THURSDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 2017
As I’m brushing my teeth, I think of an episode of a series on the crime channel about a man who had mysteriously fallen to his death while on his honeymoon on a cruise ship. Perhaps it was an accident. Or, perhaps it was a group of Russian-American men who had helped him in his drunken stupor to his cabin at four o’clock in the morning and then decided to rob him of the $17,000 in cash which he had boasted about, and threw him over the balcony when he tried to resist.
Whatever happened, one thing is certain: The man unfortunately did certain things that had increased the probability that something bad would happen. He had after all been very drunk when he started staggering back to his cabin, alone – except for the group of men who were certainly not his friends.
I thought how he had passed one red flag situation after another, and unfortunately for him he did not take the appropriate counteractions.
The idea of red-flag situations reminded me of my rules for pre-race trading on the UK horse racing market. I realised that these rules can often be applied to life in general.
The rules are as follows: 1) carefully consider a situation before you enter it; 2) manage red-flag situations in a calm and controlled manner; 3) if things don’t look good, get out as soon as possible; 4) do not be greedy (don’t take unnecessary risks when your actions have already produced a decent result).
In the case mentioned, if the unfortunate man had indeed been a victim of foul play, it could be said that there were a few aspects of his final ill-fated night that he had probably not seriously considered; when he found himself in red-flag situations, he either did not take any countermeasures or he was incapable of doing anything about it; at some point, things had definitely not looked good for him, but for various reasons he could not extricate himself from the situation (anymore); and seeing that he was actually in a very favourable situation prior to this series of events, being on his honeymoon on a luxury cruise ship, it could be suggested that it was an unnecessary excess to drink so heavily on that fateful night.
Rules certainly make for a boring life at times, but it cannot be denied that they can save you from financial ruin, and occasionally keep you from getting into trouble you may not be able to get out of.