Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Notes - Pruned & Primed

First, let's address today's trade, part of which I'll put into the "sometimes it's better to be lucky than good" category as I closed my final DAX trade a mere eight minutes before a two hour exchange halt as Eurex has stumbled and bumbled though a new software release this week. The conversion has also been creating havoc with charts since they made the change, which are essentially useless given delayed tick reporting.

The funny thing is, Eurex issued a press release this morning prior to the halt touting the tremendous "success" of its launch!

Anyway, today's trade had range and triangles written all over it given the lack of overnight extension (most day-after-consolidation range breaks have occurred in the Europe session over the past several months), and lots of "air" between the market and current long term trend supports.

Fortunately, the extent of the air provided ample range to adjust to conditions, even if one misread the market early on looking for a hard break of the prior day range which had been my initial bias prior to the lazy Europe session -- which was further exacerbated by the exchange issues. And such was the case in my own trading today, where screaming price vs. TICK divergences off key support/resistance levels seemed to signal almost every turn.

2009 Pruning

Last weekend, I was listening to a motivational podcast in my car (which was also summarized on the author's blog today ... talk about coincidence), where I was reminded that pruning is an essential part of growth and life. For while we'd love to live in a perpetual state of growth, it would be unhealthy from a future growth perspective -- just as a plant can't experience new growth until pruning occurs.

Most who have followed these virtual pages know that last year was a year of tremendous financial growth for this trader who was crazy enough to make a number of sacrifices to live, breathe, and sleep this business non-stop for well over a year, while pushing as hard as one could humanly push oneself. And if you recall, I didn't fully understand why it was happening at the time.

Similarly, most also know that such pace had to come to an end (which I warned of several times during the record run), which it did in late spring/early summer when it became apparent that my motivation and focus had all but run dry given the fact that (1): I was burned out, and (2) as a result of many years of accumulated labor, I simply didn't "need" to trade anymore ... ever. And again, I didn't understand "why" it was happening.

And thus was born the Jellie concept and efforts, where I chose to essentially both undergo and provide a "trading blood" transfusion. And while physically, the last four months of constant live instruction and trading (a reminder I always require that I trade to best teach ... don't get me on my soapbox again) have drained me as much as trading ever has, it's a feeling of -- well -- having been "pruned", as in just having given blood. I'm tired, yet have a strange feeling of invigoration.

Many would give their eye teeth for the financial year I had this year. The first quarter alone exceeded what many will make in a full year, and the close is shaping up nicely. Yet for me, 2009 was a personal year of pruning. Certainly not in the financial sense as I'll end the year with far more capital than when I began, as well as on what will be a multi-month equity high.

Yet more in the intangible sense as I had to survive a summer financial plateau which at the time was incredibly frustrating for me, a multi-year personal energy trough, and 16 weeks of putting my own self-interests aside -- not to mention that famous bump on the head that seemed to serve as the ultimate metaphor for parts of my year. Oh, and I of course also "pruned" close to 30 pounds.

Call it a season of pruning after a season of incredible Bamboo growth.

Frankly -- as I look closely -- I can already see the new growth.

And wouldn't you know it, it's green.

btw, if you're going through your own period of painful trading "pruning", and are wondering "why now" and "why me", perhaps it's because you're being prepared for incredible new growth.