By Walter Hill
If you are thinking that “relax” is a word not often associated with trading than by all means you would be correct. However, in the same fashion that you would tell a kicker to relax before the big kick or a Quarterback to relax before leading the big drive, I say to you “relax before you begin trading.”
Wall street is often portrayed as being chaotic, hectic and fast paced, and in many aspects it is. However, you do not have to allow that to transpire into your daily trading routine. I am by no means a master trader but after trading for the past two years and keeping a trading journal (an absolute must), I have come to the conclusion that the majority of my bad trades and/or decisions come when I am uptight, fearful and stressed out.
Another point to keep in mind is that in many aspects Wall Street wants to give off the persona that things are difficult and nearly impossible to do on your own. In this vein it is good to remember that this is precisely how Wall Street and money managers make money: by you not knowing. Much in the same way jiffy lube thrives off people not knowing how (or being too lazy) to change their own oil.
Now the typical answer I get when I talk to people about money management is, “I don’t have the time.” This answer really bothers me because, what in essence they are saying is that I will let someone else do as they please with money that I have worked hard for. If you cut off the television for one hour a night and devote that time to learning about how to invest and manage your own money, your life will be transformed; not overnight but in the long run. Building wealth is a marathon built on consistency. And further, growing your fortune will mean a lot more to you if you do it yourself versus letting someone do it for you (plus this way it will force you to protect your fortune against large market downdrafts and recessions).
I hate to use a cliché but “no one cares more about your money than you do.” Active investing is a difficult endeavor but it can be a lot of fun and even a source for learning opportunities even when you lose money. But all the while, you will be in charge… getting better every day.
I am an ex football player and I view every trade or investment as a game in which I am trying to win. I won’t win them all, although I will damn sure try! So as your trading partner, I say to you as you embark on a trading journey with me “relax my friend, it’s just trading.”
Thank you to Andrew Nyquist for allowing me a forum to blog about an area that I am very passionate about. Please feel free to contact me and leave comments, as “we are all in this together.” Thank you.
Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of his employer or any other person or entity.