Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Weekend Trader (Saturday Edition)

We'll title today's entry: "Land of the Unknown." I thought about "Fear of the Unknown", but scratched it for what should become obvious reasons.

I continue to find myself in a land completely unfamiliar to me in this journey of 2008. Perhaps that's one of the subconscious reasons I chose to reconnect with past friends and start this blog. Who knows. All I know is I'm keenly aware that few people have attempted to pursue the mission that I've chosen to pursue. A million dollar income target; One year; Just shy of a 150% return; Consistent performance every month sustained over twelve months; In an industry where decisions are made continually and where burnout is all but impossible to avoid; In a field where probability rules and certainty drools; Where the market's tide is constantly shifting; Through bad beats, missed opportunities, brain cramps, occasional illness, etc.; With an aging - albeit surprisingly sharper than ever - 47 year old body in a highly competitive industry full of twenty-somethings; While balancing family and non-market obligations. I'm trying hard not to laugh.

I truly believe that everyone experiences something like this in his/her life. Maybe it's some kind of self-actualization thing in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. One's ultimate goal, Holy Grail, Mount Everest, or Gold Medal (hopefully, not one's Moby Dick!). I have to believe anyone looking over my shoulder can relate in some way.

And it's not all about the money. I'd by lying if I didn't say that it's more than partly about the money ... after all, it does reflect my source of income! Sure, if accomplished, the kids' college tuition will be taken care of, career decisions will become simpler, and the speaking engagement invitations (which I typically avoid like the plague) will increase. Yet it would not be unlike winning a World Poker Tour or PGA Title where one's satisfaction is based as much -- if not more -- on one's performance as it is the financial reward.

The world is of course full of "It can't be done" skeptics. And frankly, the majority of the time they may be right. History has certainly shown that the vast majority who get close to reaching similar goals self-implode. Teams come back from huge deficits only to lose momentum and focus to get them over the top. A certain not-to-be-named local NFL team goes perfect all season until a ridiculous helmet catch on a Hail Mary in the waning moments of a long season. Poker tournament chip stacks (another field driven by continual probability decisions) gained over hundreds of hands are taken down in less than a dozen. And to this day, I still haven't found any "investors" who held onto those temporary Internet stock bubble gains from a decade ago.

Admittedly, I'm a bit tired right now as I reflect on this Saturday. The recent momentary mental slip and subsequent rapid comeback have zapped my energy somewhat, and we're currently in the dog days of summer trading. And I stink at taking vacations ... even short ones.

Yet this is where I must rededicate myself and take the road less traveled. For I must internally summon every ounce of strength, experience, and self-motivation to take a right when most people choose left. I must be in the small minority and do what others are unwilling or unable to do. I must rely on a strength greater than me.

I will make it. No maybes, wannabes, hoping, listening to naysayers, etc. What is currently temporary must become permanent. In the words of Gene Kranz, lead flight director of Mission Control for Apollo 13, "Failure is not an option."

Yoda had it right, "Try not. Do or do not, there is no try."

A little over five months to go. 45% of the year. I can't let up as excuses won't be tolerated. A lot of work remains, and there will be time to rest when the season is over.

Which brings me yet again to the chart that has brought me this far:

I'm thinking that all I need is one more five-month comeback.

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