Tune Out the Noise

Graceful. 

Nope —- it’s not a typo… I didn’t mean to write: Grateful.  Although, that is something you will find me writing A LOT about!  Today I want to focus on gracefulness.

Grace comes not only from exuding self-assured confidence but also from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.  But is it possible to be vulnerable if one is confident you may ask.  I think so…

 

Pro Athletes have it.  I’m not much of a sports fan (uh oh —- I’m sure I just lost a few of you ;  )  but I know it when I see it.  Physically, it’s obvious.  When you see that perfect layup on the court that looks more like a 90 lb. ballerina gliding through the air than a 250 lb player making a slam dunk.  I mention this because trading can be comparable to sport.  There are many mental exercises that go into that perfect physical layup on the court and as a trader, I’m sure you can appreciate all of the mental work that goes into executing a trade.  And with that, I will take the time to once again thank Michael and Adam for all of the strategy (mental) they put into providing us with the layup (physical).

When you’re trading, are you dialed into CNBC (mostly noise), or have you perhaps considered a more mindful choice.  I like to listen to classical music.  Full Disclosure, however,  I too am guilty of having CNBC on more than I like to admit!  But back to my ideal, classical music and a man I find exemplifies my case for grace.

 

TUNE OUT THE NOISE

I was listening to an interview this weekend with Itzhak Perlman, the American-Israeli Violinist, and he just radiated grace.  I will explain …

As you read the following, know I am thinking of us, as traders, and how each of us can incorporate these qualities.  A “graceful” trader never (well, mostly never) lets their ego rule their trade.  We study, we practice, and we execute. When our trade cooperates we may feel confident and when it doesn’t we may feel vulnerable.  But the important thing is that we are comfortable being on both sides.

Back to Itzhak… His thousands of hours on top of hours of practice give him the confidence that is so clearly recognizable as you listen to him speak but you will also notice you don’t see his ego on display.  He has somewhat of a self-depreciating humor about him.  He lets us see him for who he is, weaknesses and all.  This is grace.

How do I think he has become so comfortable with all of himself?

I believe it all comes down to him having a quiet mind.  A mind that is always judging but when it does, he recognizes these thoughts for what they are, just thoughts, and lets them pass.

To do this ourselves we need to understand that those negative thoughts come from a place of ego.  When this happens we do things to silent the noise rather than just work through it, as in acknowledge and release and get back to reality. Sometimes (a lot of time), the best thing is to do nothing.  I don’t know about you but whenever I trade with my ego, it rarely goes well.  I tell myself I’m smarter than the market and the market always has a way of humbling me.

The ways I have learned to quiet my mind is through running but then that needs to be built upon.  So I began doing morning meditations (simply 15 minutes a day).  That practice took me to a whole new level.  Last but not least, my writing has given me the tool to release my thoughts and truly understand where they’re coming from and why.  It really does come down to the “why” as in all things life.  Most of the time my why will carry the day. I will share my “why” in later posts.

These are just my ways of dealing with my noisy ego.  How you may come to learn to quiet your mind could take a completely different path.  There is no one right way.

The bottom line is this: I recommend that you find a few ways that bring you to a state of grace …and with that I will give you a barometer to use as a measure of whether or not you are operating from a state of grace as a trader.  This was a post on twitter that Michael has tweeted a time or two and that always grabs my attention:

“If people can tell by looking at you whether you are having a good or bad day in the markets, your positions are too big.” ~ Richard L. Weissman, Author of “TRADE like a CASINO”

 

 

~ Go with Grace ~

Learn to Trade with Zen

So cliche but … BodyMindSpirit … stuff is REAL!!!

Given this opportunity to write this column, I want to focus on 3 areas of Life : Body — Mind — Spirit and how these contribute individually to our successful performance as well as how they’re all so intertwined.  We can learn to trade with zen.  So today I will start off with a post focusing on the body.  But mind you — you’ll be much more spirited when all three are working in harmony…

 

Focus on the Body

If you’re trading full time, it may seem difficult to find the time and/or energy to workout.  There is always prep work to do before the markets open.  Analysis to do once they close…   Not to mention following the futures and the nonstop headlines!

(Sorry Michael … Your advice NOT to listen to the “noise” is sound advice but I happen to be a political junkie ;  )

learn to trade with zenI laugh when people learn that I trade for a living and automatically think I spend a large portion of my day at the beach.

Although now that I’m a member of CYT, that scenario may be more of a possibility as Michael and Adam do a lot of the heavy lifting for us.  But in reality, we are all solely responsible for when and what we decide to do as traders/investors.

But back to the workouts… If you’re a trader, while a yoga class would probably do you good before or after a day on the markets, if you’re like me, you’re more of a type A personality where slow and easy is not a speed you’re comfortable with.   We tend to like speed. — A need for speed!  I love those days where my trade goes as planned allowing me to make my exit and spend the rest of the day focusing on other interests.  Granted, this happens far less frequently than I’d like to admit.  However, when you love the markets like I’m guessing we all do, sometimes it pays dividends to simply watch while you’re contemplating your next move.

This is why I suggest that you give running a shot before your day begins.  No need to spend hours at the gym.  Just get outside and find a route where you can knock off a 1/2 hour of high-intensity burn!  I think you’ll find that not only your body will thank you but you’ll come back to the trade with a Zen-like mind that will let you look at your screens with a much clearer vision and approach to what is in front of you.

 

that just adds to the “Zen”-ness

It has worked well for me … I can’t imagine not getting a run in before the opening bell.  I live on the west coast.  That means getting out of bed and suiting up well before the sun comes up…  But that just adds to the “Zen”-ness ~

If you’re new to this, start out walking and build up to a run when it feels right.  Actually, they say walking may be just as effective in relation to the health benefits of running and is obviously much less stressful on your body.  I’ve also found that some of my best trading ideas come to me while walking.  When I’m running it’s more of a focus on my breathing, even meditative state… but walking clears the head as well and has provided much of my strategic thinking.

Also, I’m not dismissing the benefits of hitting the gym to take advantage of all they offer these days…  Something I need to work on myself.

OK, this “Chart Your Lifer” has gotta run so catch up with you later!  Please share with us what you find works best.  I’m always looking for new ways to engage my Body — Mind — Spirit connection

Selfless Trading

Michael recently did a Twitter survey where he asked if a trader was happy or upset in relation to their wins/losses (yes, we all have losses, even though you won’t find many tweets acknowledging such ;  ) He was surprised that the majority admitted to being upset by a loss in their portfolio.  I was one of the votes cast in this direction.  Michael was not … he has learned not to trade from an emotional standpoint, and I’d like to think I too have reached this point.  I even went so far as to say the 43 % that said they didn’t feel upset were not being honest.  Let me explain…

 
While I fully believe Michael, it is only because I have gotten to know him over the years and have seen his progression in all things “life” and I think he’ll agree with where I’m going with all of this.
 
You see, it is only human to not enjoy “losing.”  No one sets out to trade hoping that their position will turn against them.  But in reality, this is something that will happen so we best learn how to handle it so it doesn’t engulf us in larger losses, and I’m not just talking stocks.
 
What I have found to work best for me is to separate myself from the trade.  Much like one hopes to do with any type of work — the whole work-life balance thing … which I have to admit, I find somewhat dishonest in itself.  No one accomplishes anything of great stature without giving up something.  What I hope to discuss here in this column is how to give up as little as possible in order to achieve all that one has their sights on.
 
 

How to minimize the sacrifice necessary to achieve your goals

In all my experience over the years, while working in the corporate world or in my home office in front of my laptop trading, my success has always been easiest to achieve when I have other areas of my life that are also a priority and contribute to my sense of well-being.  That could be family, fitness, creative endeavors…. basically whatever takes the focus off of “me.”  When we have a desire to be of service to others (family, community, charities) and just as importantly, to ourselves (staying healthy, both in mind and body), we are living a life of purpose.  And yes, even trading has a purpose, which many don’t understand — it is how I pay my bills, contribute to the causes I am passionate about.  It is how I provide entertainment, not just for myself but others and it helps fuel my creative self, such as interior design — which tends to be expensive if you’ve ever gotten the bug.
 
So, putting your trading into perspective, knowing it does not define you as a person but it is just something you enjoy doing full time or want to learn more about as a part-time trader.  My guess is that one enjoys trading more-so if it is not something they do full time but then again, I suppose that all depends on your own individual needs, desires and skill level.  I find I do best when it is not something I have to do full time so I make it a priority to create other means of income.  I host for clients on airbnb for example and find this is a nice balance as it allows me to use a totally different set of skills.  That is also why I find the service Michael provides to be invaluable.  His level of technical expertise is something I know I will never attain, not because I’m not interested but it is not built in with me as it so clearly is with him.
 
 
So, don’t beat yourself up if you still get upset when a trade doesn’t work in your favor … just focus on what is working in your favor and take that mindset back to your next trade.  Acknowledge and be grateful for the things in your life that are contributing to your wellbeing … yep, even when it feels as though there is no light at the end of the tape.
 
I hope this post was helpful to “Chart Your Life” and please feel free to leave any comments you may have or suggestions you’d like for me to address going forward!
 
Best,
Beth Marconi

Chart Your LIFE – Intro

Hi!  I’m Beth Marconi, investor / trader, people empowerer and certified nutritional consultant.
 
Please be on the lookout for a new column here ChartYourTrade… Chart Your Life by Design!
 
This all came about as I had spent some time earlier with Michael (see his review here: https://chartyourtrade.com/levitrade-review/)
 
At the moment I have been focusing on writing a book, which is now 1.5 years in progress … sheesh — 
 
They say trading is difficult ;  ) but I digress ~ During this process, I have learned more about myself and life in general than I ever could have imagined!  Some good, some not so good, but all in all I wouldn’t trade this time for anything … other than maybe a couple 10 baggers in the market !?!  
 
All kidding aside, I am honored to reconnect with Michael as I’m a big believer in who he is and what he enjoys doing, which is inspiring others!  We both have a love for the markets and empowering others to be their best self!
 
Trading is what I do for a living but without the knowledge and analysis I have attained through self-analysis I doubt I would be in a position to claim any level of success in the markets, at least not consistently.
 
Having managed (I prefer empowered) people throughout most of my career, my focus has always
been on what’s most important when it comes to achieving top performance while living the life you desire: lifestyle, environment, and vision.
 
Now I’d like to share some of this hard earned knowledge with you!
 
You will find me here, giving you what I hope to be thought-provoking, actionable insights on how to navigate the markets day in and day out from the “Chart Your Life by Design” perspective, with the intent to elevate your overall experience and performance.
 
I look forward to being a part of the CYT community and learning from all of you as well!
 
Best,
 
Beth Marconi
 
PS  My website is in progress, soon to be published, where you can learn more about me and what it is I do.  In the meantime, please leave any comments and or questions you may have … let’s get the conversation started!

 

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