Saturday, November 29, 2008

Special Post - Finish Line Adjustments

I continue to give a great deal of thought to the coming month, especially on the heels of yesterday's initial reflections of how November ended. And frankly, I'm feeling differently about things as the sun rose this morning, and here's why.

I've long preached that I view each day, week, month, quarter, and year as single "trades", with most emphasis on the monthly timeframes and above. So here we are at the end of the most important trading timeframe -- the year -- which in the overall scheme of things is the only one that matters.

As such, the more I look back at my trading towards the end of November, the more I believe my inner clock may have taken over in terms of activating an internal defensive mechanism similar to that which often kicks in for me during the last hour of the day's "trade", the last day of the month's "trade", and the last week of a quarter's "trade".

The best analogy I can provide is that I feel it's 3:30pm at the end of the day's trade. Most of the work is over, the day's mission was accomplished, my focus is drained, and I'm not looking to press my capital during a time when my focus and interest may not be at their best. And as a result, I often scale sizes back and play defense. When I don't -- and this blog is littered with last hour sub par performances -- it's reflected in the P&L.

Well, it's now 3:30pm of the "year". Most of the work is over, the year's mission was accomplished, my focus is drained, and I'm not looking to press my capital during a time when my focus and interest may not be at their best (yes, that's the exact same sentence except for one word).

Yes, this is a major shift for me. Yet I've pushed myself harder than I ever have for 334 days and it's now showing. The focus and energy level aren't there ... that's crystal clear in the posts and results of the last couple of weeks. And as a result, I believe there's strong risk of losing focus at a critical time, and even stronger risk that I won't have the needed energy or the time for another comeback should it happen.

You may recall that as the third quarter drew to a close two months ago, I chose to raise the bar beyond the initial $1 Million target to $1.25 Million. Then October provided seasoned traders with a gift of historic volatility during which time I was able to floor the accelerator. The result was a month that exceeded many previous annual tallies, which also made the setting of any further targets a futile exercise. And finally November had just enough carryover momentum from October -- both in terms of the market's volatility and performance at this end -- to shoot the Bamboo even higher.

So there it is. Most of the work has been completed. Most of the remaining work -- to the extent I choose to participate -- will definitely be over by Christmas. It's very possible that over the next month that I'll sacrifice some profit potential as I often do at the end of the day. Yet as is the case during those times, I know the next day will be here soon enough where we get to start all over again with a renewed focus and plan.

It's 3:30pm and time to act accordingly.

Look for a video shortly.

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