One of the great joys of being a free-thinking, independent investor is the ability to change direction on a moment’s notice.
There’s no committee formation, no focus groups, no proposals to submit. Be it an investment decision or a business direction decision, we’re free to make changes. Now, they may not ultimately be good changes, but as my dad used to say to my mom on our summer vacation roadtrips, “I’m not entirely sure where we’re going, but we’re making great time!”
Despite my lack of updates and posts, I am still trading, and slowly adding quality positions as I find them. I didn’t make a conscience effort to stop posting, it was just the result of Life, and time getting away from me momentarily. And then an odd thing happened – there was a sense of peace that was actually kinda nice.
Some traders find it a challenge to stick to their trading plans, and for them, posting is a fantastic way to self-impose accountability: If you post that you’re buying a stock at $25, and your stop is at $20, then you are far more likely to stick to that stop and not sell out early…or worse, not sell at all.
Others post to share their trading experiences, both the good and the bad, in the hopes that others may learn.
And some post simply out of ego.
I suppose I post out of some sort of combination of all three.
In any event, what I’ve noticed is that by trading in silence, my trading has not suffered, and in fact I believe it has improved. And I measure that improvement not solely based on percentages, but also the bigger, tougher questions: am I following my own rules? Am I taking quality trades? Am I practicing discipline? What about patience? And I believe I can give myself high marks across the board by that yardstick.
I recently re-read Nicolas Darvas’s book, and though I’ve read it a number of times over the years, each time I read it (or any book, for that matter), I tend to get something different out of it – likely because each time I read a book, I’m in a different frame of mind, with different questions bouncing around in my head. This time around, I was more interested in his battle with “noise”. He needed to trade in silence, without constant, streaming input from other traders, brokers or excessive market data. And that resonated with me.
We go through phases, I think, and at the moment, this is “radio silence” phase for me – certainly not a permanent disconnect, just a break. I still privately correspond with several of the wonderful peeps I’ve met through Stocktwits, Twitter and this blog, but for now, the public stuffs will be minimal. I may even look to post more non-market related material.
I think sometimes we (and by ‘we’, I mean ‘I’) tend to get too focused on the details and fail to see the forest for all the trees. A step back, to regroup in silence, can be a healthy thing. I rarely look at my accounts during the week these days, and in general, spend about an hour or so on the week-end reviewing positions, and scanning for new ones. I don’t need to look at things every day because I have stops in place, and my trading platform will email me price alerts as they’ve been set for existing positions. If I don’t get any emails, that means there’s not much to look at.
I guess that’s what Darvas was trying to explain – ooooh! Now I get it….