Late Summer Calm

It’s the first full night of my vacation and it seems so weird not waking up to work. The drive to the vacation spot was nice and measured. I literally camped out in the right lane for most of the way and the weather/road conditions were cooperative.

We only got to our place before sunset so my wife and I had enough time to square ourselves away. We unpacked, went grocery shopping and got Chinese take-out. I got to set up my xbox and computer so I am ready to chill and relax.

I could live like this forever…

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Vacation Time!

The New York Stock Exchange traded sort of fast today. It was nothing to complain or write home about. The only reason I was sort of productive today was because I traded on volume and ran with less than half capacity for my contracts.

Like I said, trading the open was quick and despite 2 or 3 trades that didn’t work out, I made money overall but decided to wrap it up as I saw the momentum of the open about to slow. Trading Feeder Cattle was the determining factor in my day though as I didn’t have to do much but ride the waves of supply and demand. 5 trades netting a good amount of ticks and I was done for the day.

My wife and I are packed for our trip. We’ll be leaving bright and early tomorrow so we can pace ourselves throughout the day and not have to drive quickly to get to our vacation spot. I can’t wait to plug in the xbox one at the rental place and game to my heart’s delight hahaha. (It’ll be the last thing I pack tonight because after I shut off my computer, I’ve been doing nothing but gaming and snacking). Of course, there will be a lot of eating during the trip too which is gonna be dopetastic! I’m so glad to be done with this quarter of trading. Hopefully, there will be movement going into the last 3 available months of trading.

You never know when the opportunity comes to pad your stats and when it’s there, you gotta take it.

Packing Up

The New York Stock Exchange got off to a slow start this morning. I am wishing that we’ll have at least tomorrow where the market will move because Labor Day is pretty much here and traders aren’t gonna want to complete the week.

I won’t either. I’m already starting to pack and figure out schedules for when my wife and I leave for vacation this Thursday. I will be taking 2 weeks off before trying to hammer out some solid gains for the last quarter of the year. Speaking of hammering out gains, that’s what I had to do with British Pound today. I was actually playing full size but because there really wasn’t much movement going on, I had to be quick about my exits so that I wouldn’t find myself stuck.

All in all, it was a pretty meh kind of day. There was nothing lost – but there was really nothing gained.

The Greatest Train-Wreck You’ll Ever Read About

The New York Stock Exchange traded nicely today. There was a little jump on the futures but I felt like it wasn’t going to translate over to any meaningful moves in the cash open so my contract exposure wasn’t all that big. I was probably at half capacity today. It was the same with my trades in Cocoa. All in all, I guess I was productive.

I would have probably been mad at a day like this before – being half loaded and all – but because I choose to see the markets differently, I just don’t really care.

It’s all in how you choose to perceive things.

So sit back, Ladies and Gentlemen…I’m about to take you on the literary ride of your life.

I was already approaching the middle of my trading career when I decided to live out in Asia with Shibuya being my primary residence (I would be trading for a small private fund my college friend worked for). This was where I met her.

I’ll just call her Yoshino to simplify things.

She was half French, half Japanese and worked for one of those old European investment banks. Our relationship was a whirlwind typical of young to mid-twenties “adults” complete with the drama that you would expect. We traveled all throughout Asia; Manila, Singapore, etc. It was great fun. But we also fought – like, alot. She wasn’t pleased about what she felt was an immaturity on my part because she didn’t like my nightlife activities. I also was not fond of the guys she kept around her. It was an uneven peace, breakable by any random volley whether intentional or not.

So now that I’ve set the preface of this post. I want to talk about what happened to end it all. I wanted to go back to the US and eventually settle back home in Baton Rogue and Yoshino was really supportive. I even took her back there to visit to make sure she really understood what it was like to live in the southern part of the US – like in the reallllly southern part of the US. She was fine with it but dropped hints that we should get engaged, so I proposed and the next year in Shibuya was basically me proving to her daily that I was committed to the relationship.

So now, the time comes when we’re going back to the US (New York, to be exact) and Yoshino is getting cold feet. I need to go back at this point because I don’t like working the New York Open from Tokyo and I need to be closer to my livestock, commodities contacts to trade independently. I’ve already left the hedge fund and I need to make the move ASAP but Yoshino was just dragging out the process. With all our stuff sold, employment issues resolved and ready to go, the final step was to fly out of Narita. Yoshino told me she wanted to see her parents and that she’d meet me there. I agreed (dumbest mistake ever). We missed our flight heading back to LAX and when I finally got in touch with Yoshino, she wasn’t at her parents place. So now, I’m really frantic. I’m stuck in Japan and I need to start trading as soon as possible because I don’t want to dry up my bank account. I’m begging Yoshino to show up at Narita so we can leave. We schedule another flight a week later and I stay with a friend at Chiba, but here’s the thing – Yoshino won’t meet me. She wants to meet at the airport. So now, I’m at wit’s end trying to understand what her problem is. Here I am thinking everything is fine but she just doesn’t want to meet with me. My friend in Shibuya is already telling me to break off the engagement, my college friends are telling me to break off the engagement and my dad out Louisiana is telling me to just come back. But I didn’t want to come back without her. I’m like crying at this point because this is some traumatic shit for me and I just kept begging Yoshino to just be with me and go to the airport together. She kept refusing and told me to trust her. The day comes and I’m waiting at Narita airport. Yoshino doesn’t show up. I’m at the boarding gates and I knew I needed to make a decision. Looking like an overemotional weirdo with the thousand yard stare, I got on the plane and left Japan.

The next few weeks are a blur as I’m trying to understand what is wrong with my fiancee. At the same time, I’m setting up my system and trying to trade to pay for the apartment in Manhattan. As you probably suspect, my trading was bad at this time – like, really bad. A college buddy of mine in the city, after seeing what was happening had to practically drag me into his company’s HR office for a part-time position so that I wouldn’t fully tip and not be able to make rent. All the while, I’m sitting there begging for Yoshino to come to New York. My mental state is completely gassed at this point. I don’t know what to do.

After two months of being in relationship purgatory, yelling and crying at each other over Skype, Yoshino tells me to meet her in Paris because she needed to go back to where she went to university for some clarity, whatever the fuck that meant. She tells me to meet her there and we’ll fly out of De Gaulle back to New York together. At this point, ex co-workers and cousins are sending me messages on Facebook telling me to just end the relationship (man, everyone knows your business once you get on Facebook, lol). But I couldn’t. I didn’t want to leave after being so emotionally invested in Yoshino.

I knew that I had doubled down repeatedly, but I just wanted to double down once more in the hopes that everything would all just work out.

I asked Yoshino to meet me at that plaza near the Eiffel tower – you know, the one where everyone posts their shots on Instagram after the marriage proposals. I went to a Cartier store and got her this small bracelet (nevermind that I already spent money on the engagement ring) to give to her once we’d meet. So, the date is set and here I am at the Eiffel Tower with a bouquet of flowers 10 minutes early for our 7PM meeting.

She didn’t show up.

I waited there until 11:30PM – like an idiot. I was shocked. And contrary to what you might think; Parisians are jaded as fuck and when they see that yo ass got stood up, ain’t nobody gonna give yo dumb ass a pep talk, hahaha.

On the way back to the hotel, the notifications started pouring in from my friends. Apparently, Yoshino posted to her Facebook wall for the first time since this mess started in Tokyo. It was one of those graphics with the pretty letterings and shit with a faded flower in the background and it said;

relationships are like glass.

sometimes, it’s better to leave them broken,

than try to hurt yourself putting them back together.

I took an afternoon flight out of De Gaulle the next day.

~~

There’s a term that some trading book used about getting out of bad trades: “forced awareness”. It’s when everything falls apart around you and you have no choice, despite your best intentions, but to accept the fact that the situation has become a complete shitfest.

I didn’t want to accept that in the weeks leading up to our move to the US, Yoshino and I were fighting without any end in sight. When push finally came to shove, it was all there for me to see but because I i didn’t want to accept the loss, it spiraled into the horrific situation that it did.

I fundamentally changed in the way that I saw Love and in the way that I saw the things I loved as a whole – including trading. I was just – to put it simply – a different person afterwards.

Being in that situation gave me the clarity to not put anything on too high of a level of sacredness – it also emphasized to me the importance of keeping my emotional state as the first and foremost priority. I’m not jaded or anything, by any means. I just don’t give as much of a shit about things as I used to – and yes, this involves love and trading. While I am married to an objectively hotter woman than Yoshino and I still trade, I approach things from a different matter. Especially with my wife because she not only understood how badly the situation affected me, but she also went through something eerily similar.

What I’m trying to say here to all of you traders is, don’t chase the game. Just don’t. If it comes to you – great. If it doesn’t, and you’ve given it all you got – move on. Like I said in the other post, “success” is just the beginning and you will find that the challenges there almost nullify whatever the dream was worth to begin with. Trading is a fickle endeavor. You don’t choose it – it chooses you. Don’t let it get to that point where it has you emotionally compromised.

No ambition is ever worth that.

And no person is ever worth that.

I never thought I would say those words as a young man but after seeing how dumb this career really is and after experiencing subsequent relationships – it really is all just a pile of crap. But it makes finding the real thing all the more special.

Love yourself first because contrary to what people say, that’s the only way you’ll learn how to properly relate to others. It is not the other way around. Treat your capital the same way. Love your capital – it’s an extension of you. Take care of it. Because once it’s gone, it’s gone. Fuck the whole; “oh well, it hit my stop! tee hee! time for the next trade!” attitude.

You are responsible for how you react to things in your life. If something keeps making you feel bad or if you are in a losing trade, it’s your responsibility to get out of it. Only you can fix it. The responsibility falls on you and you alone.

EPILOGUE:

One of the nicest things my wife and I did for each other while we were dating was to go to the places that had the most pain for us and make good memories with each other there. I wanted our relationship to feel like everything being a first for us and so going to places or doing things that held strong negative memories for my wife was something I wanted to work her through. And to both our surprise, it was actually very fun even though it was merely symbolic. When we went back to Shibuya a couple of years ago, she told me how thankful she was that we were doing this and how glad she was to “repave the roads”, so to speak, for me the way I did for her. We went to Paris two Christmases ago and you know what? When you’re happy, even the local Parisians are happy for you lmaoo. We got a photo of ourselves doing those iconic Paris kissing poses that you see in front of the Eiffel Tower – a stark contrast from that lonely summer night where I was alone at the bottom of the walkway stairs sobbing like a li’l bitch hahahaha

I Made It

I really wish I traded the whole day, or at least until 11 this morning because that would have made my wallet a lot fatter going into my vacation. Such is life, you just never know what will happen.

I traded Wheat this morning for a respectable PnL number. One where I said, “cool! this will help me out for my week-long Labor Day vacation!”. I was so happy and giddy. Even trading the cash open was a breeze even though I didn’t get all that much from it. So I said, “hey, I’ve already made good money today and I’m going into the weekend on a good note. I’ll just settle down and relax.” And relax, I did.

Then my friend calls me up and tells me the Dow basically took a gigantic steaming shit on anyone who got long for the day. Normally, I don’t watch CNBC in the afternoon but since I was sort of napping on the couch I reached over for my remote control and turned the TV on….

Wow…

If I was short the whole day, with the size I had, I would have made enough to pay for my monthly on my truck and the monthly on my wife’s SUV. Oh well, what can you do. At least I don’t have to deal with the market until Monday. Until then, I’ll just be playing Metal Gear.

So Tired

The New York Stock Exchange traded really slow this morning. I didn’t really get many opportunities to trade. It was a shame – today was the day I was fully sized and I was expecting some good moves.

Asset trading was also non-existent. I caught 2 iffy moves on British Pound but there was just no continuation.

Overall, today just sucked: it wasn’t productive.

~~

I’ve been reading on the guide for Metal Gear V and I am having a blast playing this game. I made more progress last night than the first 3 hours that I played the game months ago. I am very pleased with the guide and might purchase another one for Grand Theft Auto 5. In fact, now that I know these guides are floating around, I am emboldened to get games like Dark Souls and Sekiro.

Yeah, that’s pretty much all there is to it. I’m also just swimming. It’s kinda cool. And starting to get ready for my vacation on Labor Day.

A Mixed Bag

The New York Stock Exchange is starting to abate a little bit in terms of opening volatility but that’s not surprising. I think everyone that’s made money has made money and the only schleps that are trading are the common people like me trying to make some money to live.

I had a good PnL with Feeder Cattle this morning. With the moves you get there, it’s really all about placement and getting out. I had 3 very good moves, albeit less than half risk capacity but still very good. Trading the contract was less about waiting and more about being prepared to jump off the wagon. I did a good job with that so I’m thankful.

Where I shit my pants though like a whiny child at Disneyworld was the cash open. I started off resilient, shaking off some breakeven moves and making proactive decisions to jump out of harm’s way, however, I hit a bad series of trades and it marred what would otherwise have been a perfect day, but again because I was half risk capacity, I didn’t get hurt too badly and the moves for feeder cattle were enough to offset my aggregate cash open loss.

I’m more thankful for this than you might think. Today’s performance stabilizes what was beginning to be a crappy week for me. Hopefully, we’ll open up well tomorrow and/or get some action in the other asset markets. Till then, I just gotta keep being a professional.