I am quite taken aback from the happenings of this year. From the twin aircraft crashes of Malaysian airlines to the escalation of the Ukrainian situation and the culmination of what appears to be renewed race issues in America, 2014 is not a year to just ignore. Conflict, violence and a lot more economic woes engulfed the news streams this year.
You add to that the big Ebola scare this year, it is amazing a global panic was averted. It truly amazes me how the US markets have continued to ignore a lot of the bad things happening in the world. As we close 2014, we have oil nearly at 2009 lows and it shows no signs of abating. As the end of the year draws near what would ponder upon what all of these mean and whether this leads to even more volatility in 2015.
Despite it all - the daily ramblings of pundits and would-be experts of the world, traders across the globe took all of these issues in stride. Those who chose not to roll with the punches found out the hard way that failure to adapt means a direct exit from playing the markets. The world is a volatile place. The markets more so.
As my day of departure is almost upon me, I retrospected. What could I have done different this year? Was there anything that I could have employed to ensure that my trading strategies were always able to handle the daily swings of the markets? As a trader, I have to evolve. Each loss I make is a hard lesson learned. Each profitable trade I make is a reminder that hardwork does pay off but that humility is also warranted. The failure of any trader to adapt and to be versatile often leads to a dark, unprofitable path.
This year brought about great volatility and also great swings in volume. I have seen days where volume has sunk to near record lows. I have also seen days where the average daily volume was surpassed in just 2 hours. There has never been a dull moment in the market. Those days that the markets were dull, however, were days given to us by the market gods to reflect on things.
What did 2014 mean to me as a trader? It meant that through it all, illogical or not, the markets will continue to carry on with or without you. This year reminds me to be thankful that despite all the hardship and the challenges I have faced, I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the greatest game on earth. Profitability is extremely important and there is no disputing that. But survival is equally as important. Being able to get through another year so that I can trade again the next is what makes me thankful the most.
The markets will give to those who will seek to get something out of it. It will take from you if you let it. No other discounting and wealth-transfer mechanism does it better than the capital markets. The markets will continue to move along like an incessant train whose tracks get laid every week that comes by.
So in 2014, what are you thankful for?
I wish you all of a Very Merry Christmas and a Fantastic New Year Ahead!
For my non-Christian, Christmas-phobic, anti-Christmas readers:
Happy Holidays! :)
Remember, Gavin loves you.