Monday, November 10, 2014

Interim Post: Thank God I'm a Trader (else I'd be totally useless)

Well I decided to take some time off from trading. Here are my reasons why. If you're more interested in my day-to-day trading stuff, I'll probably keep that secluded on twitter/evernote/tradervue unless something so crazy happens, it provokes me to drop a massive bomb of text. This blog isn't about chart patterns for penny stocks, it's about the chart patterns for my goddamn soul.

Time off is a delicate decision. It's easy to get restless. It's easy to think "each day I'm not trading, I'm losing $xxxx (my daily average net) in Sklansky bucks!" I'm trying to be productive. I told myself I'd finish a few posts over the weekend -- among other extraordinarily difficult tasks, like running a couple miles each day, going to bed on time, eating 3 square meals a day, and avoiding excessive internet use.

Well here we are, Monday morning.

why am I doing this to myself? just log-on speed and make $1k
I didn't accomplish much besides adding a couple lines and changing a few words. Stupid football. Stupid RedZone channel. Stupid fantasy team. Stupid online gambling. Stupid on-demand TV.

Stupid brain preferring cheap instant gratification over arduous hard work aimed towards a fulfilling goal...

Or is it so stupid? Stupid like a fox.

Why day trading is the perfect job (for me)
Day trading lets me take all the behavioral traits that would be completely and utterly debilitating in my alternate-reality non-trader life and turn them into non-factors or even strengths.

The novelty-seeking temperament
The inability to stay organized
The hyper-compulsive itch to find more information
The reluctance to perform icky, mundane day to day tasks
The total acquiescence to the whims of the present
The work ethic that's overly dependent on the "when I feel like it" mood
The need for instant gratification

What if I had deadlines? Or if I had to deal with other people to advance my career?


I do think there are plenty of day traders with a similar set of traits -- the addicted degenerate types. Their equity curves, at least before they develop more discipline, may look something like this:


That above should be me too. It would absolutely make sense considering my mental makeup. If it was a "self-esteem since becoming a trader" chart, it would certainly work too.

But throw in a couple more key elements: the obsessive perfectionism (which didn't actually get me closer to perfect but would make me bail early on stupid trades through the unbearable irritation) and inability to take pain... and I somehow, miraculously, produced this:


I define real character (from a performance standpoint, not morals/ethics) as going beyond what's natural. I imagine that distant horizon where I am someone far more than who I am right now -- like one of those legendary cult-of-personality hedge fund managers that run marathons, meditate for hours on end, and get interviewed in Market Wizards. Well, okay, that's demanding way too much. I don't need to be a billionaire nor do I want to deal with needy institutional clients. But I gotta push myself a tad further than what's comfortable if I ever want to test the mythical 7-figure boundary. 

Man, life would be rough if I took a different path. What if I had aspired to become a writer if poker didn't come along and change everything? I'd probably be one of those writers who calls himself a writer yet doesn't write anything. I'd be the smart guy who has no idea what to do after he graduated. I'd be a stereotypical millennial. I'd be nothing. 

Anyway... new actual content post by Tuesday.

Reading recommendation
I love this post about procrastination from Waitbutwhy... I love the conceptualization of the IGM (instant gratification monkey). All I've been thinking about lately is how my own IGM plays a role in my trading (and by play a role, I mean complete authoritarian demand).

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