Between Jason, Roy & Nuno it seems like all of my trading friends have been having some type of issue with trading. Between computers blowing up and charting systems failing, I think it's very important that we all have a safety net for our trading, just as any other business would have. This morning my good friend Rick wrote a short write up on our FaceBook Group Page about an issue that he recently had with his trading. A few others responded as well and it made for some really good conversation. Below is a summary of the discussion.
Hey there fellow traders, I wanted to share a lesson I learned a while back that came in very useful today. Do not take your computer for granted!!! This morning my computer took a dump… Crashed out of no where and I could not get it to reboot. Now, like many of you, I am a multiple computer kind of guy, I have my main system, another just for entertainment stuff, and a laptop. The laptop is what I call my ‘work’ computer. I can trade from it and check it through out the day, however I left it at, you guessed it, at work. This has happened before, no access to the charts and open positions, and thus a lesson was learnt. These days, besides those systems, I also have a mobile app platform on my phone, my brokers phone number on speed dial, the numbers also written down on my trading plan, as well as what I like to call plan ‘B’. Plan ‘B’ is just an older, almost obsolete, laptop I got from a family member. Plan ’B’ is slow, bulky, and only keeps a charge for about 45 minutes. But that is all ok; it has wifi and a built in dial up modem if needed. Plan ‘B’ has only one piece of software on it, my trading platform, and it’s sole purpose in life is to accommodate me in just such an occasion. Old plan ‘B’ just sits dormant most of the time, but it sure came through like a champ this morning as I was able to monitor my trades with a solid piece of mind, as I worked through the problems on my main system finally getting it back on line.
So please, heed this warning, one day your system WILL crash, don’t learn this lesson the hard way, make sure before it happens that you have yourself your own plan ‘B’.
Have a great day everyone :)
...Roy 'Jr' Painter, I love your entry on the laptop "Plan B" set up. I thought I should share my very basic set up, as I have been caught up with the same issues before, without a back up. Now, I have three backups - Well four.
1 - Main laptop for trading wireless
2 - Second laptop for charting wireless
3 - Ground cable desktop
4 - iPhone with trading app
... Okay 5: I have two wireless HotSpots that ensure constant access to wireless charting/trading anywhere there is signal capture between my home in Durango Colorado and my place of work in rural Kansas.
I was once separated from my laptop for more than I felt comfortable, even though I have swing trades in the works. I travel a lot, and I'm always on the move, so I also made sure to have a special membership with the line of hotel, travel to the same hotels, use the same room, and call ahead about their connectivity.
In the picture, I have the two laptops, a regular desktop computer in sleep mode for fast backup, my iPhone, and paper trading on the wall for emerging set-ups I really do not want to leave out of sight.
I hope it gives a bit of an insight as to how paranoid you have to be when trading "for real" - It demands contingency plans ready for the most twisted scenarios.
Thank you Roy for prompting this topic with such a great example. Much appreciated.
Well take a look at that. An AB=CD lining up with a smaller AB=CD, both meeting at fibonacci confluence before reversing direction and shooting up for profit. It doesn't get any better that that does it. Actually it does, because I didn't actually get involved in this trade.
I predicted this setup in the live room this morning a good half hour before in actually completed, giving me all the time in the world to place limit orders and stops. The reason I didn't is because...well it doesn't fit my plan at the moment for aggressive entry. So now the question is why am I so happy that this pattern completed, or why aren't I upset that I was unable to get involved. I'm happy because even though I'm not trading this as an aggressive entry at the moment, I am keeping stats on how many time this type of setup occurs and the results of each time. As discussed in the room today, I often revise my trading plan about twice a year. Its at this point in time where I pull up all of my notes and see if I want to either change an entry strategy, add a new pattern to trade, or even stop trading a certain way. I'm in no rush to do this as I understand that backtesting always comes first. That's why I wait patiently on the sidelines during trades like these knowing that I may be missing profits now, but in the future I will be able to make much more. Last year I added Bat patterns to my trading plan and they have become my favorite pattern to trade.
I'm always looking for a way to improve, but I also know that I just can't jump in and trade every idea I have. I need to be smart about it.
Becoming a professional trader has been a dream come true so far. When I first started a few years back I had no clue that I would be in the position that I am in today so soon. My original goals were to make money in the market and continue to grow my account while managing a small portfolio for other clients. Although I did start out that way, I have now been given a taste of the education side of things and I like it a lot more.
I'm not sure if it's the years of being involved in team sports, or working summer camps that did it, but my ultimate goal in life is to help others. I know it sounds cheesy, but ask any of my friends, it's just the way I am. Anyway, like many of you I've had dreams of being a millionaire since I was a young child, but I also told myself that once I make my money I want to help others make it as well. I now feel like I'm getting the opportunity to do this with the help of my trading mentor and good friend Jason. Recently I've been given the chance to run a live trading room that acts as a support system for new and seasoned traders. It's cool because I've been getting a lot of positive feedback saying that I'm keeping them from making as many errors as well as helping them with their trading psychology. We're also making a ton on money in the room which is a plus as well. Because this room has been going so well I was also recently asked to become a contributor to an insider trading group called the "6 Figure Syndicate." At first I expected just to post my trading ideas or other cool stuff that I may see in the market. But to my surprise I've actually been involved in some pretty good conversations with a few of the members. And being the trading nerd that I am, I love it.
Now back to the original reason I started writing this post (which actually slipped my mind as I started thinking of other reasons). The question was why do I love trading so much? Well aside from the fact that I get to be my own boss and make my own work schedule. I get excited because trading can be done from anywhere. Currently I'm in South Carolina which is a good 10+ hours from where I call home. This is a trip that I take every year with the Track & Field team that I coach. In the past I would have to beg in order to get off from work, miss a week's paycheck then have to hustle for more hours the following week in order to stay even with the bills and what not. This year I simply packed up my home office and took it on the road with me. Yes I have to adjust the time that I run the live room do to our teams practice schedule but other than that I'm able to carry on my trading business as if nothing happened. Oh and I get a beautiful view of the beach each morning.
Thinking into the future, the freedom to work from any location could potentially be very helpful because if my wife-to-be ever gets a job offer where she is forced to relocate, I would have no problem packing up right with her and allowing her to follow her dreams.
Alright back to the beach traders I'll talk to you later in the week.
Having a strong trading psyche was the key to turning my trading around and it all started with a single word.
Kaizen: Japanese for continuous improvement and the change for better. This philosophy was implicated by many Japanese businesses after the Second World War. “By improving standardized activities and processes, kaizen aims to eliminate waste” by improving efficiency. To put it in short, the Kaizen philosophy believes that they key to achieving your ultimate goals is to improve little by little, rather than trying to go for the whole thing at once.
When I was first introduced to the Forex market (like many traders) I spent the majority of my time surfing the web looking for any and every bit of information I could find on trading. purchased DVD sets, hundreds of YouTube videos, read many books and articles, joined trading forums, etc. Since technical analysis was new to me, I believed every bit of information that I saw and thought that each new technique I learned was my holy grail to success. Fast forward two years and the main item that stuck with me has been a singles word; Kaizen. I’ve learned a lot throughout my first few years of trading and currently I’m at the point where I can attack the market using numerous strategies and tactics However, despite having all of the knowledge in the world the Kaizen philosophy is what allowed me to get to the position I’m at now.
It was not even two years ago when I began trading full time. A lot of hard work, disappointment, kicking, screaming, and even depression happened before that point in time, but I’ll save those stories for another time. Anyway, after an incredible education through a Pro Trader Course, I felt as if I was more than prepared to trade the markets live and begin my path to becoming a professional trader. I had a trade plan written out, completed back testing, I even a client that trusted me to trade his money. In my mind I was all set and ready to make millions. I vividly remember taking the train home from New York City (after meeting with my client) and having a quarter million dollar check in my pocket saying “this is it Akil, this is way to do it.” By “do it” I meant become a millionaire by the time I turn 30 which was one of my goals from when I was in middle school. Long story short, after having a profitable first two months of trading I ended up having a psychological meltdown which resulted in me almost blowing my full account along with over $50,000 of my clients money. After cutting ties with the client do to disparate viewpoints on trading, I took long look at myself in the mirror and told myself “something has to change.”
This change began and ended with me when I realized that if I wanted to become a successful trader, and a millionaire, it wasn’t going to happen overnight. It was going to take hard, consistent work over a period of time. This is when I first began adapting the Kaizen philosophy to my trading. I knew that I was still rather inexperienced in the field and that I was still going to make rookie trader mistakes so my goal wasn’t to become a perfect trader overnight. Rather, it was to become a little bit better each day, week and month. Just as the Kaizen philosophy says,, small, continuous improvements. In order to do this I began taking detailed notes (and pictures of the charts) every time I made a trading mistake. Whether it was something as little as trailing stops too soon or something more major like missing a trade entirely. I would force myself to remember each “dumb move” as I called it and try not to make the same mistake again. This was rough at first as I constantly made mistake after mistake after mistake, but over time I found myself making less and less. After a few months of sticking with this approach I could feel myself slowly improving and becoming a more efficient trader. Yes, I was learning more about the market and was able to understand it better strictly due to the time I spend watching it. But as I went back through my month to month results, I noticed that the amount of mistakes I was making was significantly decreasing and this had a direct affect on my winning percentage and the profit I was taking in.
Today I hold the position of Live Room Moderator with the same group that originally educated me on the market. It’s such an honor to feel that the company entrusts me with the responsibility of working with a room full of traders looking to learn or turn their trading around as well. I still don’t like to call it a success story yet because I personally feel that I am very far away from my ceiling and overall trading goals, but I do recognize that I made it over the first hurdle. Do I owe it to a magical system, a secret money management strategy, or simply being a better trader than others out there? No. I owe it to one thing, and that’s the will and desire to get better. Having the mindset that trying to become a little bit better each day in the market will eventually allow me to achieve my long term goals as a trader has helped a lot and I recommend that you give it a try whether it be in trading or another aspect of your life. I’ll end this article with a quote from the first page of my trading plan. “…I believe that people only fail because they give up before they have the chance to succeed.”