Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Trading is like Dating

Even if you are married you will remember the time you were single.  For some it was awkward, for others it was fun, and for some people it was a period of ups and downs until you met that one.  For me "Single Life is Happy Life".  Needless to say I still do a lot of dating.  And yes it's a lot like trading.

There are some dating mistakes that most of us will shake their head at but some of you will remember making.  Like falling head over heels for a girl and trying way too hard.

#1  Trying Too Hard

Life, trading, and dating is all about moderation.  Try too hard and you will not get a second date or worse you'll be taken advantage of.  Don't try too hard.  Relax. Take it easy.  While it doesn't hurt to make a good first impression, you don't have to bend over backwards.   Don't trade too much, don't stay up 24x7.  Don't read every book out there.  Take your time.  Good things will come to you.

Lets face it, if you are carrying the girl's school books home then she might lose interest and go for the guy that just doesn't care.

#2  Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

The jock that never helped carry her books, in other words didn't give her all the attention she wanted and was distant.  He had it right.  Either by sure dumb luck or by pure genius.   Women want to date a real man.  They don't want to date their friend, chauffeur, and butler.  They want someone that will tell them No.  Why?  Because women are drawn to leaders. Leaders have higher mating potential, because they take risks and are considered more dominant, more of a survivor, and hence the female body perceives that their sperm will swim the distance.  Women love jerks. 

The market will eat you up alive if you devote your life to it.   Take a break, enjoy life, find another hobby, and for every minute you spend away from "temptation" you will be closer to getting what you want.  Be a leader and control the market.  Don't let the market control you.  Make solid plans, know when to walk away for some breathing room, and don't let a bad trade consume you.  Likewise don't let a good trade give you false confidence.   That girl that you have "wrapped around your finger" can turn on you anytime.

#3 Don't Be Too Cocky

There is confidence and arrogance (cockiness).   Sure she might laugh at your arrogance and cockiness but don't be fouled.  Women are always (over) analyzing you.   Before, during, and after they met you.   Tell some good jokes, talk a little bit about yourself, with confidence tell her about your passions but don't get overly cocky.  Be confident.  Trade with confidence.

Don't start increasing your lot size and prancing around the room telling people how much money you made.   Don't make messy trades because you think you own the market.  Know your limits.  Know when to take a time out and real back into reality.

#4  Be Real

Women can smell bullshit.   And even if you are speaking the truth, there was a line of bullshit men that have given them reason to doubt you.   Don't over exaggerate. Don't embellish.   Don't pretend you are someone you are not.   Women can tell.  Or they will find out. And when they do, it's not pretty.  The market smells your bullshit too. 

Don't tell yourself you are a superstar because you had a few lucky trades.  On a demo account...  Don't quit your day job thinking you have what it takes.   Not just yet.  Be real.   You need to live the life of a trader.  For at least one year.  First on a demo account and then another year on a real account.  Then and only then you have a real feel of the market.  No "oh yeah with a real account I wouldn't have done that" bullshit.  And no "oh yeah I just need to use 5 times as much equity next year" wishful thinking.  Be real.  With yourself.

#5  Baby Steps

You're not going to show up with a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, and a diamond engagement ring on the first date.   And if you do then she will RUN!     Get a grip on yourself, be real and pace of yourself.  

Have a plan.   First date, get to know her.  Second date, make a move.  Third date, if you haven't made a move yet you better make one quick or you'll end up in the friend zone...   The point is you need to have some sort of idea in your head of what your goal is and then plan out the steps to get there.  Or at least pace yourself and not skip any steps. 

Same goes for trading.  Month 1.  Get to Know the Market.  Month 2.  Make some moves, place some trades.  Month 3.  If you still haven't made some trades then you better think about just sitting on the sidelines and watching the market as an observer and get stuck in the F-Zone.

#6 The F Zone

The most dreaded word.  FRIENDS.   Do what you can to stay out of the Friend Zone.  You don't want to be sitting on the sidelines watching her as she dates other guys and comes crying on your shoulder about them.  Just like you don't want to sit and just watch the market.  You need to grab the bulls by the horns and make sure you know how to stay out. 

For one, never ever do lunch or coffee dates during the day.  She's just killing time.  You aren't her favorite choice.  Make sure it's drinks (and only drinks).  No dinners.  You need to have an escape plan before she starts ordering a 5 course meal and she tells you about her crazy ex boyfriend and 5 kids.     Same in trading.  

Take trading serious and don't be an observer. Take the lead and schedule the time to trade.  Commit to an hour a day. Schedule it in your calendar like a doctor's appointment.  Don't try and squeeze it in on your lunch or coffee breaks.  Be serious about trading.  Just like you want to be serious about going on a date and not be picked as her friend.   Let her find a gay friend for that.  Stay out of the friend zone by being a man, not her friend.

#7  Know When to Walk Away

Know when to put your foot down.  Know your limits.   Know when to walk away.   When you're dating you need to weed out all the crazies and incompatibles.  Don't let "love" blind you.  There is a difference between being "in love" and "loving" someone.   And if you're just starting to date then you are likely just "in lust".  

Know when to walk away.  Do so when knowing that the risks are just not worth the reward.  Like waking up with your testicles chopped off.   When you're trading "walking away" is the most important skill you have.  Think of the market as dating opportunities 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, with opportunities almost every hour.   You need to know when to walk away and sit out a trade.  Sure the Moving Averages look good, the MACD looks good, but there is news coming up and the trend analysis doesn't look good.  Walk away. Save yourself the headache.

The minute she wants to be friends...  When her ex is back in the picture...  When she starts showing some real emotional issues...  When you just don't feel the connection...

#8  The Routine

I have been on countless dates.   It's really down to a routine.   I meet for coffee, always after sunset, so it's more intimate, and I never go for dinner.  I get to know the girl, what she does for work, for fun, her family, what she's looking for.  I crack some jokes. Tease her a little.  See how her body language responds.  Is she smiling, giggling.  Touching me.  Then I ask her to come back to my place for a night cap or to watch a movie.    Maybe a bit aggressive but why bother with date 2 or 3 when there is no chemistry and trust on the first date.  And as for just coffee, well I find dinners overrated, time consuming, and boring.  I don't like to eat out and find when a girl is more interested in how much money you spend on her than she is in just having a conversation in a neutral setting, then she isn't worth my attention.   That's me, that's my routine.  I am happy.

When it comes to trading my routine is not dissimilar.  I get up in the morning, drink a glass of water, then make Strong Espresso.  If and only if I'm fully awake then I glimpse at the market.  Get to know the market.  I do the same basic checks, what's the big picture, where is the market moving now, what news is coming up, what are my indicators telling me.   Are the indicators favorable. Am I liking the situation.  What is the risk, what is the reward?   Sometimes I walk away, sometimes I make a move.   If I have made a trade I will keep an eye on it.   Around lunch and dinner times (they happen to coincide with Europe Open and US Open Times), I have another look and see what is developing.  If I don't see anything I'm usually happy.   Just like I'm happy to ditch a date from hell by taking that emergency phone call "Oh my god, what happened?  I'll be right there" "Sorry gotta go".     I know far to well that waking up next to a basket case is just as bad as hitting a Big Fat Stop Loss.   I either go out on a real date at this point, do sports, or watch a movie.   Eventually bed time hits and the next morning I repeat my routine.

I keep a normal routine.  I don't believe in working late. I don't believe in trading all hours of the day.  I believe in trading around your lifestyle and schedule.   Integrating trading with my lifestyle.  Of course there are times you have to make trading a priority, just like you make that hottie with the hourglass shape a priority when she smiles and asks you what you're doing later tonight.

All in all trading is like dating.  A lot of gotchas.  A lot of lessons learned.  Eventually you will have it down to a routine and enjoy that routine.

Happy Dating. ;)