Doing what you love

I’ve read (and been told) time and time again that in order to live a happy/fulfilled life, you need to DO what you LOVE. Or in other words, find your passion.

That’s all very well, but HOW do you find your passion?

No idea.

Perhaps it ties in with travelling more and experiencing the world in order to find out what activities out there in the world could actually be YOUR passion. After all, if you haven’t found your passion yet, maybe it isn’t something that you can do within the 100 mile radius of your home. Heck, maybe your passion is simply travelling…can’t do that sitting at home watching the television. And to end, another cliché:

It’s not about the destination (passion) it’s about the journey  (discovering your passion)

With that in mind, I’m off to try my hand at some fun things, some old, some new in an attempt to find MY passion. Feel free to leave comments about your experiences on finding a passion, and I’ll post soon with an update on my findings.

Taking a break

When it comes to learning or doing something I am overly interested in, I have to throw myself into it completely.

You might have noticed from previous posts that I’ve been looking into spread betting lately – well not lately. I decided to take a break to focus on other things in life and do some reading.

Will write another post outlining what I am working on for the festive season.

Nothing to report

It’s been a little quiet trading this week. Took 1 positive pip this week and stayed out of the market. No trading today, sometimes you can’t spend all day looking and the markets and just need to live!

Have a fair bit of work to do so will check in soon.

Running out of steam

Looks like the market is running out of steam on the way up to 5320, hopefully it’ll wait (I wish) till I’ve had a chance to get ready for the day before making a move haha!

Small trading win

8.50am Opened up my trading account this morning, and saw the criteria had been met for one of my rules. Entered the market long and coulg have taken a +7 pips profit, but “let my profits run, as advised in the “zen in the markets book”. The market was moving very slowly at the 5300 mark and I wish I had taken my profit, but you live and learn. Moved my stop to +1 and got stopped out on the market reversal. Small win, but overly happy that I am clearly learning and improving.

Trading Psychology – dealing with your ego, in search of Zen

2.20pm

I was thinking about writing again that today was another uneventful day in the markets. Or if not that, at least a difficult one. But it wasn’t. The market is doing it’s thing, moving up and down, since the open. That’s all it ever promised to do I guess. So what’s my issue? I’m sitting here waiting for the “perfect conditions” – yes I know there’s no such thing. Okay, so I’m looking for a clear signal to enter the market and, like yesterday, I haven’t traded yet.

That little voice in my head is saying “It’s okay, you’re learning, watching the market, when you make a move it’ll be right”. Fair enough, I may be learning by watching the market, but I’m getting a bit concerned about my lack of trigger pulling. Now, I know jumping into the market at random is gambling and a surefire way to lose, but I’m at the point now, where I see my signals (albeit not perfect), and still can’t muster up the courage to put in a trade.

Why?

I think I have a bruised ego – seriously, hear me out. I started thumbing through Zen in the Markets – Confessions of a Samurai Trader this morning. The book starts of talking about how there’s no place for your ego in trading and it’s your ego that’s responsible for you taking profits too early, and letting losses run (which is the opposite of what you want to do). It’s also responsible for feeling the pain from your losses and pleasure from wins. From what I’ve understood the aim is to detach yourself from the past activity of the market, see what it is telling you and follow it’s signals, all the while, remaining detached from the outcome (profits/losses). Makes sense, right?

The aim for today is to get over fear of losing, spot the entry signals and make a calculated entry based on risk/reward. Now that I’m accountable, I’ll update this entry with results.

4pm (ish)

So, I bit the bullet. Made a loss. Totally rushed into the market (since I said I would trade and have to be somewhere in the next 20 mins). Lesson learnt: don’t trade because you want to, or because you’re in a hurry. Only when the market signals you to, and you have no control over the market, so if it’s not showing you what you want to see, walk away and come back later. And I’m going to do just that.

Till tomorrow!

Patience when trading

Entry points - Spread betting on the FTSE 100 28/11/2011
Highlighting the entry points for FTSE 100 28/11/2011

12pm– I’m sitting here, watching the market (FTSE 100, today) and missed two great opportunities to trade early in the day. Since then, the market has pretty much stalled out and nothing there are no clear entry indicators, based on the rules I’m following.

I’m really appreciating the amount the patience required to develop my spread betting abilities and the amount of discipline I’m exercising to stop myself jumping in the market because I’m getting bored.

Hopefully the market will pick up when the US opens around 2pm.

2.30pm

Had a quick check in on the FTSE and was looking to place a sell order (short) at 5300 but as soon as the US market opened, the price shot straight through 5300 and ended up at the 5320 mark. I had to step away for an hour, and didn’t miss much action.

4pm

I returned to find the market heading back down to the 5300 mark for the second time and was very tempted to go long (buy order). At the time I thought it was a gut feeling, but in hindsight it did match one of my trading strategies. I could have taken a pretty clean 10 pips and been done for the day.

Lessons for the day

1. Patience is clearly a virtue, even though it may be very tempting to get into the market, you have to be careful and make sure you’re not making up reasons to get in the market.

2.The early bird catches the worm. I missed two good setups in the morning, and had I not arranged to have furniture delivered first thing I may have got in on the action today.

On the plus side, I’ve spent the day (on and off) watching the market, learning how it moves and identifying clear entry indicators, without losing any money!

Hopefully tomorrow will be a different story.

Learning how to spread bet

I was introduced to Spread Betting over the summer this year by a colleague of mine. They claimed to make more than their salary by placing Spread Bets, so I was naturally curious.

Before I continue, I just want to point out that if you start spread betting there are risks involved and you can lose more money than you put in.

I opened an account with IG index and began placing bets. The concept is pretty simple. You pick a financial product and bet whether the price will go up or down. Every point (pip) it moves in your favour, you win and vice versa.

For example, you £2 bet on the FTSE 100 going down in price. The price now is 5100 and reaches 5070 over the next hour. You close your trade and are 30 pips better off (30 x 2 = £60).

Seems easy, right? I wish. After a couple bets, I fast realised I had no idea what I was doing and began losing money. I didn’t lose a lot of money but decided to take a break and learn.

Fast forward a few months to today. I’ve had a little bit of training and done a bit of reading. I also follow the blogs of a couple other “newbies”, who are far more dedicated in their learning and have read countless books. I didn’t want to get overly consumed by spread betting (I’d still like to have a life!) so haven’t touched any books yet.

They say it’s 80% psychology, 20% knowing when and what to trade.

There’s so much I want to share about what I learnt during my first round of spread betting over the summer, compared to what I’m now doing, but I’m in a bit of a hurry this morning.

I’ll leave it at this: if you’re new to spread betting or any kind of trading, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from Foreign Exchange (FX) and anything else you may not understand entirely. I’ve found FX to be overly volatile and difficult to predict. Try your hand at something like the FTSE 100 or other indices.

I’ll do my best to post my daily stats and keep track of any new strategies I learn.

Keep learning!

CD

Getting away with living

I heard someone talking over the last week, and they said “some people get away with living” – as if they were avoiding the proverbial limelight and waiting for life to end.

Personally, I want to get the most from life and don’t want to merely watch from the sidelines. So, that’s the purpose of this blog, to document my journey learning new skills and to provide some accountability.

If you find the posts useful, please comment and hopefully we can learn from each other.