When I first started trading, (like many, in hindsight) I had no idea what I was doing. I had moving averages in different colors and a crap load of indicators with pivot points and trend lines. It was bad. I'm not saying that using that stuff is bad because many people make some pretty good profits from strategies as such. However, personally I just had them on my charts because every time I would read about something new, I would add it thinking it would make my trading more efficient. Because I had no real clue about what I was doing I would often venture into different chat forums to see what other people were doing. I thought that if I could follow and network with some other traders it would help me improve...FALSE! What ended up happening was me becoming intimidated and self conscious trading wise. Every time somebody would post something that I didn't see or know about I would feel lost. When I would ask them about why they were entering there or looking at that specific point, I would get a reply that made me feel stupid. Now to their credit there were some nice people in these forums but, the majority weren't trying to help a novice trader. rather they were trying to boast about how good they were often at our expense. Add to that, whenever I would post an idea it would be shot down right away. To make a long story short it was an overall bad experience.
I bring this up because recently I have been sucked back into networking without even realizing it. However, it has been a little different and a really positive experience. As you know trading is a very lonely career as well as being one that's hard to understand by anybody that doesn't trade. As my friend Eric said the other day
"The road is a long journey, but very fun and I appreciate networking with individuals like yourself who are similar minded to keep me sharp =) Far too many people give me blank stares when I tell them I forex trade. and even fewer understand harmonic day trading. lol. I love the internet! =)"
This boredom and lack of knowledge for what we do is one of the reasons I started writing this blog last year. The main reason was because I looked at it as a way of giving back. A way to show people that they could do it too and give them a chance to learn from the MANY mistakes I've made. But deep down I was also looking and hoping to get some type of social interaction from people that are familiar with the topics I was discussing. This changed as soon as I started writing my blog for Trading Underground as well as promoting it on Google +. These two outlets have allowed me to meet other good traders that have really helped me out in numerous ways. What I enjoy most about the people I have met is that we all seem to be on the same page when it comes to things. Since we all have the same overall goal, which is to become a better trader one day at a time, we all try to help each other out rather than brag about our personal glories and put each other down. I honestly don't like to hear about different entries and stops and targets from others. I'd rather see a chart that they're looking at, hear a new idea/thought that they might have about a strategy or a trading time frame, or discuss a trading issue. This is what I use networking for now and I think it has allowed me to grow as a trader. i look forward to meeting more of you guys down the road.