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“I was a better portfolio manager being constrained.”

In the 1980’s, one man’s name was synonymous with actively traded bonds…

Bill Gross.

People think bonds are boring. And usually they’re right.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a lot of money there, if you know what you’re doing.

Gross announced his retirement this past week, after a long career that… hasn’t been very successful in recent years.

His funds underperformed, and he struggled with a difficult divorce. (He allegedly hid dead fish in air vents and sprayed fart spray in the house after his wife (allegedly) took a $35 million original Picasso painting. Ouch.)

But they don’t call him the Bond King for nothing… His history speaks for itself.

In 1981, he bet heavily on declining interest rates and profited handsomely.

And in 2008, he did something crazy…

Gross bought mortgage-backed debt sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Right when everyone else was trying to get out of it.

His funds made $1.7 billion when the government stepped in. Pretty good for a “boring” investment.

And speaking of boring investments, Gross is expected to personally make over $50 million over the coming years through something even more boring than bonds…

His stamp collection.

Gross most recently managed the Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund. And as we said, performance was not good.

When asked about this lack of success, Gross said something we can all learn from…

“I was a better portfolio manager being constrained.”

Constraints can take the form of a specific trading strategy. A series of rules and patterns. Software or algorithms. Anything that focuses your efforts.

The lesson?

Don’t try to do everything in your investments.

Sometimes it’s better to pick a specific approach and stick with it. Even when you see others making money elsewhere.

Gross learned this the hard way.

At least he has that stamp collection to fall back on!

Lessons like this are why we created the new Top Shelf Traders.

To find the best approach for you, you need to know what’s out there. You need to know what other traders are doing, and what kind of results they’re getting.

You need information. And you need to try a lot of things to see what works for your personal trading style.

That’s what Top Shelf Traders brings you every week.

It may not make you America’s next bond king (and that’s really not our goal), but it will expose you to ideas that can make you a better trader.

Top Shelf Traders is where money making traders teach.

P.S. – Join the Discussion.

We want to hear YOUR trading stories.

Good or bad…(We all have both).

Just reply to this email with your best/worst trading story.

We can’t wait to read them.

(And we may feature it in a future email.)