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!
Beth Marconi

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