Friday, 8 April 2011
Today marks my final day of daily blogging. When I lowered my stakes and introduced bank management, my goal was to double my bank in one month - I have now achieved that in just 2 weeks. I'm hitting an average of around 50% ROI during that time, which has never been that high before. I'm now back to feeling almost 100%. I'm healthier, the anxiety is gone, I'm sleeping well, I have my focus and energy back and I look less like I've just spent the last month shut indoors smoking weed! I feel as though I now have the consistency that has always eluded me and the psychological demons are all but banished. So I really am running out of things to write about. It was all a lot easier when I was a complete head-fuck and my trading was a disaster! But now, I don't feel as though there is anything of great interest that I can add. I will either continue this consistency, which will be rather boring to read AND for me to write, or I will slide back into the Gambler's Cycle, which will only be more of what I've written in the past. I didn't start the blog to brag about my profit, I did it for my own enjoyment and also to have a record of where I was going wrong. I don't see the point continuing to post endless P&Ls now that I've achieved most of my goals.
I've gone through the full Gambler's Cycle, the whole gamut of emotions and every conceivable position that a trader could ever find themselves in, during this blog. I never intended it to be quite so dramatic but I hope that's made it an interesting read! I've always tried to be honest and have almost always posted up my losses (give or take a couple of days where they were just too bad to face!). But I always mentioned those losses, even if the P&L was missing and I've never missed out a single day. You could read the blog over from start to finish now and learn all about what it's like to be a trader and the mental aspect involved. So there isn't a lot more I could add, nor is there anything now that I feel I still need to learn from.
I now know what strategies I'm comfortable with. I'm primarily a momentum trader but I will also occasionally use scalping, swing trading and backing on serve. It's the same strategy I've used for many months but the difference now is that I'm confident with it. That's mostly thanks to a solid bank and risk management - the final piece of the jigsaw. But along the way in this blogging journey, I've also picked up fantastic techniques for a stronger trading mindset. I no longer get brutally angry and frustrated, I don't chase losses and I always try to approach trading each day in a positive mindset and with a clean slate and fresh goals. Sure, I still make mistakes and I still have mentally off days but I know how to handle them much better now. I'm a calmer, more patient person and I understand fully now what is required to trade professionally. Don't get me wrong, the demons are still there, fighting hard to get out but I am now more capable of spiking them back with a pitch-fork! The road is still going to be long and arduous though. I cannot afford to let things slip, get over-confident or lax at any point from now on. That was what got me into deep trouble in the first place! Maybe I won't become as successful as I would like but I know one thing for sure, I will definitely not be losing money.
If there is any final piece of advice I can give (not that I'm an expert but I certainly have experience) to aspiring traders, this is it. Treat your trading as a business - be professional. If you want to be successful, you've got to put the hours in and you've got to be prepared to lose a lot of money before you get good at it - look at it as 'training expenses'. If you want to go full time, never underestimate the difference from doing it part-time or as a hobby - it's a totally different ball game. The pressure is a thousand times more intense and you cannot really prepare yourself for that when you are part-time. Most importantly though, do not forget about the psychological aspect. It doesn't matter how good your strategy or knowledge of the markets or tennis is. If you don't have the correct trader's mindset, you will fail - 100% guaranteed. Don't neglect your mind! It needs to be worked on even more than that killer strategy you are looking for. Whatever edge you can find to make you better, you need to grab it. If you really want it, you shouldn't give up. The rewards are there for those who put the work in - nothing good ever came easy.
If you haven't already done so, why not read back through my whole blog? You might pick up some decent tips as to what NOT to do, if nothing else! I may post once or twice a week if I get the inclination or if anything interesting has happened with my trading but otherwise, this is it. Good luck to all you traders out there and thanks to everyone who has encouraged me and helped me out.