I know I am not alone in this trading journey. Through trading, I discovered more about myself, especially my weaknesses. It does make me a better man but I’m in this journey to make money. As much as I appreciate the process, I still aim to grow my money as much as I can (at least better than what the banks are offering me for depositing my money with them). Blogging has helped me to think more clearly and be accountable to my friends who trade with me. In addition, I’ve learnt to be more realistic about the returns trading can bring.
What is trading/investing to me?
Trading and investing are means to grow my wealth. They just differ on the duration before I realize my profits (or losses).
My wandering journey and unrealistic expectations…
I have attended more than 5 trading courses and seminars. Those courses which you’ve heard about online? There’s a high chance I’ve attended them. Despite having attended so many courses, none got me profitable. I became more knowledgeable, however, I was lacking the application part of things. I thought I had successful benchmarks and models to look up to but I was wrong. When I got to know a handful of successful trainers, I was left disappointed because I did not have the capital they had. Through those years I still thought I could increase a 4 figure account into one which has 5 figure – turning a 8k account into 10k account in a year. A good 25% return! The book, Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager, enlightened me. These wizards were bagging 20% a year on average. That really brought my expectation in line with reality. I am blessed and privileged to make friends with fellow traders and those in the financial industry. They have kept me in well-informed with the reality of things. This allowed me to learn as I trade and understand their thought process. Hopefully in a year or 2 I would be able to share my portfolio. Trading options on oil futures in 2018 got me a 10% return and I am pleased. Work is getting busy and I must admit that I have been off focus in the first half of 2019. I need more discipline to stick to my routine/process. I am grateful for having the privilege of creating an equity watchlist based on the strategies picked up in Jay’s 3MT course. This keeps me involved in the practical side of trading. In the year 2020, I aim to be more disciplined with my trading account and I look forward to sharing my trading results (profits and losses) because this would present the reality of trading to readers who have a day job.
If I could advise me from N years ago……
1) Read widely. Read books from ex fund managers and profitable traders. Form your opinion about the reality of trading from these books.
2）Learn programming. Automation or semi-automation is very useful for people with day jobs.
3）Find a trading community. You can do so by linking up with like-minded friends. A note of caution – without a good knowledge or good mentor, you may just be forming a group of amateur traders.
Another way you can do so is by linking up with your course-mates from trading courses. To do so you would need to sign up for a good trading course.
4）Find a good mentor. One who dares to show you his/her trading account. One who is experienced and dares to share with you truthfully. After all, you will want your mentor to walk to talk.
Swim Trading Resident Columnist