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Taking a break from trading
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Taking a break from trading

  #21 (permalink)
Elite Member
Philadelphia
 
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Itchymoku's Avatar
 
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Massive l View Post
There came a point where I was tired of being burned on forced trades.
So I was forced to not trade if I wanted to make a living out of it.

To pass the time...I train for Crossfit/Olympic/Power lifting competitions.
I train 2 times a day 3-4 days a week and train overall 5 days a week.
I also eat a lot of food. I golf, float the river, hang out at the park,
go to the farmer's market, etc.

I apologize in advance if my question is a little confusing or complex but please bear with me,

I was curious if you find there is some correlation between exercising and your trading performance? I know it may not be direct, but I was wondering if you think it helps aid an already profitable trader maintain success. I asked Big Mike the same question, and from how I perceived his answer although obvious, he said anything that helps you build your discipline should have some cross-over effect. I notice when I'd start lifting weights, and get used to it, that I'd have increased ability to endure other areas of my life that were previously more difficult before I started to lift.

The power of thought aside, usually when I have an inkling going into asking someone a question I want the answer to be true because I have a degree of hope involved and am trying to get some reassurance that I'm right. But, I know it may not be as simple as, yes or no, and probably depends on "situational" factors that vary from person to person. There's also maybe something that I'm missing entirely that, in asking someone else who is more experienced, will give me insight into things I wouldn't have realized on my own. I always hope, and maybe it would help, if someone would just come out and say definitively YES I should workout and YES it will help my trading. That NO, I shouldn't rely on that aspect alone for progress, but if I exercise, then typically YES it will help. This is similar to how the karate guru/mentor will have his student do something mundane like wax a car and somehow that has a ripple effect down the road to him doing a karate chop significantly more powerful because of the conditioning from something seemingly unrelated like the motion of waxing. I really enjoy watching and reading biographies of successful people because I find these people who do a lot of these seemingly unrelated activities actually help the core reason they're successful.

I hope you get my drift and understand why I crave this type of guidance. With this type of career like trading I learn so much on my own, that sometimes I wish there was someone who could tell me what to do that would help, but I know even that maybe asking too much because the person got to where they are because of self reliance. I get the answer a lot that what may help one person may hurt another, but I just hope that there may be universal things that just help everyone usually regardless like exercising. This is why I ask you, because I know you're profitable and you do exercise quite often.


Last edited by Itchymoku; September 20th, 2014 at 10:29 PM.
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  #22 (permalink)
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Massive l's Avatar
 
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Training keeps me focused. It also has some sort of meditative effect because when you're training
hard, you're in the zone and that's the only thing you're thinking about. You're not thinking about trades.
You also have to have patience training. You can't just squat 135lbs and then the next day, you're squatting 405lbs.
It takes a lot of time and effort, just like trading. Technique is so important and it involves extreme patience as well.
So yes, training is beneficial to my trading. It keeps me calm, patient and focused.

Psychology > Strategy ≥ Money
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  #23 (permalink)
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Massive l View Post
Training keeps me focused. It also has some sort of meditative effect because when you're training
hard, you're in the zone and that's the only thing you're thinking about. You're not thinking about trades.
You also have to have patience training. You can't just squat 135lbs and then the next day, you're squatting 405lbs.
It takes a lot of time and effort, just like trading. Technique is so important and it involves extreme patience as well.
So yes, training is beneficial to my trading. It keeps me calm, patient and focused.

Thank you. This is a good well balanced answer that I was looking for.


Last edited by Itchymoku; September 21st, 2014 at 02:28 AM.
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  #24 (permalink)
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full week of break during long weekend

In long weekend usually I take break for full week. Example thanksgiving is coming soon on Thursday, I take a break for entire week. Same for Christmas.

Trade what you see, not what you think!
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  #25 (permalink)
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@Itchymoku If you look at the effects of working out from a physiological point of view, it may explain better why it may be beneficial to your trading.

Workouts produce, both, endorphines (endogenous "morphine") and an increase in the levels of serotonin. In combination, these neurotransmitters tend to:

i) increase concentration/focus
ii) increase confidence
iii) increase the ability to execute decisive action
iv) increase endurance
v) increase thinking ability
vi) decrease the effects of negative responses on psyche

These are just the commonly known benefits. Do a little research on these neurotransmitters and it will give you a lot more benefits that may aldo indirectly enhance your trading.

I incorporate my workouts 2.5-3 hours after my morning session (which coincides with the lunch hour of chop/slow trading). When I miss my workout, most times I notice a difference in my PnL and that difference is reflected off my afternoon session.

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  #26 (permalink)
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Have been trading full time for 9.5 years now, have come up with the following rules for myself that help me best realign...

One mandatory two week off in a row vacation (ie 16 day trip to Mediterranean this summer), and 1 single week trip to the Caribbean/S Florida during winter months.

10-15 sessions are then used for making a good number of 3-4 day (or 5 day during US Holiday) extended weekends.

I'm quite satisfied & comfortable with how my career has unfolded, and am going to make it 3 week in a row mandatory vacation from here on out.

FWIW, my brother in-law is a senior distressed debt trader at a top-5 fund in respective field. He tells me there has been a sea change in many US based hedge fund and a good number of the bulge bracket banks with regards to minimum vacation time that must be taken consecutively. Sales traders are required 2-wk mandatory, and a lot of the high revenue top prop traders at funds are being pushed by HR for 3 weeks in a row. Way too many cases of stress related problems that are not making it to media headlines, and internal reviews have shown this change in mindset may be helping. It is also likely a ploy to ever so slightly help stem the flow of brain power out of finance and into tech. It's my strong opinion three separate one week vacations are not enough to realign and completely forget work. He stated it is still a work in progress for investment banking/M&A side of business, as the stream of deals is far less uniform in occurrence than differential in trading environment when looking at volatility/opportunities in trading on a weekly to 1-month basis.

There is nothing like coming back from a relaxing vacation where one has slept 10hrs a day... you feel like a king when back at the trading terminal.

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  #27 (permalink)
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Great article on rest and work....

Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach is also mentioned...

The Secret to Increased Productivity: Taking Time Off

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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