Keep Calm and Don't Move Your Stops.....

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The Purpose of Life is Joy!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Reflections 2016

Failure is an option. It is one among many options. In reflecting on this year, many things fall into the category of failure or at least not working out the way I would have envisioned. This post is going to detail a few of those things as well as offer a few thoughts on the upcoming year.

This year has been a year of frustration in terms of my trading. It has been a year of loss as only one year ago this month, I lost my mom and only two months ago my father who was one of my best friends passed as well. In addition to this, a number of personal aspirations which I've not previously mentioned here in the blog have not worked out well at all.

This year marks several years of loss. My business, my health, my parents, the fair weather friends that took off when the money dried up, trading, etc. It's been a tough few years and I'm mentally and emotionally tired.

A lot of these things began re-inserting themselves into my mind this last week and really began to assert themselves this weekend. I assume its the melancholy of the holidays without my parents. Nevertheless, the losses are real and the feelings are real.

With my fathers passing, both my wife and I have been chatting about seasons coming to an end and new seasons opening up. These last few years have been a season of loss, pain, frustration, humiliation and discouragement and yet even on the day we held my father's memorial, I felt a sense of relief or to put it another way, like his passing was the last of the past and the future began to open up. I have no way to really explain the sensation other than to say it was palatable.

As I set up my daughters new laptop today, I started thinking about all this loss and what it means for the future and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that all loss is in the past. And then I stumbled on this  and realized that I am stronger than I have thought I am. I think I have the internal strength to not only survive the losses but to thrive in spite of them.

This started me thinking about the future and what I wanted for myself and my family. I came up with a few things.

  • Financial freedom. I am done being dependent on others including my wife's income but more specifically needing an employer to "approve" of me in order to earn a living. This isn't necessarily bad, most people need a job. But I no longer want that feeling of not being in control of my own destiny. I will be taking a job with a major bank in March to be their mortgage banking rep. This is something I can do in my sleep and will pay the bills for the foreseeable future or at least until I am consistent enough in trading to not worry about the income side of things. 
  • Geographical Freedom. This relates to the previous point. I intend to create enough financial freedom to allow my my family and I to reside or travel wherever, whenever we please. 
  • New traditions. As long as my parents were alive, my extended family participated in the traditions that revolved around my parents. This year, my extended family all elected to spend Christmas more or less isolated from everyone including each other. In some respects, I understand and respect that given we just spent the last few months joined at the hip in the hospital. However, I realize my parents traditions were not our traditions and I need to create our own for my family. I'll be working on this with my wife throughout the year. 
  • Activities away from trading. This has been a hard one but I think I have arrived at a reasonable conclusion. In 2017, once my degree is finished, I will attend the training to become a CASA. In Arizona, we have people that act as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. This person is the eyes and ears of the court on behalf of children in the foster care system. This is a volunteer child advocacy position. I also have an idea about working with a human trafficking organization but that one will have to wait for just a bit. 
  • Physical fitness. For me, this just means eating better although I've already begun this a few months ago. I've lost about 12 pounds just in adjusting the volume of food I eat. I'll add to this, some strength training as well as some yoga. I need this to strengthen my back but good physical fitness is important to trading as well. 
  • Reduce or eliminate negativity in my life. This includes politics, toxic people, non-essential possessions and any other thing that creates unwanted stress or negativity. 
  • Replace negativity and toxicity with good things. This includes great people, motivational and uplifting songs, books, videos, spirituality, etc. 
How does all this relate to trading? Well, trading is foundational to much of it. For financial independence as well as geographical freedom, I need to be a consistent profitable trader. And to be that, I need to finally learn how to work within my mental shortcomings to maximize my trading results. I think I have made some good progress on this in the last couple of weeks. 

So in terms of my trading, I continue to try to simplify things. It has come down to this:
  • Use a higher time frame, 30M up to 1 day to determine trend.
  • Find the most likely support or resistance to locate trades within that trend using either prior breakout levels or pull back levels. 
  • Use a 5M or 1M chart to minimize risk and confirm trend resumption on the entry
  • Hold for likely structural or fib based exits. 
  • Add to each viable trade as many times as possible inside the entry and exit locations minimizing risk on each add as though it were the first entry. 
  • Walk away when the trade is over. No need to over do it. 
That's it. Be mentally tough before, during and after the trade. Keep the future and what trading means to the future in mind as the inevitable emotions come crowding in during the trade. And lastly as Casey Neistat says, "Just do good work."


  1. I suggest that u use trampoline to exercise. Very suitable to traders like us - up and down, and minimal sideways. :) happy new year 2017

    1. LOL, I hear you...but a trampoline would destroy whats left of my lower back. I'm working on healing it, not making it worse!.

  2. Thank you sir for your kind offer. Catharsis is something I'd like right now. I am generally a beach person (even with all the people around)for that kind of solitude but mountains sound positively wonderful at this moment. Unfortunately, its not in the cards this time around. I have obligations and commitments through the end of February and then I start my new position at the bank.It's gonna be a year before I think about any kind of extended travel. But one of those new traditions I wrote about is going to be an annual Christmas trip somewhere.

    As I think about loss, I'm slowly realizing that everyone no matter who they are or how successful they are, experience loss, often mind numbing loss. And those losses can define us or we can define the loss in terms of what we have left. The loss of a loved one leaves a large vacant space in our lives for sure and yet, most of us have many other loved ones around us to help share the load. I have allowed the losses to define me over these last few years. And if you do that, the definition is spelled "loser". Unbeknownst to me, I have allowed that definition to settle on my shoulders like a heavy coat and I've carried the identity of a loser around all these years. But this last week and weekend, I've realized I have allowed this terrible tragedy to continue for far to long. Its time for a change not only of attitude but of behavior. I'm not a loser, loss just happened, much of it out of my control. So time to stop acting and talking like a loser and time to start acting and talking like a winner again!

    Thank you again my friend for the generous offer. I wish I could take you up on it!

  3. Good post! May all our dreams and goals come to fruition in 2017 and beyond!

  4. There is one key component that affects every single trade you take... you. Your Trading Psychology very often is the difference between a successful trade and an unsuccessful one.You can be the strongest minded human being on the planet, but you are still human and as a human you have emotions.cryptocurrency prices


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