As one of our students and I spoke he discussed his past 1.5 years of trading, how it was a personal challenge for him, mainly to master emotions. One of the things that he said had helped him was the live trade room, mainly for confirmation of his ideas and also the sense of community to just chat about the ups & downs (yes, there are downs!) of trading. He (and this is true for many) admitted to having the need to have to trade or impulsively trade, which is a 50/50 shot at best, and I think that comes from boredom or the sense of wanting to do something. When I first started trading I was able to be on a desk with three other traders so for me there was always this sense of camaraderie and team work so it never really got too dull. However, when I turned to trading my PA it became pretty boring, isolated rather.
Trading alone was fine but then you find groups to trade and chat with and sometimes those can be bad or good, depending who they are and who you are. There are really two trading groups as I would define them: 1. Traders who have been profitable and just want others to chat with to make it less boring 2. New traders who are struggling or in the learning phase. The downside to this is that time can be wasted either learning the wrong strategies or rather just wasting time and missing trades.
You'll get to the point where you begin to trust your own ideas and when you're at that point you'll be in group one. This is the ideal place to be at, in fact, I really don't chat with many other traders (aside from our chat rooms), watch financial news or read financial reports. When you're new to trading I think it's important to jump from strategy to strategy (this is a major time suck for many) and going from group to group think that you need to learn something new, something else. The key to get to group one is to learn to master a few strategies and trade a few names/products over and over until you master them. Will there be times like this first quarter where it's been slow? Sure, but that doesn't mean you need to start trying new things that you've never done it means you just need to sit back and wait for your pitch (for you baseball fans).
So how else can you manage your time and do you actually need to 'study'? One of the biggest things I've stressed for traders is to not spend all day at the computer, there's no benefit in that. What you can do is learn to be at the trading desk at the right hours. This means not missing Crude EIA reports, Crude pit close and earnings events. This idea of constantly studying is great, when you're new, but a lot of your studying should be on your trading habits and figuring out how to control the mental game of it because the technical part become fairly simple at some point or another. I think everyone reading this can agree that the mental aspect of trading is much harder than any other part and I think that part alone warrants more of our time rather than studying charts or spending hours reading threads in trading forums.
And finally, I'll leave you with this. If you're reading this blog, if you're just starting your investing journey or if you're struggling remember to take time off away from the computer. You'll be amazed how much more clear you can think and also how certain light bulbs will 'go off' when you're away doing something else aside from staring at charts, backtesting or looking at your equity curve.
Hopefully you enjoyed this short blog and found some value. Enjoy your weekend.