“Pai Kuei, a native of Zhou, enjoyed looking out for seasonal changes. What others spurned he took, what others sought he supplied. At harvest time he bought in grain and sold silk and lacquer, when cocoons came on the market he bought in raw silk and sold grain.
When he wanted more money, Pai Kuei bought inferior grain; when he wanted to increase his stock, he bought good seeds. He spent little on food and drink, curbing his appetite and sharing the hardships and pleasures of his slaves, but seizing on any chance of gain as fiercely as some wild beast or bird of prey.
He said, ‘I do business in the same way that Yi Yin and Lu Shang planned their policies, Sunzi and Wu Chi made war, and Lord Shang applied the law. If men lack the intelligence to change with the times, the courage to make quick decisions, the magnanimity to give things away and the strength to hold what they have, though they want to learn my art I will not teach them.’
So all the world knows Pai Kuei as the father of business management. He set a standard for those who wanted to learn from him, and accepted only those who came up to this standard. He did not teach everyone.”
[Records of the Historian – HY and Gladys Yang]
Some trading tips from an ancient. Study them well, if you want to win. If we understand the underlying principles, they are no different from what real successful traders have done over the past two centuries on whom books have been written.
Though one has a head start of many years, I still fail to grasp the basics. After reading the trading strategies of Pai Kuei, the father of business management during ancient times, readers will have an equal opportunity to search for excellence in trades.