Trading can be a taxing affair (see what I did there). The market is a moody beast, and every husband knows it pays to take notice when moods start swinging. The last thing you want with a moody market is overtrading.
Because of this I stepped back from the markets last year while moving to the Philippines. I just wasn’t paying enough attention to the pheromones of the market.
One of my (many) weaknesses is over-exuberance. Not in an outward, Lady Gaga type of way. More that many an idea will spawn, and 2 days later I wonder why my bladder hurts and my shoes are wet.
Usually it takes a good mood swing tirade to make you realize you are doing too much. Luckily this time it was a solid month of sloppy trading. My entries were early, my exits were late, my decisions rushed and my big toe hurt to buggery.
I say lucky, because back in the day my account lying in a small pile of ash would have been the signal.
The only thing for me to do when overtrading is to take some time off. Step away from the markets, do some exercise, reading and get back to the basics. It is not something I can “fight through”.
Previously I wrote on how trading naked can do that for you trading skills, but sometimes you need to do that for your life.
I got outside, played some sport, hyper-ventilated chasing my 3 year old, and spent some time with the better half and mini me’s.
The result? One of the more profitable trading weeks of the year, and a much happier family. Everything is about balance, Newton told us that centuries ago, so you would think we would have got it by now.
This is not so much advice for trading, but more advice for the technological age.
“Screen time” is beneficial in trading, don’t get me wrong. Drilling those repeatable patterns into the subconscious is essential. But once screen time becomes, mindless staring, it is time to shut the trading platform and take an extended break.
Whatever your sign is, drag your tired, bloodshot eyes from the screen and get some sunshine. It is a wonder what the outside world contains, and believe me you’ll trade better for it.
What are the signs for you that you are overtrading?