Hey traders. Those of you that have been following me for a while know my back story pretty well, but for those who may just have joined my journey or are reading for the first time I want to remind you that I haven't been trading for all that long. My first experience with Forex actually began less than four years ago and it was almost two years ago to the day when I was first introduced to Jason Stapleton and 4xTradersLive. Obviously a lot has changed within the last two years. 4xTradersLive is now Triple Threat Trading, I no longer stay up at night debating if trading will be a key part of my future and I've made the change from being mainly a swing trader to a day-trader, although I still love to swing ;-)... trade that is hahaha. Anyway Despite all of the changes in my life and in the world there is something that stayed constant, and that's the type of person that Jason Stapleton is.
My journey to Kansas City didn't start off to smoothly last week. Due to some major storms in my area my flight was delayed and actually re-routed to another city. Long story short I didn't get into Kansas City Airport until close to two o'clock in the morning. Half asleep when making my way in from the airport I was pleasantly awaken by the smell of barbeque as soon as I crossed the bridge into the city. This is when it hit home that I was actually here. That this was real. That I was really asked to come out to meet the team. So how did I feel you might ask. Nervous? Scared? Excited? Well to be honest, just tired. I knew that I had to be up in about three hours so all I could think of was hitting the bed and making sure I actually woke up on time.
The following day would be my first time in the office as well as my first time meeting the gang in person. My first contact with Jason was two years ago after I filled out a traders assessment on his website. I remember seeing an unrecognized number pop up on my phone and for some odd reason I decided to answer it which was strange for me since I usually don't pick up if I don't see a name. Maybe it was luck maybe it was fate, speaking to "the big dog" for the first time was the start of a new life for me. Since that day Jason has become a coach, mentor and a person that I respect greatly. I respected him not only for his ability to teach and trade, but also for the way he dealt with people. Out of the hours and hours spend in his room or watching videos, I've never got the sense that he was saying he was better than us. He was always encouraging and humble yet very confident which is a character trait I believe to have myself. After joining the T2t team my respect grew even more as I began to tap into his entrepreneurial knowledge. With all of this being said meeting this guy was suppose to be a big deal. You know sort of like meeting a celebrity. As I mentioned earlier I was supposed to be nervous and all of those other things, and maybe I was a little until Todd Brown (the other half of the Triple Threat Trading Monster) greeted me at the door with a "Hey what's up man, glad to finally meet you." A normal handshake and hug from a person dressed in normal attire made everything seem...well... normal. At that point I said to myself in my head, "hey man, these guys are just like you." A few minutes later I met the rest of the gang including Jason himself and the trend continued. Nobody was trying to show off, nobody acted as if I was invisible, everything was like I've been there for years.
With less than an hour before I had to start the Live Room Todd showed me to the desk where I would be running the Live Room from and I was ready to rock and roll just as if I was at home. Well... a much nicer home. It's hard to explain the feel of the T2t offices but let's just said it has a very down to earth classic, artsy type feel to it. That and a crap load of computer monitors. Anyway, the room went well and it honestly didn't even feel as if I was away. It wasn't until the close of the live room when the real experience started to happen.
Part 2 coming soon!
As you've probably noticed it has been a while since I've written a post. Although this was not intentional, I do apologize more making you wait. With that being said I do have a pretty good excuse. After the Live Room on Monday I started to pack my stuff in preparation for my big trip to the Midwest part of the United States in order to visit the Triple Threat Trading Word command center as Darren calls it. Unfortunately due to storms in my area my plans ended up changing a little bit. With that being said everything ended up working out fine. I'm now in Colorado coaching an athlete of mine at the NCAA Track & Field National Championships and finally have a little down time for rest and relaxation. I return home this Sunday and I have a lot to write about. Therefore, what I'm planning to do is write a three part series about my experiences of the business portion of my trip titled I Came, I Saw, I Conquered. I'm not going to spill the beans right now, but lets just say I learned a lot in my few days out there. All three posts should be up next week to give you a little reading material over you memorial day Holiday. Talk to you soon traders!
"Over 500 pips since Monday now. Best streak yet...I feel a draw down coming on and I'm ready for it." This was a recent quote from Joe, a member of the Live Room. At first glance most traders are immediately drawn to the 500 pips part and the mind blowing excitement of being able to make that in just three days. However, myself along with a few other members in the room enjoyed the last part of the quote even more. "I feel a draw down coming on and I'm ready for it." This part of the quote really shows the maturity of this trader. Newbie traders often suffer from two common downfalls, overconfidence when they're on a winning streak and lack of confidence when on a losing streak. This basically means that when they're winning, they expect to keep winning which can lead to taking ill advised or impulse trades. And on the other hand, when they're on a losing streak they either A) stop trading because they're scared/depressed, or B) take impulsive trades due to the need to get revenge and make their money back. I've written about this topic before, but seeing how the markets have been umm...interesting as of late (to say the least) I figured that I'd touch on it again. As a trader one of the best things you can do is know your normal win rate. Obviously this number will change as you sharpen your skills over time and newer traders will have to rely on their back testing stats, but it is key that you are aware of what your average win/loss percentage should be. I say this because knowing this number will keep you humble during big win streaks and optimistic during long periods of drawdown.
Personally my overall win percentage usually ends up being between 40% and 55%. I know it's not the greatest win percentage in the world and it doesn't blow any minds, but it's become pretty consistent as well as profitable so it works for me. But that's beside the point. The point is that I have a pretty good idea of how many trades I should win/lose each month which gives me a certain peace of mind during a losing streak and a sense of reality during a winning streak. By peace of mind I mean the feeling that everything is going to be okay and I'll make a comeback over time, and by reality I mean knowing that with all of these winners, a streak of losing trades are sure to come, and I accept that.
This month (and the previous two) has proven to be a great example of how rocky the road of trading can be. I began the first two weeks of May going 5/15 in the live room which is a win rate of 25%. This week I turned it around and went 8/12 or 66%. If you add all of those numbers up you'll see that despite both the losing and winning streak, I ended up right back where I'm usually at (48%). Excited for the comeback? Devastated by the drawdown? Nope it's simply expected. I bring this example up because almost two years ago I went through a similar streak. However, back then I got rattled and decided to stop trading after the 5/15 and I ended up missing all of the winners that would have not only brought my win percentage up, but would have tripled the amount that I lost. It's very embarrassing to think about those times, but I feel it's important to keep those memories so that I will NEVER make them again. (That's what brings me pain, for you NAC folks).
"The longer you fall, the closer you are to the bottom." This simply means that nothing last forever and just as each passing second of falling brings means that your just closer to landing on your feet and being able to climb back up; each loss simply brings you closer to a win that will not only bring your win percentage up to speed, but your account as well.
So I've been trying something new this week traders and I'm really starting to like it. Just as the image above depicts, I've been exercising my brain. Aside from a trade I'm also a track and field coach. One of the things that I always emphasis to my athletes is to get a good warm up in before the workout. In fact, there have been times when our warm up routine last longer than our actual workout. Getting a good warm up before racing is critical because you want to have your body loosened up and ready to go, so that when you do go full speed there is no shock to your system and you don't end up hurting yourself. Unfortunately, most athletes would not warm up if there wasn't a coach yelling at them to do so every day. This was the case with me in trading.
Trading is my business and I make sure to treat it as such. I make sure that I wake up at the same time every day, and I have a morning routine that I follow on a consistent basis. However the problem that I noticed was that I didn't have a warm up. Previous to this week as soon as my alarm would go off at 5:58am I would roll out of bed, grab a cup of orange juice and start checking out some charts . At first this felt good. Why? Well because it felt as if I was being productive. However, when I sat back and really thought about it, I asked myself, in what other job does an employee roll out of bed and go straight to work? And although I felt productive, was I really being productive? Or was I simply going through the motions. So this week I decided to try something different.
This week instead of loading up the charts right away, I decided to turn on the TV, do some web browsing of the different trading groups I belong to, maybe write a post for this wonderful site called I Am Business ;-), then after I've been up for a good 30mins or so, get to charting. What I found in this small sample time is that my body is much more awake and responsive (not on auto pilot) and that my brain seems to function and analyze things a lot better. I probably should eat a good meal beforehand as well but, I don't really get hungry right away once I wake up. Plus I enjoy getting all of the sleep that I can.
My challenge to you is to try this method out if you don't do so already. I would say give it a good few weeks and see if you see or feel any difference in your trading. And if so, please give me some feedback. After all would a pilot, or a technician, or a teacher, start working as soon as they wake up? Well then why do we?
Life has became a lot more interesting since I started operating the Live Room for Triple Threat Trading. Don't get me wrong, my life was plenty interesting before that, but I have been making a lot of new connections as of late. I started this website back in late 2010 and have made many buddies based of the fact that they liked my writing and were on a similar type of journey as myself. Add those buddies to the ones that I have now gained by running the Live Room and I have an abundance of friends that are in the same field as myself and it feels great.
Yesterday I talked to a trader over the phone, who simply wanted to chat because, well let's be honest, talking trading is often a hard thing to do. In many cases either the people we talk to know next to nothing about trading, and/or don't trade the same way. That's what I like most about meeting traders in the live room. Most of us trade the exact same way which allows us to have some pretty good discussions without any arguments breaking out. What's interesting is that many of the people in the room remind me of how I was just a few years ago when I was on the other side of the projector. Everything from the questions that are asked, to the psychological issues that some are having are a mirror image of my experience in Jason's live room.
Speaking of mirror images, I had a very interesting meeting during my lunch break today. My good friend and writer for this site Devon Rembert (If you haven't checked out his Motivational Monday Posts you're missing out) said he knew a student that was interested in meeting me. Honestly, I wasn't sure why I mean, well I'm just me, but I agreed. When I met up with this student he said that he was thinking about becoming an entrepreneur and simply wanted to ask me a few questions about what I do and what led me down that path. We ended up having a pretty good conversation and when everything was all wrapped up I realized that just a few years ago it was me in that seat meeting my mentor for the first time having the exact same conversation.
It's funny how thing come around full circle, only they don't. Just because I have became a so called mentor to a few people doesn't mean that all of a sudden I can't be mentored. I still have mentors that I talk to on a consistent basis and the only thing that has changed has been the conversation. Instead of asking questions and trying to figure out how to get started, I now ask questions about what's the next step. Recently my trading mentor Jason Stapleton started a Mastermind Program for his company and one of the reason's is so he has a bunch of minds to thinking of ideas that can eventually make his company better. The point his we never stop learning I guess. Although we grow a lot in life and in what we do, we must never settle and always gear ourselves towards that next step.