Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Special Post - Raising the Bar for the Final Lap

11:16pm - With one week to go in the quarter, I've done some deep soul searching and decided to do two things as I prepare for the fourth and final leg of this year's race. The soul-searching was prompted by some exhaustion setting in at this end, as well as a preview update of the attached daily equity chart (click to enlarge) that I first posted at the end of August. And yes, the last parabolic line truly reflects September's performance to date.

First, and for the first time in nine months, I'm going to shift gears and play a bit of extended defense over the final five trading days of this third quarter -- essentially putting myself in major income preservation mode for the final days of the quarter. The reason is simple ... performance over the last few days -- despite getting back on track today -- tells me I'm lacking some focus and am extremely drained right now (not a good combo with a volatile market!) after what's been a record push this month. So I want to lock up what's been a strong third leg and get mentally refreshed for the final push to year-end. I'm also not typically a strong end-of-month player.

So for all of my old and new friends who have been screaming at me to slow it down, kill the DAX trading, switch to the rubber hammer, etc., this stubborn Type A person is finally listening. Yes, I'm tired. The blog posts show it, your comments show it, and the diminishing returns of the last few days show it. Keep talking to me as we work to strengthen one another.

In doing so, I do have one major concern, which is losing the aggression that's brought me this far -- which brings up my second adjustment, which is raising the annual bar another notch by setting a "stretch" net income target of $1.25 Million so I keep motivated right up until the final score is tallied on December 31. "Stretch" meaning my initial goal still stands and remains my objective, but I'm viewing the "stretch" as a bonus carrot and am considering donating a portion to charity and giving back to this industry even more in some way if attained.

Three laps almost complete and then one final 3-month push to the finish line. The counter shows under 100 days to go, so the race isn't close to being over yet and a lot more work remains.

I'm just momentarily coming up for air before holding my breath for the final swim.

3 comments:

FastTrader said...

Sounds like a solid plan Don! Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

take a vacation

Eric said...

Don - I think thats a good move on your part to focus on taking steps to ensure you reach your long-term goal instead of pushing it too hard & burning out at the end. Reading your post, I am reminded of playing soccer (as I did so for 15 years) and how there was sort of art of getting into the best conditioning level without burning out before it really mattered.

Further, I think that there will be many opportunities for the remainder of the year & you will put yourself in a better position for them by taking it easy & following what your body is telling you. Even Lance Armstrong doesn't ride at the front of the pack the entire race, but I certainly wouldn't bet against him winning the race.

Regards,
Eric