Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Notes - The Weekend Trader Early Edition

Two weeks.

One of the reasons I began exposing my trading journal to the public in 2008 was because I felt it would help strengthen my accountability, especially in the early stages of the blog when I used this as a tool to document the results of my day, often in painstaking detail.

For while it's one thing to fool oneself -- which we all do at times when faced with any challenge that involves intense discipline and self-control -- it's pretty much impossible to fool a group constantly looking over your shoulder. Especially a group that quickly and literally evolved from dozens to hundreds to thousands who have chosen to visit these pages on a daily basis over the last 18 months.

Those that recall the first few pages of this virtual diary know that this blog initially began as somewhat of an experiment. For I wanted to see how my trading results would be both pre- and post-blog. Later on, I began experimenting with a public color-coded scorecard. Looking back, both experiments proved successful based on both personal perception and financial reality.

Of course the blog evolved a bit over time as it began to focus more on motivating others than myself -- although even in the early days, making the diary public was intended as just that, along with of course the accountability factor.

Yet now as I approach perhaps the most significant step in my trading career which will require as intense focus and commitment as any point in the past (including the self-imposed '08 million dollar goal), I feel I may need to return to the blog's roots a bit in terms of documenting my day-by-day journey ... perhaps even resurrecting the scorecard.

There are of course risks in doing so, which the last few years have reinforced in my mind. For some may view strong performance days as "there he goes chest-pumping", and sub-par days as "I told you he sucks". And then there's the statistic factor, in terms of both dollars and various stats, which have been twisted more ways than a bagful of pretzels, and distorted more ways than a Tiger Woods interview on family values.

Yet I continue to accept such risks as I move forward, with the continued commitment that every letter, word, phrase, and figure ever posted in this journal will remain 100% accurate and auditable, and that every feeling, thought, motivation, PO'd rant, will remain 100% genuine.

The Jellies I continue to trade alongside will tell you I'm not satisfied with my current game in terms of aggression. And one high-stakes poker player recently told me he's reached the same point in his poker career as he tends to get sloppy in small stakes games, while being markedly focused in higher stakes games. Both of us have essentially the same problem ... we've reached a level where the financial motivation is no longer relevant and we could go lie on a beach for the rest of our lives, yet want to continue to push ourselves. And such is the reason I've chosen to ramp up size.

On this topic, I've received a wide mix of mail lately. One recently recalled a quote from James Cameron discussing the movie Avatar, which stated, "If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's successes." Another loyal onlooker who I greatly respect recently suggested that the drive and motivational tone in recent posts may be evidence of reduced spirituality.

On that last point, let me be clear for the record. As I've stated many times, anything I've ever accomplished in the past, or will ever accomplish in the future, is done in spite of myself, and fueled by strength from God. Hopefully, there's some clear unwritten text "between the lines" of most of the posts as I choose to let actions speak over words.

Time may tell me I'm not supposed to push myself beyond my current comfort zone, or that my focus belongs more on non-trading activities. Yet the internal clock continues to tell me that the fat lady hasn't yet sung.

And I'm not quite ready to write that post yet.

Two weeks.

Have a restful weekend.