The longer I’ve been in this business of trading, the more I’ve come to realize that “get better at smarter trading” is not the answer to the question: “How do I make more money as a Trader?”
Yes, we can all be better at regime detection, trade selection, strategy selection, optimal position sizing, risk management, and profits management. There will never not be room for improvement in these realms.
However, to me, the real answer lies somewhere off the charts. Away from the screens. Outside of our office or wherever we get work done.
The answer is located someplace closer to where we unwind. Where we exercise. Where we meditate. Where we reconnect with the important people and places in our lives. Where we rejuvenate our souls.
It’s becoming all too clear to me that one of the keys to optimal performance is to make sure our bodies and minds are right. And that ain’t gonna happen while hunched over a computer screen or mobile device.
The key to optimal performance is to have something fun, engaging, exciting, challenging, and inspiring to tackle every day (or at least most days).
Yeah, we’ve all heard traders who’ve said trading is “fun” for them. And that it offers the greatest stimulation of the mind anyone could ask for. I’m not saying that isn’t true for many successful traders, but I’m calling bullshit on that being enough.
Speaking from my own experience…
There have been few things more satisfying than coaching my son in sports, and seeing him and his teammates thrive. This builds confidence in me which translates into a willingness to take smarter chances with my trading.
Nothing clears my head better than spending time alone (or with my dog) on a long mountain hike in nature. This calming and re-centering prepare my nerves for the next bout of stock market volatility.
Few things excite me more than traveling – for work or for pleasure. The change of scenery always gets me out of any rut I may have been in, and new people, places, and things always inspire me to think differently. This gives me the courage to try new things in the market.
I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening than to be listening to and watching live music being performed – especially when the music speaks to me. Music has the tremendous power to transport me back to places and people from the past, as well as to appreciate the art and skill of presentation. It almost always brings me back to happy times, and happiness is so underrated when tackling any endeavor as demanding as trying to pull money from some of the smartest and deepest-pocketed interests on Wall Street.
These are but several of numerous instances I can cite where something I’m engaged in away from the screens continues to have an impact on my trading career.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be working with JC and the team at Stock Market Media to put together an interview show where we attempt to engage in deep conversations with market professionals, as well as experts in other fields about what helps them to be top performers in their chosen endeavors.
In full disclosure, this will be a selfish endeavor as I truly want to learn new ideas for smarter, more effective living and performance. But I know many of you would also benefit from these discussions and so I’m excited to get this off the ground.
So stay tuned in the coming weeks. And if there’s anyone you think I should interview, please let me know (even if it’s you!) and any necessary introductions will be greatly welcomed.