Are you a new trader or have you been trading for years? For the newbie traders out there reading this blog, brace yourselves because there is no going back to your old self. Yep, it’s all over. Throw out the old, bring in the new. Sounds like Hugh Hefner’s marital cycle. For those who have been trading for a while, you get it. You remember your pre-trading self versus your present self. It’s quite the metamorphosis. That includes the grey hairs. To help those that are on the fence who are thinking about jumping into this fascinating “trading world”, here’s what I’ve experienced. It may or may not help, but here we go….
Your portfolio: 😀 Good news. Your portfolio returns will most likely be much higher than what you were getting before, but you must learn the rules of the game and then implement those rules, which any trader knows is an ongoing process. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Ahh, now you are hooked. Let’s continue.
Vegas: 😥 Bad news. You will no longer look at Vegas the same way. I learned this last Fall while walking through one of the casinos with some of my old college buddies. It was great to be with them but I wasn’t enjoying the act of “gambling”. I never really did, but it was at least entertaining. Knowing deep down in my bones how the probabilities are stacked against us in Vegas, I just lost interest. I’m not saying I stopped and checked out a Brittany Spears show, but sitting at the craps table playing the No Pass line just wasn’t the same as it used to be…at least the drinks were still “free”.
Tennis swing: 😀 Good news. While hitting the ball last week with another Bearish Butterfly trader, I had one of those ah-ha moments. I realized that if I just concentrated on my technique (foot work, pre-swing form, follow through) while hitting my shot, the outcome would take care of itself. It was almost Zen-like without the incense. As traders know, the first key to success is to follow your trading rules and not stare at our P&L on a daily/hourly basis. Nonetheless, I still lost the match.
Airport newsstands: 😥 Bad news. Before trading, I would love to go to those airport newsstands and grab the latest financial magazine or newspaper to occupy my time while on the plane. I now see that as useless for my trading especially the magazines focused on investing. Picking up the latest People mag will probably aid me more in my trading than the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Barron’s, etc, but I won’t go there.
News in general: 😀 Good news. Just turn the tv off. That will improve your sanity and trading.
Ikea directions: 😀 Good news. I no longer have any left over parts when putting items together. I used to tell my wife that it was normal as they packaged more into the products; o.k. that was a stretch but for some reason, I always ended up with a whole slew of extra parts. I now follow directions. Kids are happy. Wife is happy. The furniture is happy…less wobbly.
Peace of mind: 😀 Good news. Financial freedom is achievable. That’s hard to grasp. If you don’t think so, realize this. Most of the John Locke traders view a 20% annual return on one’s overall portfolio at the low end of the spectrum. Any hedge fund manager would dream of such a return. Before trading, I would have thought the same thing. In other words, we should be beating Warren Buffett every year. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. That sure makes his $2.3M lunch date fee seem utterly ridiculous. I wonder what John Locke would charge for a lunch date?
Talking about trading with non-traders: 😥 Bad news. It doesn’t work. I have found that it’s just best to tell your dog about your T+0 line, not your family or friends. They will be more interested in your waistline.
Happy trading, 😀
Written and contributed by John Wilson