Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Notes - A Year After The Fall

As we rapidly approach the 500th post of this diary this week, I can't help wonder about what the future holds in terms of the blog's direction. Frankly, part of me wonders what else I can say via text or video that I haven't already said.

It started off so innocently on that day some fifteen months ago ... using the blog as a tool to electronically document my trading journal and provide self-motivation while allowing interested onlookers to look over my shoulder. Then we added video posts ... 49 of them to be exact. And along the way, onlookers saw this trader's daily life with its intended 100% transparency: the self-driven goals, the challenges, the successes, the falls, the insane records and streaks, the burnout, the cookout & bump on the head, the birth and growth of the Jellies, and recently, the recaptured personal motivation and mind/body resurrection.

And during this trek, posts have been syndicated, interviews have been requested, and debates have raged about everything from my statistics to my style to my interim return to try to make a difference in trader education. Ironically, I feel that many of the hundreds of daily onlookers know me better than some of my family members!

I sometimes wonder why this journal and its content have generated so much interest and struck such a huge worldwide chord in this dog-eat-dog industry. And while I may never know the answer, I hope it's because of the "T" word mentioned earlier: Transparency. For however onlookers feel about this diary's content, its evolving format, or the author in general, one thing is certain: it has always been and will remain 100% authentic and from the heart.

Speaking of which, tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of my largest loss ever at -$94K. To say it was uncharacteristic and never shouldn't have happened to this tight, risk-averse trader is the personal understatement of my life (I simply screwed up and hadn't yet adapted to the never-seen-before volatility). But it did, and I needed to share the gory details for the world to see, just as I'd shared every other aspect of this rare look into a trader's daily life.

Yet as I mentioned to the team tonight, this business requires continual and instantaneous personal forgiveness, recovery, and renewal.

In my case, that Monday was one of the darkest days I've ever had in my trading career, and frankly I was as deeply disappointed in myself as I've ever been. Yet as has often been said, it truly is darkest before the dawn, and Easter indeed does come after Good Friday. And it was out of those Monday ashes one year ago that arose a rebound of all rebounds as I gathered every ounce of inner strength to analyze what had gone wrong and implement an immediate fix to instead profit from the surging VIX. The result was that I recovered the loss in just three days, before finishing the week positive by +$40K, and the month positive by +$315K. And just two months later, I'd finish my first month ever without a loss, before finishing Q1 2009 with only three losses for the entire quarter.

I was fortunate. Many didn't recover, including some veteran traders who simply couldn't adapt to the never-before-seen environment.

Yet as I mentioned in my September post on mistakes, which was later syndicated by, perhaps the greatest lessons come from our pratfalls ... in trading and in life.

And since my guess is I've got a more than few more mistakes to make, perhaps there will indeed be more to write about as I continue to share my journey in the hope that all can benefit in some small way.

And so the journey of humanity and life continues ...