Friday, 16 November 2012

Tradeshark v The Sultan

OK, it's an overly-dramatic title to reel you in but nonetheless, what I have to write about does suggest a certain amount of sparring! I was disappointed to read in Tradeshark's latest post, the following:

"For the rest of the year I will be looking at the football and cricket. I read on another blog almost a criticism of tennis traders that switch to other sports at the end of the season. 6 weeks is a long time to take off and while some may be in a position to go travelling etc those of us with families don’t have that option. My wife works in a care home and the elderly and sick still need nursing just the same as at any other time of year. In fact my wife will be working Christmas day. I will be working considerably fewer hours but I aren’t one to sit around doing nothing."

I attempted to respond with the following comment:

Hi TS, I guess you are referring to me as the blogger who 'almost' criticised tennis traders! I did no such thing, here's what I wrote:

"A lot of tennis traders will switch to another sport during November-December but I have always planned my trading so that I don't have to do this. For me, taking a break for 5 or 6 weeks during the cold, heart of winter is ideal; just the right amount of time to re-charge the batteries, visit family over Christmas and go abroad travelling somewhere warm. I've proved this year that I don't need to trade anything else. I've adapted my life to the tennis calendar and adapted my trading so that it should (eventually) fill my requirements financially."

Where is the criticism here? I've simply stated what my plans are, how I've attempted to fit my life around the calendar and how it might differ from others. One of the reasons I got into trading was to give me more time to travel, as it's a passion of mine. So I've used the trading calendar to give me time to do this. It's in no way a slight on anyone else and I'm sorry you've come to that conclusion but it's not meant that way.

I don't focus on what anyone else is doing, I learnt a while back that you have to do what works for you. 6 weeks is a long time off but when you've worked with no holidays or bank hols and few weekends off for the entire year, it works out as no different to anyone else. I just choose to condense my time off into one longer period. Anyway, hope that settles things!

The comment has not been posted up so instead, I'll have my say here. I don't want any of Tradeshark's or my own readers to think that I've made any criticism which they might take personally. He labelled it as "almost a criticism" - well it either is or it isn't and as he's gone to the trouble of writing about it, it's obvious he thinks it's a criticism. It isn't. If you'd like to read the original post I made, to see the full context, here it is.

Just for the record, I work two jobs (trading and freelance writing) so the six weeks I take off after working 7 days a week, most weeks for 10 months of the year, is well deserved. Why would I criticise anyone for changing sports anyway? In many ways, I would like to be able to trade another sport successfully through the winter, as it would allow me more options on when to take my time off. I could trade football for 6 weeks but in all honesty, I can't be bothered. I still need to take a break, so I'd only be trading football for a 2 or 3 week period at most. I would rather trade my arse off in the tennis season and take all my time off during the winter lull instead. That allows me to really travel a country properly, rather than rush through in a week or two. This does mean I have to work very hard for those 10 months because I need enough to cover the travelling and usual expenses for November and December. So I'm not working any less or taking any more time off than anyone else in any normal job.

This does at least provide me with a topic to write about; long term goals. I think it's something many new traders don't think about but planning ahead is vital if you are considering doing this professionally. I've always said that I got into trading to have more options and free time. My future aim is that I won't have to work so solidly for 10 months and that will happen as my bank grows and my profit with it. In a normal job, you get paid for 4 weeks of statutory holiday (plus bank holidays) but traders don't and neither do freelancers - no work, no pay. This means I have to conjure up 12 months' pay within 10 months work. That's not easy but I have made sure that my trading strategy and style allows me to make a fairly consistent amount which I know will fill my requirements.

Nothing is guaranteed in this game but you must have a plan if you are reliant on the money. The first time around, when I failed miserably, I didn't have one. This time, I looked at everything; from projections of potential profits, to the effect of the premium charge, to pension schemes, to savings accounts, to mortgage and loan options, to living expenses forecasts, to fitting in holidays, to the effect the tennis calendar will have on my social life at different parts of the year to financing during the off-season. I've left no stone unturned. If you have a family then you will probably have a very different plan to someone who is single. Neither is right or wrong. I would never criticise anyone for the way they plan their trading.

The next paragraph of Tradeshark's post has a general dig at trading blogs, of which I'm sure this one is not exempt from. I'm fine with that, it's his opinion and he's entitled to it. Unlike him, I don't rely on my blog to sell anything, so it really isn't an issue what people think. If reader numbers go down I will continue to write cos I enjoy it. Anyway, nothing more for me to say for this year, I'm off travelling! I'm thinking North Africa this year; maybe Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia. Maybe even Libya! Happy Christmas and New Year to all, whatever you decide to do - trading or no trading!

Agnieszka Radwanska:


  1. Enjoy your trip, Sultan. Don't forget to send us all a postcard!

    1. I'll see if I can find a nice Gadaffi souvenir for you!


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