Sunday, April 15, 2012

End of Spring break, beginning of a new dawn

As Spring break comes to an end, it's now time for a new dawn.  It's time to start the engines back up and to get back into the groove of the markets with a new outlook.

One of my key goals was to not trade and to not even follow the markets.  But I have to admit, I had mixed results. 

Although I did not trade, I did start to put on some SIM trades starting Thursday night and a few trades on Friday.  However, I only focused about 20% of my time on the markets and ended up having one of my best SIM days ever.  In hindsight, I think there was a reason for that.


  • Read (or re-read) the following books on increasing my mental game:
    • Heads Up Baseball by Ken Ravizza and Tom Hanson
    • Inner Voice of Trading by Michael Martin
    • Market Mind Games by Denise Shull
    • High Performance Trading by Steve Ward
  • I'm finally beginning to understand why I have run into many of the psychological challenges from trading (primarily revenge trading)
    • One of the very interesting exercises Denise Shull recommends is one in which makes you think back your childhood, as well as your relationship with your mother and father.  I'll need much more time to really dig into those.
    • So my understanding and control is far from complete -- I've only just begun that journey, and it may take a lifetime to master.
  • Simply becoming aware of your emotions and recording them is key.  That then becomes a new data source, arguably more important than price!
  • Increase my physical health
    • Continued to attend cardio classes, at least 2-3 times a week.
    • Made a commitment by signing up for yoga classes 2 days a week during lunch.
  • Improve my diet
    • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables, partially by juicing, as well as new grocery lists.
  • (Re)discover other passions and interests outside of trading
    • I don't have a good counterbalance to trading.  So finding those other interesting may take longer time, but it is critical to my mental well being that I have a somewhat good balance of interests.
  • Clarify higher level goals and reasons for why I trade
    • Most of these goals eventually revolve around my family.  But I did not spend enough time during my break to clarify these goals to the level of detail that becomes crystal clear and invokes the properly level of emotion.
I was surprised that I didn't have enough time during this prior week to accomplish the many other goals that I had planned. 

But one big takeaway seems to be that by removing myself from the markets and reducing the number of trading decisions during the day, I will stay better "centered" so that I can better understand and listen to my emotional state of being. 

If my SIM experience on Friday was any indication of how trading could be from the mental perspective, I believe it will increase my overall success rate on all key metrics -- especially by NOT taking those dreaded and impulsive revenge trades. 

Now it's time to consistently put all the pieces into action, brick by brick, day by day...

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