by Gavin M.
The stock gods have been so kind. Just as the BlackBerry comes to what seems like an end, they gave us another gift to short - JC Penney. The news about JCP is no longer new. There have been many misquotes and etc. on it.
Essentially both companies are fighting to stay alive. One (guess which) already seems to have a "buyer" and the other is trying to deny reports that it is going under. Now that shorting BlackBerry has become complicated, JCP takes its place on the limelight.
JCP's troubles are not new. This was already exacerbated by the fact a few billionaires were/are still in the stock. The CEO of JCP has become a revolving door. Many have tried to turn it around and it seems no one has truly succeeded. Never allow the media to keep clouding your judgment on this. Follow the price, and follow the momentum. The media has other intentions and it's not always for the good of the trading public.
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by Gavin M.
Are you a patient person? If not, you probably won't be a good trader. We are so used to this high-speed information age that we want to get anything done quickly and as easy as possible. This isn't always the case with the markets.
Take for example today's trading action. Look at the S&P 500, it was hovering around 1700 for hours until it decided to fade end of day. I took a short at the top knowing there's a trading opportunity there. I got rewarded. Some people would automatically tweet at me, "Why don't you trade AAPL or something with momentum instead?" You see, it's not always possible, when you trade, you are making the most accurate decision available based on your understanding of the market.
If you can not wait for your trade setup to yield profits, then trading might not be for you. Trading involves some finesse and a lot of PATIENCE. Patience is needed in allowing your trade strategy to yield the desired effect. That 1700 short I need on S&P 500 took about 2 hours to yield $5000. Some people would find the 2 hours way too long. To make $5000 in 2 hours, that's nothing short of a miracle.
Find a way to control your impatience, and taper your greed. You need to always be on the ball when you are trading. Always stick to your plan. I recently blocked a few people on twitter because they were awfully annoying and asking me why I don't trade more to make more money. I always say this, if $5000 a day isn't a lot of money, then you got some real issues wherever you are.
by Gavin M.
Some of you asked me for advice on how to balance life. I will do my best to share some ideas and thoughts. Traders are highly stressed individuals. We worry about our positions, our profits, our losses and everything else. How does one find balance?
I employ a work hard, play even harder approach. So let's take two examples. Back when I was also working full time and also trading full time (sounds disastrous) I had to budget my time wisely. I was at the office 8-4 and the rest of the evening I was trading. Fortunately, I had the forex and futures markets to dabble in so I wasn't restricted to the stock market open hours.
How did I manage this life? I would say I traded maybe 15 hours every week altogether while having a normal 9-5 or 8-4 job. I would not do anything but spend time with family and friends on the weekends. I would dedicate an hour or two on a Sunday evening to review my game plans for trades but that would be it. There is no one-size fits all approach to balancing trading and a job. It's simply taking the commitments of your job and finding free time to go and trade. Your profit target goes a long way to determine what way you would trade. In addition, your trading style also dictates how often you trade.
Let's take my current situation - a full time day trader. I don't trade more than 4 hours in a day. Since the beginning of September, I have not spent more than 2 hours trading each day. There are some days I am done in 30 minutes. What else do I do with my free time? I sleep. I hold my wife close. I spend time with my family and friends. You build up so much stress during trading and they need to be released somehow. So finding your relaxation method is very vital. So in total, as a full time trader, I don't trade more than 12 hours in a week. I trade strictly when the stock markets are at its most volatile and liquid - meaning the first few hours of the stock market. I trade futures and forex at key hours of the day and night when there's spillover liquidity from Japan or Europe.
I hope this at least gives you an idea of what you can do to mitigate the stresses in your life. I hope it gives you some ways to balance your life. If you want to be a full time trader, you have to give up working full time at some point. Unless your job allows you to trade full time, you cannot be a full time trader and be a full time employee without burning out. It simply does not work.
People I know who trade while having a job usually do swing trades but almost always never catches the exact times to enter because of work.
Traders from Equity Sense will be writing on this blog on positions and other market-related things.