, I decided I was too intelligent and talented to live this way. I quit immediately and got to work figuring out something. I took another fight (which resulted in a draw) and then I managed to get my first tutoring clients.
Tutoring saved me. Not only could I charge enough per hour to cover my bills, but I was able to continue it through my final semesters of school. Because I started tutoring, I got inspired to strive toward working for myself. Until that point in my life, my goal was to get a nice job that paid well. However, my dream was to have the freedom of working for myself. Interestingly enough, having my back against the wall is inspired me to chase the lifestyle that I live today.
QUESTION – You come across as very humble and honest as we understand you share your story to many others for inspiration. Could you tell us briefly about your story. What you have overcome and where it is leading you into now.
ED: I always say that I got to live 3 different lives. There is my childhood (0-18), my young adulthood (18-27), and now (I’m 34). Though each phase taught me different specific things, the broader and recurring theme is that of overcoming setbacks. Dealing with these setbacks has fostered humility and gratitude within me.
In each phase, I’ve overcome things that many people find insurmountable. I believe that people are inspired by my experience with these challenges as well as what I did to overcome them that others find.
I grew up as poor as you can possibly be in America. I lived in public housing projects, was on welfare, and grew up in a neighborhood riddled with gang violence. I managed to navigate this environment without becoming another statistic. The irony of growing up in the ghetto is that it taught me the value of a level head and respectful attitude.
I hated this place. That hatred gave motivated me to make sure that I’d never end up back there. Part of that was staying out of trouble and learning to plan for the future. I also mastered the balancing act of accepting help from others who saw potential in me but never expecting assistance from those closest to me.
From 18-27, I struggled with alcoholism. While this is when I learned how to box, I was also a wreck. I drank excessively, frequently, and I didn’t make any real progress in my life. If it wasn’t for boxing, I would have truly be a loser with nothing to show for myself. I cared more about acceptance from others because I never felt like I fit in anywhere.
I find that excessive drinking is one the hallmarks of people who yearn for acceptance. I cared too much what other people thought and it was blocking my progress in life.
On December 22nd, 2013, I had my final drink. I decided that I wanted to have a life I was proud of. I was tired of being a loser. I was 28 and still working for $10/hr at a T-Mobile with zero opportunities for something better. I focused on finishing my degree, serving in the Army, boxing, writing, and my relationship.
I wanted to build a life of substance and respect. So far, I think I’ve accomplished that.
People can find inspiration in what I’ve been through, where I currently am, and where I’ll be in the future. However, it’s because of where I’ve been and my knowledge of how bad it can get that I remain humble throughout the journey.
QUESTION– How would you describe what makes a successful Trader, Investor and does boxing mirror any of these same skills – keeping in mind that it has been reported that 90% of traders fail.
ED: It’s my understanding that success as a trader or investor requires a high level of discipline and self-control. Above all, you must ignore your emotions when they are the most volatile. This is my understanding of what it takes to be successful in those professions.
Boxing requires the same emotional control. A boxer must learn to override his basic instincts and reactions so that he may become a finely tuned weapon. A fighter who can’t keep a cool head won’t have a head for long. The physical training of boxing is grueling, but the difficulty of the mental preparation is what I believe leads to the downfall of many fighters.
If you lack emotional discipline and control, you won’t force yourself to go through with your training. You’ll get angry when you get hit and frustrated when something doesn’t come easy. You won’t stay committed to your fight plan and you won’t be able to will yourself through the pain and fatigue during battle.
Physical attributes are important, but mastery and knowledge of self is paramount. It doesn’t matter how big, strong, or fast you are if you can’t control your diet and train everyday. I imagine it is similar in trading and investing. All the brilliance in the world counts for nothing if you’re controlled by fear and superstition.
QUESTION : What is the role in having a balance all around life in your day to day activities. What hobbies do you enjoy?
ED: I don’t necessarily follow the idea of living a “balanced life”. Instead, I focus on doing things I consider important to my happiness. To me, happiness is freedom, growth, and close relationships.
As a result, my days are spent working on income generating projects, in the gym, playing chess, studying a foreign language (right now, Portuguese in preparation for my move there this summer), and spending time with girlfriend (who is a Portuguese citizen). I catch up with one of my friends at least once a week for conversation. I also try to see my mom that about that often.
I love going to the movie theatre and eating a big tub of popcorn. I’m also a big fan of museums, the opera, and the symphony. I also enjoy ice cream in a waffle cone in the summer. I focus on the few things that give me great enjoyment. Maybe some would call it a balanced life, but I’ve never thought of it that way.
QUESTION – What advice would you give your younger self ?
ED: While I’m happy with who I am, I wish that I didn’t have to make so many damn mistakes to get here. That’s alright, I suppose. Mistakes are the only the way to learn. I’d tell myself two very important things: don’t touch alcohol and never try to impress anyone.
If I had followed that advice in my twenties, who knows where I’d be by now. I might rule the world.
QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in life?
ED:I spend a lot of time on social media and I have a huge network, so I always see little bits of advice about various parts of life. Right now, the best piece of advice that’s floating around is warning young people about going to college. A college degree was once the ticket to a better quality of life. Now, in most cases, the return on investment isn’t worth the debt that it carries.
I believe that most people should now spend their time learning skills and trades. Or forgo college until they figure out what path they want to take. The first time I tried to take the traditional route of going straight to college at 18, I had no idea what I wanted or why I was there. As a result, I failed out in 3 semesters. My second time around was much more productive and I actually graduated.
As for popular advice that’s bad, I don’t think your youth should be used for “finding yourself”, making mistakes, and generally goofing off. The longer you wait to get your life on track, the harder it gets. Time simultaneously reinforces bad habits while lowering your baseline for comfort. If you spend your early twenties partying and working low class jobs that don’t challenge you, you will get used to this.
Furthermore, you’ve lost the most important asset: Time.
QUESTION – What are your favorite books to read and why?
ED: My favorite books are those that increase my natural advantages. I believe that I’m a superior communicator and teacher, so my favorite books help me explore how people learn, think, and communicate.
I’ve stacked most of my books away as I’m preparing to move, but the ones I’ve kept out are as follows: Skin In The Game, A Mind For Numbers, How to Not Be Wrong With the Power of Mathematical Thinking, The Joy of Pi, and The Art of Learning.
I also really enjoy reading fiction. My two favorites are Michael Crichton and Agatha Christie, though I’m starting to get into Ernest Hemingway.
QUESTION – When you have lost your mojo or focus , what do you do to get back on track?
ED: While I never lose my motivation, I will occasionally have lapses in focus. Whenever this happens, I meditate or go for a walk. The idea is to get in motion without stress. If I can do this, then I’m able to refocus myself and get back to work.
Also, I also believe that the best cure is prevention. I try to keep myself from losing motivation by chopping large tasks into smaller components. Each component I finish gives me a little surge of motivation. I’m a big fan of getting several small wins that accumulate. Building momentum this way makes it easier to smash my goals.
QUESTION – If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be.
ED: The difficulty of a task is irrelevant if it’s vital to your success.
Thank you Ed for taking the time to share some very insightful and valuble life wisdom to our trading community. And best of luck in your future endeavors.