Do you remember those days at camp? Smelly socks, making new friends, hot dog eating contests, care packages, etc? A couple of weeks ago my two girls went to camp for the first time, two weeks in Colorado. It was the exact same camp I went to for ten years during my youth so that was special. The good news, they changed their underwear more than I did during my first two-week session. One is hard to beat.
What did I learn during this two-week hiatus from kids?
One, spending time with your significant other without kids is required…that was the first time we spent more than 24 hours together during our entire 12 years of marriage. Pretty cool. Jenny has already signed them up for next year.
Second, a good water filter is important on a 3 day backpacking trip. Opps. My bad.
Third, a wet dog (Aussie Shepherd) makes the tent experience just that, an experience.
Fourth, don’t go on a 3-day backpacking trip with a fully loaded trade count. Yep, this gives a new meaning to the term “road trip trade”. Let me paint the picture. Before setting off into the Maroon Bells for three days (I highly recommend this place if you haven’t been, located outside Aspen) I decided not to close or reduce the size of my trades but chose to hedge my M3 trade by buying a straddle. Before doing so, I backtested the concept to see how it may play out. This band-aid approach looked good for 1-2 days, so I went for it.
Well, I thought I was ready to go. So, there I was trying to take in the smells and views of the beautiful mountains, but I found myself only thinking of my T+0 line. Not good. How did I fix this? I asked my wife if I could run back down to where I could get wifi, close my trades and then come back. That’s exactly what I did. Luckily, I was only 5K out from any wifi, but I went for it. Ran down, traded, ran back, then continued the hike completely exhausted but satisfied that I could finally enjoy the moment.
What did I learn? Just because you have backtested an idea doesn’t mean you can do the same when it becomes “real”. I thought by buying a straddle would give me comfort. In the future, I will do one of the three things when “out of trading range” for a small period of time:
- Close all of my trades
- Close only the front month trades while leaving on the back month trades assuming there’s plenty of room for large market movements
- Reduce my size across the board to a reasonable level
- Bring a water filter that works!
Written and contributed by John Wilson, Successful Options Trader of the Month – May 2016