Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Weekend Trader Part 1 - Bigger vs. Better


We all have 'em.

In life, it ranges from the "what do we wear and eat today" to the far more critical "what career and/or life partner do we choose?"

And in trading, it seems the choices are infinite in terms of what do we trade, when, what size, when do we exit, when do we rest ... and on and on it goes.

At my end, the choices recently have been mind-boggling, as I've learned that having an abundant amount of resources, performance longevity, and industry backing can result in a deluge of inquiry and opportunity on the business front.  More frequent Expo speaking, auditorium seminars, interviews, vendor partnering, blog Google advertising, reciprocal links, book writing ... the email box is full and they're all there for the taking.

In short, I could go big scale and follow the "American Idol" approach in terms of pursuing the almighty cash machine.

There's only one problem.

It's not me, and -- well, frankly -- I like where I am right now.

You see, I'm a trader.  A trader with a never-ending thirst for daily puzzle solving and personal performance improvement.  A trader with a side, yet equally passionate interest in teaching and associating with other traders via limited small group efforts and blog bantering.

And I thoroughly enjoy both.

So to all those who have recently asked for me to rethink/expand/grow/change my current modest little corner of the trading world, and while I appreciate the opportunities, I'm going to respectfully keep doing what I'm doing -- trading, blogging about corny movie analogies, motivational tools, and daily market battles, and instructing via limited small group efforts to try to maintain a certain degree of quality, freedom, and sanity at this end.

You see, at my end, life has taught me to do one thing well.  Two? Possible, yet the quality of each will likely drop.  More than two? Forget it.

My life experience has repeatedly told me that I'm at my highest degree of productivity and quality output when limiting activities.  Even in trading, my performance has always been best when I've limited my trading to a single market.  Know it, live it, breathe it ... and don't get distracted by anything else.  Boring?  Only if you consider making more bank deposits than withdrawals dull.

Said another way, Navy SEAL Richard Machowicz  -- who I referenced in the Memorial Day post -- says "Master your basic weapon.  Don't try to master all of them".  This guy knows ... he's had to stake his life on it.

I've often referenced the importance of simplicity in my life and trading.  And as outside "opportunities" have increased over recent years, I now know why some race horses wear blinders, lest their performance be hindered.

This fact has been reinforced by my continuing to benefit from and enjoy trading among my Jellie peers -- an association that in some cases is becoming life-long as some of us have chosen to extend our association with each other far beyond the confines of the initial multi-week effort.

And while trading ultimately remains an individual sport, the benefits of a small "Ryder Cup" type of team effort are becoming clearer over time.

A "team" in an individual sport?  Absolutely, with each representing a different body part or personality.  George has an eye for reading the VIX.  John G has an ear for even the subtlest of breakout heartbeats.  Danny created and pursues the IFT (inverse fade trade), which was a spin-off of our no-fade policy during a critical time of the day.  Cliff helps the scalpers see just a bit longer term to stretch their trades.  John B helps remind me of my personal favorite trade if I'm slightly distracted.

Of course, we all have to continually work on not letting chat get in the way of making or pressing our trades.  This is especially true for me.

Yes, I could go bigger.

There's only one problem.

I prefer continuing to work at getting better, both as an individual and a team.

Even if I have to wear blinders and miss the surrounding scenery.

Enjoy the weekend.

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