Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday PM Notes - A Good Read

A Good Read - In commenting on Sunday's post, Ziad posted a great link to a Harvard Business Review article that our good friend Dr. Brett Steenbarger discussed a few days ago, entitled "The Making of a Corporate Athlete". I strongly encourage you to read Brett's perspective along with the article itself.

I'll let Brett's words of wisdom and the article stand for themselves, while simply adding one observation that the article referenced "journal writing" as one of the activities (along with meditation and service to others) that taps a necessary source of energy that serves as "sustenance in the face of adversity and as a powerful source of motivation, focus, determination, and resilience."

I about dropped the snack I was eating on the floor when I came across that section as I thought back to the impact that this blog likely had on last year's performance. Suffice it to say it's highly likely that I underestimated the power and benefit that documenting my thoughts in this manner provided me in terms of staying on task throughout the year. And to think this started off in part as an experiment. And while I firmly believed the blog helped me, I don't think I ever fully understood why.

Thanks for the great stuff Brett and Ziad.

Distancing Myself - It's become clear to me as I dip my toes in the 2009 trading pool that I need to put as much mental distance between last year and this year as possible. In other words -- using the marriage analogy on the front of my mind given my sister's wedding this weekend -- the honeymoon is over and it's time to go to work (sorry, sis).

And like forgetting a bad loss, I'm finding that time seems to be helping, as the more days that pass, the more the past seems to blur and I feel I'm able to focus on the unwritten road ahead.

They say time heals and helps us to forget. In my case, it needs to continue to help me forget the bounty of 2008. And to that end, I intend on removing the '08 stats to the left by end of this week which remain up solely to allow one last chance for onlooking traders to consider incorporating the linked chart concepts into their own trading. For me, I don't ever want to see them again.

The comeback chart will of course remain. It will always remain the only chart that matters.

Have a pleasant evening.


E said...

I have learned to love range trading. Some experts say @ 72% of the time we get ranges, but it's the damage that those other 28% does to our account if we dont manage the stop.

Today was a good example of the marginal break both sides and then carve up the pull back traders.

Allowing for the 1 or two point "slop" has helped my trading a lot; still working on not being stubborn after that.

Mid day chop I try to avoid whenever possible. Putting the mouse for my trading computer in the desk drawer helps keep the itchy trigger finger away!

Thanks as always Don.

Don Miller said...

Good words E.

I know others who also excel in range trading, and actually seem to do my best on anticipating what I call the expected "oscillation" day after a strong trend day or two where wholesale fades are the name of the game.

In hindsight, I suppose today was also one of those days as we'd had a couple of days of strong trends (albeit on low volume). So it's probably little surprise that we had the range day where pullback trades typically don't pay.


Ziad said...

I wanted to thank you too Don for recommending the book "Golf is not a game of Perfect". I purchased it a while back and have almost finished reading it, and wow what an amazing book. It has refined the way I think and truly made me understand just what it takes to have an elite competitor mindset. The best chapter is #11, in which Tom Kite explains how, even with similar skill sets, he performs at such a higher level than most good players.

It's a fabulous read and in my opinion contains the "secret" to world class performance if there ever was one.