The New York Stock Exchange opened up pretty strong this morning. This is what is needed – a strong conviction either way to give everyone in the market a chance to make money. Some people make money, some people don’t. I fall into the latter category – at least for today.
I only traded two assets today, it would have been three but when I looked at the Euro this morning, I wasn’t particularly impressed enough by its movements to commit some capital to it. The next trade I made was Wheat and even though I felt like I had gotten in at a good price window, the market just didn’t move enough for me and I didn’t want to be sticking around when there was absolutely no reason for my trade to still be on. I exited with a handful of ticks. Then going onto the cash open, I kept my trades mostly to the Nasdaq. I don’t know if things would have ended up better in the Dow but all I know is that I completely shit the bed there. I just could not get a bearing on the market and ended up eroding the positive PnL that I had built up through the Wheat trade.
I want to switch gears for a moment because I always see people giving good advice on their blogs and I realized that I don’t have much to offer. So, here is my two cents:
I took my wife (she’s my fiancée but I hate saying the word now so I just refer to her as my wife) to work this morning so I could get her car serviced at the mechanic’s. This entailed me having to trade mobile at a Starbucks. When I got there, it was crowded and the only space left was one of the center group tables. I don’t like sitting there because I feel like the surface is too glossy and makes for a difficult time controlling the mouse. Long story short, because I had to be extra careful with the mouse movements, I was compensating in ways that affected my eye speed and overall mental preparedness. It only cost me 4 ticks in total but a tick is capital that you will never get back and in this dumb business, you need as much capital as you can muster. I have always been meaning to do this but now it is more important than ever: I need to buy a mousepad. Not the glossy ones but the meshy or matte surface ones that your mouse can grip on. Sure, there are tables in public Wi-Fi places that have ok surfaces but there are cases when there aren’t and you don’t want to get caught like that. It’s important to control as much of your trading atmosphere as you can. As soon as I finish posting this, I’m off to Staples or Office Max to get one but I’ll get it cheap because I want to see if I can find one customized to my taste – like maybe something with one of my favorite team logos.
Anyway, like I was saying – this week is horrible for me. I thought that last week sucked but this week has found a way to jam a hammer so far up my nose that I don’t even know what to say anymore. I do have something to look forward to in that the volatility indicators for the British Pound have made it favorable (for me) to initiate an overnight trade. I don’t know what direction I’m going to go and I wish I could say right now for the sake of entertainment but I don’t know if I’ll go long or short. I do know, however, that I’ve got to make at least 15 ticks on default risk size just to even be able to say that I salvaged this week. If I can do that, then you know what? I just won’t trade the New York cash open or anything at the ICE tomorrow. I’ll be satisfied to close the books with the British Pound trade. Why don’t I just close the books on trading for this week, you ask? Well, I’ve got to keep working, it’s just as simple as that. These bills ain’t gonna pay themselves and while I do risk losing more money, the opportunity cost of missing a good day is worse. Yes, it sucks to lose money but that’s just the reality of this stupid business. You will lose money but it’s up to you to lose as little as you can. The rest of the business is about bravery; bravery to keep getting up and going on for another day. So what if you blow up? Well, then you blew up. What’s the big deal? Did you die? No. Have you put your family’s financial lives in danger? No. All you did was fuck up your account. But because you had good risk management in place and you weren’t putting in good money after bad, you can still recover and pony up to play again.
It’s only too late to start over again when you’re dead.
But this isn’t a glowing recommendation of this business. This is just a shake of perspective. Believe me, I could have become a doctor or a lawyer but noooooooooooooo….I wanted to be Mr. Macho Wall Street Man drinking bourbon while doing coke, getting call girls and not using my lane change signals during high speed driving. See? This is where I am now: miserable, with my main goal being to get a mouse pad at Office Max. Think about this everytime you see/hear people talking about how cool it is to be a “trader”.
Still. I am thankful to God for the blessings I have and the opportunity to trade again tomorrow. I am but a small speck, a molecule in this grand game of time and existence. I have a lot to be grateful about and I will live this day as such. There is still tomorrow and I can make a difference, but I can’t be a good loser and accept this day with a smile. I’ve got to steel myself and it all starts with being a professional and decent person right now.
Seriously though, get a mouse pad for yourself.