By Andrew Nyquist
To date, I’ve written and produced a lot of content pertaining to technical analysis. And this is for good reason. On one hand, technical analysis is a passion and strength of mine, and on the other hand, I enjoy teaching and sharing. As well, technical analysis is at the heart of how I identify prospective trades and put together trading plans. It assists me in quantifying risk and allows me to gauge psychology through price.
But truth be told, that only covers the setup and planning stage. What I’m really drawn to is the rush of making real time decisions with real life risks.
So, hear we are. I’m endeavoring to write a column about my trading style, my trading approach, and my trading habits. But before we get into more detail here, it’s probably appropriate for me to shed some light on me, the dad, husband, teacher, 9 to 5 corporate banker, and webmaster. After all, trading is a highly personal thing… so step inside and make yourself at home.
In addition to living and breathing See It Market, I am a husband and father. This is numero uno in my life. And with a 4 year old, 3 year old, and almost 2 year old, I have obligations… obligations to take care of our money and future, and obligations to make good decisions to ensure that I’m growing our nest egg. Fortunately, I realized soon out of college that although life is a party, you need to live within your means to keep the party going long term. And if you want to add party favors, you need to manage that money better than the guy next to you. The more you save and the earlier you start, the more you’ll have to make gains on. And the better your returns, well, you get it. Much of this is covered in my blog Hey “You”: Time to Appreciate That Asset.
As such, I’m not a big “lottery ticket” guy. I’m not a speculative guy and I typically don’t swing for the fences. Now I may go a bit bigger than most on focused leg-in trades, and may even buy unwanted stocks as a contrarian, but I’m all about the consistency of “winning.” For instance, I’ve been tracking our net worth and my trading success daily and plotting every monthly net worth data point on a chart since 2002.
So I’m a details guy. While I don’t have as much time to tweet like a trading tweetie bird, I am constantly running risk analyses and re-assessing trades to ensure that I have a proper plan in place for price movements. But at the same time that my mind is racing to cover off the details, my alter ego is busy having fun, mocking myself when I get too uptight, making bad jokes in my stream of consciousness, and always prodding me to push myself to the edge of risk discomfort. It’s a nice balance and completely in line with my home life. I have three kids that play hard, laugh hard, and love to push the envelope. Yes, they keep me youthful… and firmly on track to growing old, and fast! But, I see a lot of myself in them.
When I was growing up, I did everything at 110% and with passion. I always laughed hard, loved a lot, and cared too much. I was competitive and flat out wore my emotions on my sleeve. And I still do. However, as I have gotten older, I’ve gotten a bit wiser. And I have developed a better understanding of the importance of accountability and hard work… getting to know yourself, understanding your weaknesses, and working on them to make you a better person at home and professional on the job.
Okay, time to return to me, the trader. Time to provide some insight into my trading style, approach, and habits because as many of you know, when you’re in the trenches, the buy and sell buttons can become larger than life and tend to take on emotional connotations. Without a doubt, conquering the emotional aspect of trading is a life long journey and key to success. And for this reason, I work at it every day. This has been a big area of development for me as a trader and I attribute much of my success (and failure) to it. You can read more on this and other trading and analytical techniques in The Anatomy of a Trader, a 5 part series that I wrote last year.
The following list provides some little known (and well known) insights into me, the trader. Some traits you will identify with and others you may laugh at. But one thing is for sure: as individuals, we can all identify with being ourselves. Each of us is different, yet each of us has the capability to better understand our risk profile, mannerisms, and habits in an effort to maximize our potential for gains. Enjoy, because this is how I roll.
- I am a good trader, but a better teacher
- I love to analyze and strategize
- My brain is always going
- Risk analysis is my thing
- I rarely take big losses
- I focus on fewer names
- I tend to go bigger than most
- I always use scale
- I have a high regard for my capital
- I tend to carry higher cash balances than most
- I stick to short term swing trading
- I try to be precise, in and out with as little discomfort as possible
- I employ all types of technical analysis and even make stuff up
- I don’t have the psyche to stick around for a “long term” investment
- I often take gains too early (sigh)
- I sometimes fret over pennies
- I never apologize for making money
- I don’t care about public opinion or “noise” surrounding my trades
- I’m pragmatic. An idealist at heart but a true realist in action
- I save almost all of my winnings
Thanks for reading, and know that you can reach out any time. As always, trade safe and stay disciplined.
No position in any of the securities mentioned at the time of publication.
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.