Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday Notes - The Toughest Student

Someone asked me the other day why I chose to start a blog last year, as well as "why the Jellies"? And while are were many reasons for both which are well chronicled in these pages, there would be one common thread in both responses ... and that is my desire to openly share the reality in this business that is too often hidden behind smoke and mirrors.

So last year, I chose to chronicle every bump and bruise in a way that had rarely -- if ever -- been done before in such a public forum. The rest, as they say, is history. And of course a few months ago, I agreed to do similarly -- under an even more intense microscope -- with a group of twenty traders who not only see a summary of every day's actions as was the case in these pages throughout 2008, but every moment's thoughts and actions. And as I've stated from day one in this diary that has taken on an incredible life of its own, the dialogue includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. For they always have and always will.

You see many pursuing this business think the life of a trader -- especially one that has been so richly blessed with being able to reach the pinnacle of a career and industry -- is an easy one. And at first blush, it certainly seems the case with no customers, no employees, and an infinite supply of industry inventory with which a trader has to manage. It just sounds ... well, so simple ... especially when you start throwing around the word "million" to describe performance.

Yet the Jellies are seeing the other story. The full story. The real story. The story I've been trying to scream about since I gained a public voice years ago, including in what has become a very public diary since July 2008. A story devoid of curtains, smoke, or mirrors. The story that includes every moment-by-moment & breath-by-breath thought that enters a trader's mind, as well as the result of his actions ... wherever the market chooses to take his/her trade and however efficiently or poorly managed. The story that includes sometimes-agonizing detail that may best be described by borrowing the words of ABC Sports, "The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat". Cue the music and skier.

Those that have followed the blog know that the recent millions were only possible because of the occasional sharp pain that's unavoidable in a business where we constantly must put ourselves at risk. For that's -- as Paul Harvey would say -- the rest of the story, just as the pain of childbirth is a necessary chapter to the book of life.

And I imagine if you asked the Jellies to a man, they'd tell you they're indeed witnessing the rest of the story for which words will never do justice. For just as I do in this diary, I don't pull punches in the tank. I simply tell it like it is, including critiquing trade placement or management -- sometimes rather harshly.

The Jellies will also probably tell you that I'm the hardest on one particular trader. And I've admittedly been fairly relentless on this one individual since day one, and many wonder why I don't cut him a break. In fact, one of the other Jellies told me today to back off a bit. I suppose you could say I'm sometimes downright rude to him. You see he's fairly consistent, but is simply leaving far too much of his capabilities "in the locker room". He's done OK in the past, but I'm constantly in his ear on a daily basis telling him that doesn't mean squat.

And yes, I admit I'm essentially trying to mentally "break" him so he can lose his prior self and move to that next level. In my opinion, he just has to be broken ... not unlike David Webb had to be broken in becoming Jason Bourne (absent the firearms of course).

And while I can't share names for confidentiality reasons, he's given me the approval to provide his initials:


P.S. A reminder I'll be giving a free Webinar Wednesday afternoon at 5:30pm ET if you're interested in attending. I'll be discussing a few of the indicators the Jellies use to manage their intraday trades, including TICK and Three Line Break.