31 Dec What I’ve learned trading in 2014
I feel a sense of satisfaction with every year that goes by. Every year brings on a different set of challenges as it relates to trading and this year I feel like I've learned a lot. Like any professional trader, I will take this knowledge into the new year with one more year's experience under my belt - continuing to grow and hopefully become better and better at my craft.
Here are a few things I struggled with this year, as well as some things I need to improve upon:
1. Taking profits too soon - This was a big one for me this year. There were things in my personal life which required my attention, therefore occupied my mind during the trading day. The one thing I've noticed is that if there is something lingering in your mind, it will come out in your trading performance - somehow, somewhere.
My goal next year is to separate myself from the things I can't fix in my life when I'm at my desk. If there happens to be something I can fix, then I will attend to that first, before I sit down to trade. I noticed that my profit taking was directly related to me wanting to get up from my desk and take care of other business; which resulted in me cutting losers when I should (this is a good thing obviously), however taking profit too soon on my winner really affected my P/L over time - NOT GOOD!
2. Not prepping enough before the opening bell - I believe this is directly related to the above issue. I felt that I sometimes would rush my prep period in order just to get it over with. I would follow whatever was hot on Twitter and trade it - not sticking to my rules of finding my own voice and inspiration as I wrote about here.
3. Holding less than normal positions overnight - My days have been pretty hectic lately, so when I sleep I really didn't want to think about positions I had overnight. Since my main strategy is premium selling, I was short-changing myself by not maximizing the amount of time decay I could have received by holding more positions overnight. Don't get me wrong, it's great to end the day in cash and have a clean slate each morning, but this should only be done when the MARKET allows for this, not for when I want to.
My goal next year is obvious - increase more overnight swing holds when appropriate.
4. Write more about my trading - There is something really gratifying about writing down my experiences - both good and bad. It's almost therapeutic for me and I feel that it is a necessary outlet for my thoughts. Not only for the fact that it might help someone else, but also for the fact that I need to keep a mental journal somewhere so I can reference it in the future.
5. Remember why I am trading - Honestly, the reason why I work so hard at this game and why I keep at it year after year is because of the one thing it provides: Freedom. I come from a humble background and need to remember sometimes where I came from, what I've been through and where I am in my life. Things could have been so much worse for me, but I will not let that happen. I will strive to reach new levels of success and never give up. Why am I doing this? Because life is more than just working a 9-5 job making someone else wealthy, at the expense of your own happiness.
Where you come from, or who you used to be, or how tired you get some days, or how many times people laugh at you, NEVER stop doing what you believe in, because the pain you feel now is temporary - but if you quit, it will last forever.
Happy New Year everyone. God bless you all.