Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm Taking A Break

The hybrid market is just over a year old and this blog is a year old in a little over a week.


No coincidence there. I started the blog because immediately after the hybrid began, I lost my ability to pull money out of the market consistently. After yesterday, I've gone back into the red for the month of February which means I've had a year to adjust to the hybrid, but something still is wrong with my trading. So instead of doing basically the same thing I've been doing for the last year and expecting something to change, I'm going to force a big change.

The fact of the matter is, I'm exhausted. While on paper you could look at my earnings last year and say I did okay, the number isn't telling the full story. I made over $100,000 last year, but $28,000 of that total came on one day in August. And half of it came in a three week period. The point, is that of the 250 trading days last year, I struggled for 80% of them.

That's a lot of bad trades, lots of stress, and lots of confidence-whacking.

For the last 9 years, whenever people have learned what I do, they normally have the following reaction, "You're a trader?" I guess I don't fit the stereotype of what people think a trader should be. For one thing, I look like I've lived in the Maine woods for about a year.

But really, people are just confused. They think traders are brokers... some of my closest friends still think I have "clients..." I don't think I have to explain the stereotype of a stockbroker, it's not pleasant. But traders don't want to sell things to people, and many, aren't overly interested in money. Traders are independent thinkers who want to test their ideas with action and be proven correct in the market. That said, there is nothing worse for a trader than to constantly be proven wrong, because it also means you're losing money.

Point is, despite my earnings, it's been a rough year, because I hate being wrong.

Anyway, the other thing people invariably say is, "Isn't that the most stressful job going?"

To that, I've always answered, "No. You know what stresses me out? The mere idea of having a boss." Trading never stressed me out because I was in control of myself and my profits. I rarely had down days, I could make my own schedule... it was easy! I couldn't figure out why everyone wasn't doing it.

Well guess what? That's changed. I'm a little stressed out right now and have been, for the better part of the last year.

So what's the plan?

First of all, I will not be blogging for the month of March. I've been posting for a year, a lot, and I've never really taken time away from it to catch my breath. I love the blog, I've learned a lot from it, and I've made many good "Internet friends." On a certain level, I hesitate to do this since the traffic here is growing every month (I'd argue I'm out of the third-tier, actually) but hopefully, you'll all be back with me in April.

Once you began to blog actively, it permeates your thinking. I mean, if I'm browsing the web and see something interesting, I save it so I can post it on the blog. If I accidentally pay $40 for a pizza, I think about turning the experience into a blog post. Just because I won't be posting for the next month doesn't mean I won't be thinking this way, and I imagine that come April there will be many "lost" Dinosaur Trader blog posts that I'll be able to share with you.

As for trading? Well, I'm lacking in discipline. I find myself making the same mistakes over and over despite my understanding that I'm making a mistake. Hope isn't a good trading strategy (sorry Barack). This is unbelievably frustrating and I credit this blog with raising my consciousness about my trading to the point where I realize I need to step back and look at things anew.

For March I will be trying a completely new strategy which I will discuss more when I come back in April.

As for the VO, I've been impressed with the blogging of new VO member Ainkurn and he's graciously accepted the burden of "herding the cats" each day and compiling the post. I'll track my results each day and post them here on April 1st.

Thanks for reading. See you in a month.

41 comments:

The Lonely Trader said...

I'd say good luck. But I don't think you'll need it. Hope to see you back soon.

Pete said...

the dinosaur is dead. long live the dinosaur

tapeworm said...

good luck DT

Glenn said...

Wish I had your money making problems ;) Thanks for all you do, have a nice break and best of luck to your new methods!!!

ainkurn said...

I'm glad you're taking some time off DT. It seems that a lot of traders are having trouble "navigating the waters" lately. Everyone needs some time off to collect their thoughts. I look forward to seeing you back in April. I'll keep the VO on track until you get back.

Woodshedder said...

DT, you won't hurt my feelings if you stop by and say Hi every now and again.

This is a good plan. Glad to see it. You will emerge even better.

HPT said...

Interesting to see you are the next to join the cemetery. I actually felt you were posting too much as well. Remember that one post I made a few weeks back-
http://highprobability.blogspot.com/2008/02/feelings-on-video.html

you commented-
HPT,

I guess it's a good thing that I have no ego problem since I report losses all the time on my blog.

That's the way I'll take this anyway.

I believe there is a lack of networking and idea sharing between traders and a lot of traders are alone in the dark in there trading. I think we all need to help each other out more.

Losses bring out the best in us and winners allude our good thinking.

Retard Trader said...

One month in blogging time is a long, long time. I'm not sure that people have bookmarks that will survive this experience, but I'm not going anywhere (I don't even know how to close the damn browser window anyway).

BABY TRADER said...

Good luck and enjoy your time off. I've enjoyed reading your blog but understand it can be exhausting keeping it up.

See you in March!

FX said...

See you in a month DT

Attitude Trader said...

Knowing you you'll find yourself dealing with a cat in the toilet or a raccoon in your leaf blower or something equally ridiculous and you won't be able to resist posting about it. Nevertheless I'll be looking forward to hearing from you again come April 1st.

Be well,

AT

Bubs said...

Enjoy the time and can't wait for the new and improved DT in April

TraderCaddy said...

Having traded full time for over ten years I know exactly what you are saying. I have enjoyed reading the anecdotes you have posted as well as your opinions (even about Obama). See you in April.

tradelikemike said...

Never hurts to mix things up a bit, best wishes!

Bluedog said...

Consider this your Spring Training, DT! I'm sure it'll be good to take a break from blogging to help get your trading mojo back. Take care and see you in a month!

-BD

Addict said...

I enjoy your blog and read it everyday, it'll be a long month.

J.C. said...

Hey DT,

I've been lurking around on your blog daily for the longest time now (and yes, to those naysayers out there, I'm still alive and trading!!).

I just wanted to say that I know the feelings you are going through and that you deserve a nice month long break.

Looks like I've got to find a new place to lurk for the next month :(

Anyways, I want to wish you the best to you and your family!

sage08 said...

You've got a good year, congrats! Will definitely miss your posts,guess we will not read about the ass-rape formation for a while.

EquineTrader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EquineTrader said...

Dude, the market is messing with your mind. The massive up days are the reason you are successful, but you don't realize how hard it is to stick it out on those days to make those massive gains. For me, today is a large change as well... I believe I have found the holy grail, so to speak... check out my blog, you can find out more. Browse the blog over the month of March to see if I am correct. Cheers, and good luck.

Noisy said...

Good luck buddy - see you in a month!

Ragin' Cajun said...

gay.

Stewie said...

agree with RC that it's gay but DT, i am a huge believer in taking a break from the routine. I think you'll be more inspired than ever. Every time i take time off from trading, i come back better, stronger, wiser and more inspired than ever. I get my best ideas and really stretches my horizons. DO IT bro! I am looking forward to the NEW and more improved DT. I love and will miss your postings and i wanna tell you that your blog is a top tiered one in my mind. You have really become a good buddy of mine and really would love to chug a couple of beers with you someday. hahaha! Anyway DT. You are my boy! Eagerly awaiting your return! peace!

Stewie

z-stock said...

DT
i found your blog on Wincity's sidebar tonite and this is my first time here---and now you are going---
go figure--
any who
good luck--I know all about blogging for an entire year---
zee
I blog about trading options for a living---would have been nice to see how it goes here---

lisa said...

DT-
make sure you utilize your local public library on your month off. I look forward to reading your April 1 post, especially since by then Hillary should have the nomination all locked up,lol
Good luck!

Market Monk said...

GL DT, enjoy the time off and don't read any blogs. Take the time to clear your mind and find the direction you want to go.
MM

mdawsz said...

DT, first, I enjoyed reading your blog. Second, I have to say that blogging is a thankless grind and mostly a fruitless pursuit. Focus on your trading, I think you'll end up better for it.

wincity said...

Hey, DT,

Feel bad to see you stop. Your blog is one of a couple I still read daily. I agree with you on a lot of things except Obama. At the end of the day, I often find that you shorted the same stocks I shorted.

Hope to read you soon.

TraderDave said...

it keeps falling on deaf ears but ill say it for the last time. If you trade the hot stock of the moment, you are dealing with 50-50 opportunities, throw in spreads and commission and its a losing game.

Find stocks that dont move more than $2 on most days and you can nickel and dime the market for the next 100 years.


hope to see you back DT

wincity said...

Dave,

Maybe it keeps falling on deaf ears because it makes no sense? So slow moving stocks offer better than 50-50 opportunities? I've never heard of this logic before.

mrkcbill said...

Good Job DT---see ya in April..Pizza story is great... I'd of pulled a U Turn.

TraderDave said...

Wincity ABSOLUTELY its logical. in stocks that arent HOT, the buyer/seller that needs 100k 200k+ shares has no interest in hiding them self, nor are they hidden by "noise" created by day traders trying to fight pennies from each others pockets. This allows a stock to move 50 cents, $1+ with no break in pattern for sometimes 1 2 or 3 hours.


Please contact me for more info, id love to hear your opinion.

Jamie said...

Great Blog DT,

From the number of daily posts, it appears that you've become a slave to it. The break will, no doubt, get you back where you want to be.

Market Monk said...

TraderDave, maybe you could give us a few examples or share with us a few stocks that fit your criteria so we could better understand your methods.

Ragin' Cajun said...

Zing bitch, now get back to work.

http://www.ibankcoin.com/peanut_gallery/index.php/2008/03/03/how-blogging-makes-me-poor/#comments

Fade said...

hehe - bet you don't make it without blogging until April 1...

Danny said...

DT sucks plain and simple.

try and out argue this simple fact.

MIsstrade said...

Dino Nuggets in da graveyard. Bon Chance mon frere. Blogging may be your bane. Free yourself and you will trade better. Keep your own journal. Ego doesn't need public blogging.

LiggerPig said...

You need the break DT. I find I need maybe 6 breaks a year, and often don't trade a full week, especially if I'm biased one way or another and it's leading to losses.
Concentrate on what you do best and you will be the best my friend.
Good luck in your endeavours.
LiggerPig

JakeGint said...

But traders don't want to sell things to people, and many, aren't overly interested in money.

First goal: Stop trying to bullshit the bullshitters, including yourself.

You may be correct, you may not be tough enough.

Hope you prove me wrong.

BudFox said...

As a newbie I'm loving trading....& I relate to your story about why you got into it & why you do it.

Hope you get back to lovin it too & soon!