OK time to come clean, and not because it’s close to 35C and I haven’t had a shower since Saturday morning (it’s Monday afternoon), but because it is always nice to do a spring clean once in a while. This time, it is a spring clean of my closet, my trading closet, where I keep some of my deep dark trading secrets.
It is easy to hide behind the veil of the internet and only expose those things you want others to see. It is especially easy to do the same as a trader, a reason I rarely read trading forums anymore. If I wanted to read pages of lies, I would just read the newspaper.
So here you go, 10 items of my dirty laundry, a peg on the nose could help while reading these.
- I once emailed Rob Booker (@RobBooker) out of complete desperation, wheeling out the sob story of my cancer journey and my desperation for trading stability to rectify everything. I think I wanted his sympathy and free stuff. He didn’t reply, I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t either. Talk about making someone feel uncomfortable.
- I have never, ever understood economics. I trade full-time yet couldn’t tell you half of what the items on the economic calendar actually measure. I only check the calendar to see if it is a red, orange or yellow event, i.e. important as nuclear war, moderately important, like X-Factor, or slightly important, like the prime minister.
- In 2005, I was so over leveraged on the NZD/USD, if it had hit my ever-increasing stop, I would have lost the entire account. It didn’t, by about 5 pips, and I was dancing around the house with my 6-month-old baby, at 2 am, who I was supposed to be putting to sleep. Talk about misplaced priorities.
- I spent my entire youth playing representative sport with Nathan Bracken, Justin Holbrook and a couple of others. I thought I was the bomb, but I lacked work ethic and true belief. Nathan Bracken went on and played for Australia in cricket. Justin Holbrook went on to play profession Rugby League. I wasted my time wallowing in my laziness. Talk about sliding doors.
- I started full-time trading with a $5,000 account, it was all I had, and I didn’t want to go back to the corporate jungle. I have two kids and a dependent (but insanely supportive) wife. Talk about putting your balls on the line.
- I should have been a full-time trader 3 years before I was, but I was arrogant, ignorant of risk control and scared as hell of losing the lot. Now I am not so ignorant of the risk.
- Around 2003 I was a legend on the Marketiva chat rooms. I made (lucky) trading calls like I was a pro. I let other traders believe the same to the point I had countless offers, mainly from Malaysians for some reason, to trade their money. I didn’t, thankfully, because deep down I knew I didn’t know, well, anything.
- I had a run not long after going full-time where I lost over 26.06% in 5 days. The loss per day went -3.64%, -4.17%, -2.57%, -12.8% and -5.75%. I finished down 4.44% that month.
- I try to only make 2-3 trades a day now, that’s all, if it is a good day I only make 1. I do this to stop the 10-12% losing days mentioned above. I also don’t believe I need to trade 8-10 hours a day to make a living. I also believe trading 8-10 hours a day is not living. I trade 9:30 am – 2:30 pm and that’s it.
- I am more interested in reading about and listening to female traders. I like their point of view, I prefer to look at their profile pictures, and I think they make better traders. My favourites? Lydia (@faithmight), Jess (@RogueTraderette) and Raghee (@RagheeHorner). Creepy? perhaps.
We all have dirty laundry, skeletons in the closet. We are not perfect as people, and especially as traders.