An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Have you ever taken a structured break from your trading, not unlike that of an academic sabbatical?

For some one who spends their time tracking and trading the markets it seems like there is never enough time to do the reading and research necessary to advance one’s trading knowledge.  In this situation stagnation, or burnout if you like, is a likely outcome.

This was point was driven home this week when we read that El Bulli, the famed Spanish restaurant known for its widely creative cuisine announced it was going to close in two years time.  The chef/owner Ferran Adria plans to take time to re-balance his life, invest in R&D and find new ways of doing business.  (Matt Goulding in the Wall Street Journal has an interview with Adria.)

Most people would agree that cuisine as practiced by the likes of Adria is a highly creative endeavor.  We would argue that same thing could be said about trading as well.  However the relentless desire to be in front a trading screen can detract from the time needed to have some balance in one’s life and generate some measure of creativity.

Where one looks for that regeneration is a highly personal decision.  Academics take sabbaticals to study, write and sometimes teach.  For some it may mean physically going some place else.  For others it may mean holing up with a stack of books, or Kindle, you have been neglecting. The point being that traders are unlikely to do their best thinking in front a bank of monitors.

If Ferran Adria can close El Bulli, which has been named the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine for four years in a row, you can take a few days away from trading to as Benjamin Franklin puts it to “invest in knowledge.”