The Power and Importance of a Trading Journal

The art of successful trading, no matter how big the stocks, is a rather big, rather complicated and at times rather stressful process. The world of trading has been changing constantly over the past several years, thanks in most part to the introduction of online trading. However, if there is one thing that has stayed constant in the trading realm, it is the use of a trading journal.

Trading journals are simple organizational tools that have been helping the world’s most successful traders keep track of their trades. If you ask some of the most revered traders, chances are they will tell you that they keep a detailed trading journal. However, in today’s market, fewer and fewer traders are maintaining their own journals, or they aren’t using them efficiently.

For some, the idea of keeping a journal in a world where everything has become automated seems like a waste of time. Others may not believe in the power of a trading journal, and may think they can find success on their own without keeping track of everything. 

However, if you are struggling with your own trading efforts and want to revamp them in the New Year, then a trading journal is the must-have tool that you need to focus on to help with your organization and your success as a trader. If you haven’t considered a trading journal yet, or feel as though you aren’t using your journal properly, here is some insight on the power and importance of a quality trading journal.A

High-Performers Most Trusted Tool

There are many people that live by the old adage of learning by doing. Maybe there are a few situations where this can be applicable, but it is not an adage that you should apply when it comes to your money. You need to be able to track what you are doing so that you can improve on it.

You can convince yourself that you are doing alright with your trades as long as your account doesn’t get too low, but if you aren’t actually looking at the data, you will have no idea where your money is going on how you are actually performing. It is easy so easy to convince yourself everything is fine if you just don’t look at the data. Trading journals help you learn and give you a harsh dose of reality regarding what is going on with your money and your trades.

Your Guide to Making a Plan

One of the best things about trading journals is that they keep traders organized, and they help them develop a real, set actionable plan. If you mindlessly make trades and don’t really keep yourself organized, you are never going to learn or get better, no matter how much time you spend doing it. The trading journal will help you get to know yourself better as a trader and it will help you stay organized with the decisions you are making.

If you want to separate yourself form the back and from other amateur traders, then a trading journal is the way to do it.

A Lesson in Review 

No matter what you are trying to succeed in, whether it is trading, running, playing the piano or anything in between, in order to be successful you need to be able to keep track of your performance. Perhaps it’s recording your time on a certain run, watching videos after a game or listening to the playback when you perform a song. Everyone in a competitive sport, field or competition has some way to track their success so they can go back, review and tweak as necessary. 

This is all part of training and all part of perfecting your craft, no matter what your craft is. A trading journal is a tool that can let you do this. Just as football players obsessively watch tape of themselves and of others before a big game, you need to review your performance as a trader before you make trades, so you can take a look at your past performance and make changes based on the data that you have.

If you are diligent about writing down your experiences in your trading journal and then going back and actually reviewing that information regularly, you are going to start seeing some major changes in your life and in your trading success.

If you haven’t been using a trading journal yet, or if you have become lax with your trading journal efforts, then there is no better time than the present to consider making a change and to start utilizing a detailed trading journal to your advantage.

Meditation and Its Power to Lower Stress For Traders

If you could think of one word to describe the work environment it would likely be stressful. The high-stakes and pressure-filled situations that make up a traders life can make this job one of the most difficult and demanding jobs in the world.

However, the stress that comes with trading shouldn’t just be accepted as a part of everyday life. This unaddressed stressed can impact quality of life and lead to a number of serious health issues ranging from high blood pressure to heart disease. Furthermore, people who live high-stress lives are more prone to overeating, psychological issues and emotional instability. In short—your stress can make your life very unhappy.

While there isn’t much you can do to completely remove the “stressful” elements of the trading market, there are things that you can do to better manage the high-pressure situations that come your way while trading so you can live a less stressful life.

This all begins and ends with mindful meditation. If you haven’t yet tried the simple act of mindful meditation, here are a few ways you can start using it to improve your life and lower your stress so you can be the best trader possible.

Getting Started With Mindful Meditation

For most people who are new to the idea of mindful meditation, getting started may seem like a challenge, but it really is quite easy thanks to the number of resources that are out there today specifically on mindful meditation.

The great thing about getting started with meditation is that it is so much easier than most people assume. In fact, there are even apps and websites that are designed specifically to help people learn how to relax, unwind and release the mental tension and stress that is holding them back.

This includes sites such as Calm. This simple, mindfulness meditation app was created to help teach people how to calm their minds, so they can increase awareness and develop more concentration. It also helps people develop a greater awareness of their emotional habits and thought patterns.

Whether you use an app like this or any other mindful meditation tool, chances are you will find that with regular mindful meditation, you will start to develop a sharper mind and you will be able to concentrate more as you learn to break bad habits and avoid distractions. For dedicated traders who want to make the most of their time and of their trading efforts, there is no better tool than a sharper mind.

Imagine being able to block out all of the distractions of phone calls, background noise, emails and the pressures of the world around you to just be able to focus on the trade you are about to make. It would make a great deal of difference not only in how long you are able to dedicate to trading but how effective you are while you are trading as well.

A Stress Lowering Tool

Nothing will take stress out of the life of a trade quite like being better and more efficient at trading. However, this isn’t the only way that mindful meditation can help with trader stress. Studies have found that those who regularly practice mindful meditation can actually lower their blood pressure and report to experience less stress and anxiety.

The great thing about mindful meditation as a stress-lowering tool is that you can do all types of mindful meditation to lower your stress, beyond the apps that are available today. Every person is different and every person handles and manages stress differently. This is why it is so smart for traders who want to see the stress-relieving effects of mindful meditation to try some other mindful practices as well, until you find the form of mindful meditation that actually works for you.

Mindful Breathing is one option. Just taking a few moments between trades or in the middle of the day to take five, deep mindful breaths. Pay close attention to your breath and where it goes in your body as you breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. It only takes a few seconds, but it has an amazing ability to help you refocus.

Mindful Walking is another way that many people find a way to incorporate mindful practices into their everyday lives. Chances are you are going to be walking quite a bit during your day, even if it is just through your office, or through your home. Start practicing mindful walking by paying close attention to every step you take with sincere awareness, just as you do with mindful breathing. It is a nice refresher for the middle of the day and can help clear the mind and refresh the body.

Living in the high-pressure world of a trader is going to come with a number of unique hurdles and challenges. However, those challenges don’t have to become stressors if you start incorporation mindful meditation into your everyday life.

5 Great Benefits of Walking Mid-Day and It’s Effects

Walking. It is such a simple activity and something that most of us do regularly each and every day. However, because so many of us are used to walking on a regular basis, so many of us end up taking walking for granted and ignore just how important it is. One of the best ways that you can utilizing walking to your advantage is to start getting up and walking in the middle of the day. 

Walking is so natural for us all. You don’t need to learn a new skill or form of exercise and you don’t need to invest in any tools or expensive equipment. We all know how to walk, which means you can get up, get started and start doing this today.

Here are some of the best benefits that come with taking a midday break to start walking and how they can help change your life for the better. 

1. Walking Can Help You Become More Disciplined 

Chances are we all need to have a little more discipline in our lives. Having more discipline can help you be better at your job, help you actually make it to the gym every day and help you exercise more control in your life. Imagine having the discipline to break bad habits and finally change your life for the better.

If you start being disciplined by walking each and every day at the same time, you won’t only form a great healthy habit, but you can start getting in the habit of being more disciplined. Forcing yourself to be disciplined about something as simple as daily walking can only help breed more discipline in your everyday life.

2.Walking Has Some Great Health Benefits

One of the best things about walking every day in the middle of the day, instead of doing any other relaxing activity, is the health benefits. Walking is one of the simplest, yet most effective forms of exercise out there because it is not only low-impact but because it can have some truly outstanding benefits on your health and well-being.

This includes help with maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Assisting with vascular stiffness, reducing inflammation and helping lower the risk for obesity and diabetes. Plus, since it is an aerobic form of exercise it can help you maintain a healthy weight as well.

3. Walking Can Help Boost Your Creativity

If you have been struggling to come up with some fresh, new ideas for your latest project or plan, then talking a mid-day walk may be just what you are looking for. Walking, even if it is just for a few minutes during the day, can help clear your mind and allow you to refocus so that new, creative ideas can start flowing in.

If you have ever found yourself with writer’s block or overcome with the feelings of being completely stuck on a project, try getting out and walking, you may be surprised to find what your mind stumbles upon.

4. Walking Promotes More Focus

We could all be a little more focused during the day, which is why taking a mid-day walking break is so important. Studies have found that people who get up and do minimal exercise like walking tend to help people become more focused and more productive. The break from sitting at a desk, the endorphins from exercise and the mental clarity that comes with walking can all help you become more focused when you return to work.

Need more proof? The University of Birmingham actually did a study on walking during lunch breaks (a great time for a mid-day walking break) and they found that employees at traditional desk jobs who did this had less tension, more enthusiasm and they were able to handle stress better in the workplace.

5. Walking Gives You More Energy

Research has found that walking for just 15-30 minutes per day can actually act as a huge energy boost, leaving you feeling more refreshed and focused. Next time you think you need a mid-day caffeine boost, try getting up and walking instead. Chances are you will come away with feelings of clean, natural energy that will take you through the rest of your day.

Keep these benefits in mind. All you really need to do is 15-30 minutes of concentrated walking in the middle of the day in order for you to make the most out of this exercise. This little mid-day break is easy, effective and it may end up changing your life for the better. 

How Traders Can Bring Simplicity to Their Lives

The trading world can easily get complicated, to say the least. The complexities of managing trades, relationships, finances, and every hurdle in between can all make a job as a trader extremely stressful. Whether you are a professional trader full-time or work in virtually any field, if your work life feels cluttered, you feel underutilized and overworked or you frequently feel that you are always busy, but not necessarily productive, then your work life may be far too complicated.

This is when it is time to start simplifying. People often feel this way in the workplace because their professional lives are too cluttered and they need to find a way to cut through the clutter and the mess in order to simplify things and get more done.

Whether you call it and essentialists mindset or a simplicity mindset, taking this approach to clarifying, decluttering and simplifying can truly change the lives of those who feel overwhelmed or bogged down by their professional life.

What is an Essentialist Mindset?

An essentialist mindset is not about getting everything done, or even about getting more done, it is about getting the right things done. When adapting this simplicity mindset in your professional life, don’t think about it as a management technique or a strategy to boost productivity, think of it as introducing more discipline into your life.

In order to cut through the clutter and to improve and simplify your professional life, you need to be disciplined in determining what is completely essential, and blocking out everything is not. What does this do in the end? It helps busy professionals focus on the things that really matter so they can get done, get done right and get done efficiently.

If you are more specific and selective about what you are focusing your time on and choose to be disciplined enough to only hone in on the essential tasks in front of you, then you will start to see that clutter, stress and feeling of being busy yet not productive melt away. 

This mindset is all about taking control of your life and of your time and choosing where your time and energy goes, instead of letting others do it for you.

The Discipline of Doing Less 

If you want to really adopt this essentialist mindset and apply it to your everyday life, then you need to know how to make it applicable to your situation. Simply put, this mindset is all about having the discipline to do less. This doesn’t mean being lazy or saying “no” to everything that you don’t want to do, it is all about discernment and about honestly choosing what responsibilities are the right ones to focus on.

In our world today, there is so much emphasis placed on being able to do more, work more or fit in more to your day. It can be all consuming, it can be stressful and it can lead to a very overwhelming way of life.

So, if you want to start simplifying, the first thing that you need to do is to focus on what you really want and narrow down what it is that you actually want to achieve. You can’t “have it all” you need to focus on what is important and what you want to accomplish, so you can block out all of the rest.

Once you have done this, here are some tips on how to actually cut through the noise and focus on this achievement that you feel is important.

  • Take your time before saying “yes.” This is a great practice for traders who often find themselves thinking too quickly on their feet due to the fast-paced nature of their workplace. Take your time when making decisions. Don’t let external pressure make decisions for you.
  • Don’t let endowment rule your life. There is a very substantiated theory that we value opportunities and objects more if we don’t have them. Just because you don’t have something, it doesn’t mean that it has a higher value. In other words, the grass isn’t always greener.
  • Avoid FOMO. FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out is a serious issue that impacts many people. You need to get over your FOMO and accept the fact that sometimes there is great joy in “missing out” and that new opportunities can come when you say “no.”
  • Don’t make life about being popular. One of the biggest things that causes people to get in these cluttered, stressful environments is that they worry so much about being popular and what other people think about them. Don’t worry about doing things that will get people to like you in the short-term, worry about earning respect for your success in the long-term.

The key to making this work of course is control and discipline. The essentialism mindset can work for any person, even high-stress traders, and it can help you cut through the rest of the clutter in your life so you can focus on your trades and focus on making money. However, if you want it to work, you must be willing to sacrifice, give up certain things and be disciplined enough to ignore the outside distractions that are getting in your way.

Cold Exposure Explained

In today’s market, experts and health care professionals alike are trying to find new ways to introduce natural therapies to become more youthful, energetic and healthier. One of the biggest trends within this industry is known as cold exposure, and it is helping countless people from around the globe to improve their overall health and well-being.

So what exactly is cold exposure? 

As the name suggests, cold exposure is the act of purposefully exposing yourself to extreme cold conditions. One of the biggest benefits of putting the body in such extreme colds is to help increase metabolic rate as it will produce heat in the body that can cause weight loss.

However, long-term studies have found that there are even more benefits of cold exposure therapy, which is why so many people looking for natural ways to treat chronic ailments are trying cold exposure therapy help their bodies recover.

Athletes have also been using cold exposure therapy as a way to treat minor injuries and to help prevent the body from going into a state of stress following an injury. With cold exposure therapy, you are putting your body in a state to help kick their repair mechanisms into overdrive, so after a workout your body will rebuild its muscles even stronger than they were before. It is the same approach the body uses to help itself recover from muscle tears.

While cold exposure therapy can be as simple as going outside in freezing temperatures wearing little clothing, there are studios around the country that have created special chambers for those who want to quickly and easily try this therapy solution. There are others that cover themselves with “ice vests” that will help bring their overall body temperature down.

The Wim Hof Method

One of the biggest proponents of cold exposure is a man by the name of Wim Hof, who developed the Wim Hof Method. Hof has become an international sensation in recent years not only from his cold exposure therapy programs but from some of his truly unbelievable stunts and achievements.

He climbed Mount Everest in only shorts and shoes, ran a half marathon barefoot in shorts during a brutal Finland winter, and he holds 20 Guinness World Records all related to exposing himself to extreme colds.

This is where he began teaching others about cold exposure. Cold exposure is part of his three pillars of training which includes purposeful breathing, regular meditation and the addition of cold exposure.

The focus of this program is to help you improve your health, well-being and your immune system. The focus of the program is on more than just weight loss or overcoming a hamstring injury, it is about discipline, mental toughness and focus.

Hof, also known as “The Iceman” developed his system to help people manipulate their immune system so that it can adapt to situations where the body is under stress. This can be from an illness, or a change in environment, or simply mental stress. 

Wim Hof created this method based on the ideas that the average person fails to exposure their body to different environments on a daily basis. If the body was exposed to these varying elements, it would be better equipped to handle stress when it presents itself. In short, we aren’t pushing our bodies enough on a regular basis, so when our bodies are pushed from stress, they fail to recover.

According to the Wim Hof Method, doing these regular cold exposure exercises will help you gain more mental clarity, lower your stress levels and look and feel stronger and more toned. There is also a mental benefit that comes with adding this sort of disciplined stress-inducing experience to your routine, which the method claims will help build mental toughness and focus.

No matter what approach you choose to take when it comes to exploring cold therapy, there is a great deal of research that has been done on the process of taking your body and putting it in an extreme situation such as this. Whether you are trying to treat an injury, build muscle, improve your focus, boost your immune system or just lose a few pounds, this therapy may be the key you have been looking for.

As one of the new, most talked about natural therapies on the market today, cold exposure is getting a great deal of attention. Have you tried cold exposure therapy yet? 

A Pre-Bed Routine That Can Actually Help You Succeed

After a long day of work, finally crawling into bed at the end of the night can be one of the best parts of your day. After all, sleep is essential to helping your mind and body recover and get ready for the next day. However, just getting into bed and actually getting sleep every night is only half of the battle. If you look at today’s most successful individuals, you will find that they don’t just get sleep every night, but that they have a pre-bed routine that they rely on to help them get the right type of rest and get ready to take on the following day.

A pre-bedtime routine is one of the best ways to get your body into rest and relaxation mode so instead of tossing and turning all night you can actually drift off and get some rest. If you haven’t developed a pre-bed routine, there is no better time to start. Every person is different and every person is going to have a different bedtime routine that they rely on every evening.When it comes to making a routine such as this for yourself, here are a few tips that can help you make the most of your pre-bed routine.

1. Find A Relaxing Activity You Enjoy

The more you can do to relax right before you go to bed, the better off you are going to be. Whether you find meditation to be relaxing, prefer to read or if you like taking long bubble baths, make sure you find an activity that appeals to you.If you aren’t a fan of baths, don’t force it just because it helps other people fall asleep. Knitting may be your thing. Either way, taking some time for yourself before bed can help you unwind, relax and get your body ready to recuperate after a long day.

2. Start Your Routine 30 Minutes Before Bed

The key to a successful pre-bed routine is making sure that your regimen is not too long and not too short. A great time frame is around 30 minutes. Set this time aside for yourself every evening.Wash your face, brush your teeth, enjoy your relaxing activity and try to do it in the same order. It will help your brain get into “sleep mode,” and it will actually help your body relax naturally as it knows you are about to end your routine by going to bed.

3. Make A Regular Sleep Schedule For Yourself

This is one of the biggest sleep-related pieces of advice out there, but it is one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Set a sleep schedule for yourself. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every day.Doing this will drastically change the quality of sleep that you get and help you feel more rested in the morning. It will also help you fall asleep easily when it is time to go to sleep.

4. End The Day On A Positive Note

One of the biggest things that prevents people from falling to sleep when they lay in bed in the evening is stress and worry. Try to end your day on a positive note. Maybe this includes simply listing five things you are grateful for before you go to bed, or doing something you enjoy before you fall asleep.Many people have found success by allotting time earlier in their day to write down all of the things that they are concerned about or that may worry them. Give yourself 10 minutes in the afternoon to write these things out and get them off your chest, so they don’t keep you up at night.

5. Disconnect From Work

A clear mind is a predecessor to a good night of sleep. If your mind is preoccupied with work and you are feeling overly stressed, it will be extremely difficult for you to fall asleep. Your pre-bed ritual is all about you, not about work, so actually take the time to disconnect.Turn off your phone and put your tablet away. After all, in addition to clouding your mind, looking at too much blue-light from technology can keep you up even later.These five easy tips can be essential to helping you create a pre-bed routine that can improve your quality of sleep and help you be more rested, focused and ready to take on the day when morning comes.Every person’s pre-bed ritual is different, let us know what you do to prepare for sleep in the comments below.

Detaching From Technology- The Benefits And How You Can Actually Do It

Chances are you have read some type of article about how you need to start letting go of all the technology you use and “disconnecting” from your devices. While so many experts and gurus will tell you the importance of taking a break from technology, it can still be a rather difficult undertaking. Before you make an effort to actually detach yourself from your technology, it is important to understand the benefits of detaching from your technology. Here are some of the key perks of taking the time to turn off your devices.

  • It can give you a sense of renewal as you enjoy some peace and serenity away from technology and the information overload that comes with it.
  • It can help you recover from stress. For most people, staying hooked to their devices means staying hooked to the stresses from their job. Unplug to allow yourself time to recover from the stresses that get you down.
  • It helps you set healthy boundaries. If you are looking to maintain a better work-life balance, then your key may be turning off your technology when you are home. It can give you time away from work and time for yourself.
  • It gives you time to spend with your friends and family. There are more important things in life than checking emails and getting social media updates. Instead of keeping your head buried in your screen, start focusing on those that matter most to you and spending time with the ones that you love.
  • It can help you sleep better. Countless studies have shown that those who turn off their devices before bed time and give themselves space from their screens are able to fall asleep faster and get a better quality of sleep.

So, you know just how beneficial turning off your devices can be, but how do you actually start creating some healthy distance between you and your favorite devices. It can be more challenging than it seems to just turn off your connection to the outside world, but here are some tips to help you get over the hump.

  • Give yourself a schedule. Just as you schedule time to do certain things, make sure you schedule time to not be on you devices.
  • Set a pre-bed routine for yourself that doesn’t include technology. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get quality sleep. Yet, if you spend most of the night staying up in bed reading emails, you aren’t exactly going to get the best quality sleep.
  • Tell yourself the world can wait. Sometimes, the lure of the internet is the biggest draw of technology for people. Whether you are watching the markets or looking to see what your friends are doing on social media, tell yourself these things can wait.
  • Go on a digital detox. If you really want to “shock the system” after spending too much time with your technology, go off the grid and keep your devices off for a day, a few days or even a week, it will detox your system and help you start fresh with a new, less technology-dependent routine.
  • Start your day off on the right foot. Instead of getting up and immediately turning on the TV or checking your phone for emails, boost your brain with some non-tech activities such as meditation. It will help you get in the right mindset for the day and won’t have you feeling bogged down with tech-overload.
  • Exercise. It is easy to find yourself in a tech haze during the day when you have been buried in your technology. A great way to give your mind a much-needed break is to get a little exercise. It will help you detach, it is good for you and it will help boost your endorphins, leaving you in a better mood.

Once you make disconnecting part of your daily routine, you may be surprised to find just how easy it is to take some moments from your day away from the screen. Chances are you are not only going to feel more rested and refreshed, but you are going to enjoy these additional opportunities to spend quality time with those that matter most.Detaching from technology can be a big challenge for any person, but it is an important part of finding balance in your day. How do you detach from technology when you need a break?

The Power of Rising Early

Image Source: Twitter Profile 

Retired US Navy SEAL Jocko Willink has a huge following on social media. Log on to this former seal’s Twitter and chances are you are going to start seeing plenty of pictures of his watch when he gets up and gets ready to take on the day. There are even better chances that the watch is going to read around 4:30 A.M. 

Even though Willink is no longer an active Navy SEAL, he bases his entire life on the strict scheduling concepts he learned during his time with the Navy. Willink credits his ongoing success in life after the SEALs with getting up early and getting ready to take on the day. This is something that he details in his book “Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win.” Willink co-wrote the book with his former platoon commander Leif Babin.

According to Willink, in the world of the SEALs, discipline was the difference between being a good seal team and being an exceptional SEAL team and it all starts with getting up early, with the top tier SEALs always rising before everyone else. 

Today, Willink teaches this type of discipline to employees, managers and corporations around the world, through his work with Echelon Front. However, you don’t have to be a Navy SEAL or even a top-tier executive at a major company in order to start applying this “early to rise” discipline to your everyday life, and the benefits of getting up early aren’t just for the top-tier of the Navy SEALs either. Here are some of the best benefits of getting up early that can start changing your life for the better.

Waking Up Early Can Help You Keep a Healthy Diet 

Most individuals who tend to sleep in late, also find themselves rushed in the morning after attempting to savor every spare minute they can in bed. These individuals also are significantly more likely to skip breakfast in the morning. Studies have found that individuals who get up early are more likely to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast and aren’t as likely to overeat at lunch. A healthy breakfast also helps you build good eating habits throughout your day and can help you get the nutrients you need all day long.

Waking Up Early Can Enhance Your Productivity 

If you want to be as productive as possible, then getting up early may be your key to success. A Harvard study on productivity, personality and early rising found that those who get up earlier are more likely to have long-range goals for themselves and feel like they get more accomplished during the day. Those who get up early also tend to have better planning, goal-setting and decision making skills, and have more energy throughout the day to accomplish what they want to do.

Waking Up Early Gives You a Chance to Get More Done

When you wake up early, you have the opportunity to get more things done off your “list” at a time when you can focus, and don’t have to worry about distractions. Imagine how much you could get done, how many emails you could check, how much focus you would have if you were able to work when no one else was awake? If you get up and get going in the morning you can get so much more done without distractions in your way, as you watch your growing “to do” list gets more and more checks on it.

Waking Up Early Helps Improve The Quality of Sleep You Already Get

Getting between 7-8 hours of sleep is extremely important and it comes with a number of great benefits that can drastically improve your life. Those who get up earlier are not only more likely to get enough sleep every night, but they are much more likely to have established sleep routines, making it easier for them to get up at the same time every morning, and fall asleep at the same time every evening. The result is better sleep each and every night.

If you want to make a resolution for 2017 that will actually make a complete difference in your life, consider taking a page out of former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink’s bookand challenge yourself to get up earlier every day. You will be surprised by all you can get done while the rest of the world stays in bed. 

New year, new skill.

Post Quality: D-

I’ll admit super busy day, this post could probably be summarized in a tweet, but committed to my goal of posting every day. Whether it be fitness, welding, carpentry, programming, plumbing, electrical, or other skills I’ve been committed to improving and getting better every year. Any human can accomplish amazing things in a year if focused.

This year my “side project” is to learn anything and everything I can about crypto currencies. From what I have seen so far all the standard trading methodologies and process’s apply, what I lack is understanding the underlying “fundamentals” and mechanics.

I’ve made this analogy many times, but I built an ISP from the ground up with 14.4K modems all the way up to GB fiber. IMHO we are in the 14.4K modem days of this run.

If you aren’t learning trading, programming or some other skilled trade, mental or physical use the post to redirect your energy. I will be dedicating a couple hours a day to get more in depth, and will blog here about my learning process.

Get strapped in, 2018 has amazing prospects.


Response to @ozarktrades “2017 trading review”

Link to original post:

I often rant about “overly biased loud mouth shorts on twitter” and because of these rants get a fair amount of guff in return from traders that seem to think “short and hold” is a viable strategy for new or small traders. I’ll be the first to admit my motivation can be very “white knight’ish” but at the same time the primary rational behind my defense of the small and/or new trader is we are talking about a public network, Fintwit. Am I anti short selling? Nothing can be further from the truth. Am I anti using a large twitter following to convince small traders that if they just “keep holding” the rewards will come? Yes.

There are typically two profiles that describe the “overly biased loud mouth shorts on twitter” the first is the trader that swings a big line and can short the front side and keep adding higher which creates the “you can’t squeeze me” bravado. Second is the fundamental short that will take a position early in the move and proceed to bash the stock 10,20,50 or even more times a day, offering constant justification and links to defend that this stock “cant possibly go higher”.

Phil aka “OzarkTrades” is NEITHER of these.

In this post I would like to address several great points that Phil makes and attempt to draw parallels to defend my point that shorting in today’s market is not very accessible to the new and/or small trader, and again while it is a viable strategy for new traders, should be avoided until the market changes. I have been actively day trading and short selling for close to ten years, the last 2 years have been unlike any market I have seen. So many low priced stocks go higher than you would have ever expected on Day 1, and so often continue over multiple days, weeks, and even MONTHS. If you are a new trader shorting small size or even worse shorting on margin, you CANNOT survive these moves no matter what the “overly biased loud mouth shorts on twitter” say.

My biggest month of the year was November with 1.3 million in gains thanks to the hype in crypto currencies. (No I do not trade cryptos but the equities that are tied to them) I was profitable every month in 2017 and again most of my money was made on the short side.

First off I would like to congratulate Phil on an incredible year! I have considered Phil a role model for several years and he is a great guy with honesty and integrity. Though him and I are are mostly “internet friends” we have met briefly several times and he is quick with a handshake and a smile and seems genuinely interested in conversations with any trader new or veteran. There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing people I look up to and my friends succeed. Since we have only met a few times, Phil may think the “friend” moniker is a little aggressive but oh well. 🙂

After trading for 11 years it is fairly easy to identify the top setups. The timing is obviously the difficult part.

This point can NEVER be stressed enough and I’m pleased Phil starts the post with this. All traders new, intermediate or advanced KNOW these stocks will ultimately fail. But what will happen between Point A – C and what will happen during Point B. That is the ultimate question in trading, particularly on the short side. It does not matter if Point C is ultimately a “zero” if your account becomes a “zero” during the B Phase. My perspective again to the new trader is, why not try and take a small part of the run up from A through part of B, take small gains, focus on wins and build your account, do not try to be a hero on the short side early.

Again, I’m a believer that the big money is in the big wins. Personally, I don’t try to hit it big every day or every week but I try to take full advantage of the 6-7-8 ect big setups a year.

This quote wraps up a GREAT paragraph on being aggressive and sizing into your favorite setups, which again is the golden rule of a advanced trader. But back to 99% of Fintwit, this 99% needs to focus on building an account and getting better at your process, trading 6 times a year it will be very difficult to build a small account. And of course I’ll get responses like “Don’t trade with a small account” But remember my point is we are talking about Twitter, the truth is 99.9999% of the traders on twitter are small and looking for ideas and help in getting better. I may be wrong but I don’t think many billion dollar hedge fund managers are coming to Twitter for trading ideas.

In 2017 I worked every single day even on vacation. Yes I bring a laptop even on vacation because you never know what could happen.

Sometimes it does suck to sit at the desk from 6am to 3pm (central time) waiting for that one stock to break but it usually always pays off, especially if you learn to take time off when things are not so hot.

Love both these points, if you are not 100% committed to trading your odds of success are exponentially lower. I read the opening line of this paragraph and chuckled thinking, “Been there, done what”. I also worked EVERY day of 2017. Including on vacation. Both Phil and I have young children and we both greatly value our time with them, but hey, nobody goes to the pool before noon anyway, and if you get up early before the family you can easily put in a solid day of work and improvement and still have 12 hours to spend with the family. Daddy’s got to pay the bills.

And it does suck to sit there all day every day, but as a trader you are “never done” and I’ve seen countless sniper analogies to the point of nauseam, and I’ve used them myself too many times. But if you are unwilling to train nonstop and wait for “the shot” consider another career. I NEVER get tired of studying stocks, studying other traders, studying myself.

There has been 1 big difference for short sellers in 2017 and that has been the dramatic increase in Htb fees and short interest.

Back to my opening statement, when I get asked “why do you bust short sellers chops all the time?” this statement by Phil may be one of the biggest reasons. Trading constantly evolves and changes, and I recognized a shift in 2016. I do not know the internal workings of brokerage firms, but I believe firms recognized the rampant demand of short sellers to get aggressive and “pay up” for borrows. I’m old enough to remember how difficult it was to borrow shares, particularly over multiple days and weeks. I think this seismic shift in short availability and willingness to pay these fees has created some of the multiple day and week squeezes. Therein lies my advice to the new trader, look to profit on the front side of these moves, recognize that “everyone” is short and you do not need a special brokerage account.

Again, the key is to cut those losses quickly and look for re-entry. Trust me I am the king of taking paper cut losses.

Always the “golden rule” of trading and it cannot be stressed enough. Although my point is, this is “easy to say” for a veteran. But if you are a newer trader on Fintwit and see “The fundamental short that will take a position early in the move and proceed to bash the stock 10,20,50 or even more times a day, offering constant justification and links to defend that this stock “cant possibly go higher”. I mentioned above, you will almost always form a bias, thinking “This trader with a large following knows his stuff, I’ll hold.” Be willing to trade your own ideas and stop out when your trade plan says you will stop out. I respect Phil for never going on twitter and bashing a stock no matter how positive he is in his thesis.

I still don’t understand why traders will start a short on the upside and say they will add higher. How did that methodology work on DRYS in 2016?

Ahh yes my favorite Twitter short seller quote “Will add higher.” Few things make me pound my desk in rage more than that saying. If you have a twitter account with a large following and are known for being a proficient short seller, posting this statement to twitter should get your fingers slammed in a door. What possible goal can be accomplished by stating this on PUBLIC NETWORK? In my humble opinion this phrase is only used in a malicious manner. We all know early shorts will get squeezed out and add fuel to the fire. Best I can figure the only justification for this statement is hoping to torch small traders to accelerate the upside move so that said large trader can create a greater trade opportunity for themselves. This may be the single biggest takeaway from my writeup, if you are following big name traders touting the willingness to “add higher” proceed with caution my friends.

If we have a low float that is being manipulated, then being stubborn will just get you run over.

As a new or aspiring short seller please avoid “float rotating” stocks. There are so many other stocks to short and so many better times, when the volume has dried up. Be patient, wait and you will be rewarded, but if you are shorting on days the float is rotating I wish you luck, you will need it.

Phil wraps up the post with some great advice on being diversified and having backup plans. I’ll let you refer to the linked post above, some very solid advice and I recommend reading and re-reading his post.

In the end my point is, be inspired by the amazing possibilities in trading, we are in a market unlike any I have ever seen in my 10 years. Use these posts by great traders like Phil to plan for the future. But in the end, perspective is everything. Many of the trades and techniques he employs on a daily basis, including using 6-7 high minimum brokerage accounts, boxing trades, hedging with options etc, are not yet accessible to you as a new trader.

Learn charting, learn how to process the news and fundamentals and focus on making small and consistent wins on the long side of these fast moving stocks. After you are a consistently profitable trader with a medium sized account and some consistency and success under your belt, then look to be a “big swinging dick” short seller. But when you make that step, please promise me you WILL follow in Phil’s steps and NOT blast twitter with the “this stock is a zero” or “will add higher” nonsense.

Thanks to Phil for a great post.