The New York Stock Exchange opened up with a fury rarely known in the last 2.5 years of trading and it was kind of cool. One problem though: I wasn’t able to get in the market. As the title of the post implies, today was a bit of a waste in terms of trading and in terms of the effort made to trade. However, it wasn’t a total waste and I’m thankful for that. I didn’t want to go into the market with size given that today is the last Friday before July 4th and in all honesty, I shouldn’t have even really traded at all but that’s how things played themselves out so I formulated a strategy for today but last night.
Since I wasn’t going to be playing today’s cash open with size, I would make up for that with an overnight sort of size trade in the British Pound. It was a nice trade and I caught a good move out of it. I was really fortunate in that respect because I thought that all US backed currency contracts were going to move sideways especially after the broader markets gained 160 on wednesday then gave it all back yesterday. So, I was really grateful to have caught the move I did. Now, here’s where things got dicey. If it weren’t for me driving the fiancée to work this morning, I probably would have just slept in, woke up late and had a bowl of corn pops for breakfast but being that I have a tiny sense of work ethic I didn’t want this day to go to waste so I decided that in addition to the British Pound, I would go and trade the cash open. So, here I was getting ready to trade on the DOM when I noticed something. I usually will check the speed of my limit orders several levels below the market to see if my orders are routed quickly – it’s just a basic test that many traders do, no big deal. However, this morning, I noticed that my orders were coming in slower than usual. So, I just let the machine chill for a little bit and reset my connection. I click again and limit orders on both the buy and sell side of the DOM are slow. Not “slow” mind you but relatively too slow to play the market. If limit orders are that slow to get to the exchange, then guess what? If you really need to get out on a market order you’ll have to do pray to Vishnu/God/Zeus to get you out at a respectable price if the market suddenly gets crazy.
What is a small trader like me to do? I’m already set to trade and there’s like 20 seconds left before the opening bell. I really wanted to trade but I can’t trade under those conditions, so I just calmly took my hand off of the mouse , turned it off (I have a wireless one) and mentally traded as New York opened up. I felt like I had just killed time that I could have used to do something else.
But all is not lost. In the very least, I have green numbers on the PnL and I am extremely fortunate that I will have money in the account come next week when we resume trading. I didn’t envision things happening today then way they did but I am thankful I made decisions that would protect the business capital and thus protect my emotional security which would radiate into the rest of my daily life with my family, friends and overall outlook. I’m really thankful I had the discipline to do this because at a younger age, I would have probably tried to force a trade and put myself into a super shitty position. Now, I can enjoy the weekend neither grumpy but not happy. I am delta neutral but I can at least rustle up some positivity & gratefulness from there – and that is the name of the game.