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Surfing and Trading
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Surfing and Trading

  #1 (permalink)
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Surfing and Trading

I was teaching my kids how to surf this weekend and I found myself telling them things that have a lot of parallels to trading.

- If there's no waves (setups) be patient and enjoy the water and sun. A setup will come. If not, then it wasn't meant to be (sit on hands day) or not a good spot (market). Come back tomorrow or find another spot. Don't try to make something of nothing.

- After a lull (chop, quiet market) a new set of waves (setups, breakouts) will appear. Often, the first wave is not the best wave. Don't get too excited because you see an OK wave (false breakout) after you haven't seen any good ones at all. Often there is a better one behind it (look for confirmation).

- If you catch a wave ride it as long as you can, until you see yourself heading into shore, rocks, or other people (end of trend).

- Get into position and be ready to go for a wave so you're ready to take a good setup once it appears. (focus, attention)

- Once you see a wave you want, commit to it to getting on it. Paddle as fast as you can to get enough speed to go with the wave. (have a plan, preparation, confidence with entry, execute with precision)

- Don't try to catch the wave too early, make sure it has built up enough energy to carry you along (overly eager entries, wait for confirmation)

- Don't catch the wave too late or else you'll catch it on the top of the wave and it will throw you down into the seabed (buying tops or selling bottoms)

- Don't try to surf every wave (over trading), just the ones that look easy to catch and worth the energy required to catch and ride it (capital preservation, high probability trades)

Any other surfers out there have some surfing/trading parallels?

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  #3 (permalink)
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I tried surfing as well, but following my natural bias, I always shorted the waves. My positions were soon under water, and there were few retracements that would back me in. Maybe I just used the wrong sit-ups. Also I experienced high volatility, both when the waves were large or small. In the end, I was lucky that I did not go broke.

Will think about a serious answer as well.


Last edited by Fat Tails; July 31st, 2010 at 11:28 AM.
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As I have continued learning about trading over the last 18 months, I have begun to realize that trading is a metaphor for life.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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aztrader9 View Post
As I have continued learning about trading over the last 18 months, I have begun to realize that trading is a metaphor for life.

It is indeed. Feels like a parallel universe, but it is not. It is a subset of life, a subset that reinforces a number of essentials. It is intellectually rich, it is sort of a mirror, as it exposes your own character traits in front of yourself. It forces you to change attitudes, to learn discipline and patience, to take responsibilities. It rewards you with new experiences every day and it is great fun.

But trading is no substitute for life. Physical fitness and relationships come first. Trading comes second, at best.

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I said the same thing the other day to @Big Mike - What I miss most in life since battling cancer: Exercising and trading.

Exercise is magic. If can fix almost any thing that ails you. Can't wait until I can start again, right now even walking hurts. Have found that being physically healthy leads to positive results in all other aspect of life.

R.I.P. Andy Zektzer (ZTR), 1960-2010.
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Try windsurf.
As a retired windsurfer, I always found strange these guys waiting hours for a wave, or for nothing, when at the same time, with more than 12 knots of wind, windsurfers had already ride a lot of waves.

Surfing without a sail have always been a real mystery to me...

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After my experience as per #2, I settled for sailing. But sailing or windsurfing cannot be easily compared to trading, as you do not experience the ups and downs.


sam028 View Post
Try windsurf.
As a retired windsurfer, I always found strange these guys waiting hours for a wave, or for nothing, when at the same time, with more than 12 knots of wind, windsurfers had already ride a lot of waves.

Surfing without a sail have always been a real mystery to me...


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Fat Tails View Post
After my experience as per #2, I settled for sailing. But sailing or windsurfing cannot be easily compared to trading, as you do not experience the ups and downs.

Exactly, and windsurfing/sailing are much easier than trading/surfing.

The parallel between trading and surfing is very good (but I think surfer might try windsurf or kitesurf, if they want to surf more than 1 wave/hour).

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Kick out before the wave ends otherwise you'll get pounded.


Last edited by mainstream; August 2nd, 2010 at 09:58 AM.
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