In summary, there are several important themes developed by Sun Tzu as they can be applied to portfolio management and risk management challenges.
Strategic Planning And Rational Analysis
Planning based on rational analysis of the best quality information available.
Importance Of Information And Related Processing Capability
Secure the best information available. Protect the sources and processing capabilities from compromise.
Importance Of Knowledge, Wisdom, And Understanding
A theme that is imbedded in virtually every other theme, especially in regard to knowing self and opposition.
Study The Past, Market Analysis, Develop And Maintain An "Edge"
Leads to knowledge, which, if properly focused, can lead to success.
Strive to become the superior force in more than mere numbers. This is achieved through focused knowledge and experience, which, in turn, is gained by studying and observing situations, conditions, people, and events; remembering what was observed; comparing the observations to one another as well as to contemporary circumstances; and by disciplined application of the results of the observations in the pursuit of strategic objectives.
Know yourself, your opposition, and the environment within which interaction will occur.
Staying Focused On Strategic Objectives
Keep attention of all resources and related action focused on achieving strategic objectives as promptly as possible. Avoid becoming distracted by the nuances and intricacies of implementing complex strategies and tactics.
Suitability Of Strategies And Tactics To Situation
Match the suitability of strategies and tactics to the market's phase, section, pattern, and volatility.
Inherent Advantages And Disadvantages
Understand, and guard against, the inherent disadvantage in every advantageous situation. Likewise, be alert to capitalizing on advantages that occur in distressed situations.
Opportunistic Flexibility In Adapting Strategies And Tactics To Situation
The way to capitalize on the endless opportunities created by ever-changing market conditions, is to become engaged as a part of a well thought out trading plan and be flexible in adapting tactics to those ever-changing market conditions within the context of each pre-determined strategy.
Be moral and ethical in all things.
Rely On Your Own Preparation
Rely on your own preparations. Do not hope for success based on the opposition not preparing.
Develop a balanced management skill set to enable prudent resource utilization.
Minimize emotional influences (hope, fear, greed).
Disciplined Organization And Financial Management
Discipline, efficient, and effective organization, and utilization of all resources (people, plans, tools, capital), in the capacity to which they are best suited, in all situations, is critical to success.
Ensure appropriate financing and provisioning of all activities (prior to and during).
Ensure clear communication in all aspects of the development, testing, and implementation of strategies and tactics.
Deception And "Shaping"
Practice deception in plans, strategy, and tactics, and its corollary;
Avoidance Of Being Deceived And "Shaped"
Take precautionary steps to avoid being deceived by the opposition.
Reward, Replenish, And Invest In Support Structure
After a successful strategy, be sure to allocate appropriate parts of the profits to all resources employed in the portfolio management and risk management activity.
Patience, Positioning, And Timing
Develop patience and discipline in positioning and timing the use of all resources in adapting to ever-changing circumstances.
Avoidance Of Catastrophic Loss
Avoid catastrophic mistakes, by promptly adapting strategies and tactics to current circumstances, thereby, keeping the consequences of mistakes small and manageable.
Preservation And Protection Of Resources
At all times, and especially when strategies are in play, seek to keep all resources in profitable and advantageous positions. Likewise, quickly liquidate unprofitable positions and minimize exposure to situations with inordinate risk to uncertain market movements.