By Sherrie Nish
Setting up your binder and planner will help you see how important it is to run your trading business as a business, especially as you get profitable. Last week, you started organizing your binder. By writing down what your perfect world or perfect life looks like, you are able to see the big picture. This helps you be able to focus in on what you are doing in your trading today.
Why are you doing this?
Why are you trading?
What is motivating you?
These types of questions help you get clear on things such as what you want to do, when you are going to do it and the amount of money needed if you are planning to trade instead of having a job.
Think about the type of lifestyle you desire, where you want to live, your dream car and the interests you will pursue. Put it all down in writing because if your subconscious knows where it is supposed to go, your trading will take you there. As you write all these things down, you may want to use a pencil. When you revisit this writing in a couple of years, you will notice that some items have come to fruition. Others are no longer important and will need to be changed.
Use trading as a vehicle. It is a giant car, which you will use to arrive at your destination, but you have to know where you are going.
By keeping both your business and personal financial information together in the binder under the Financial tab, taxes at the end of the year can be much simpler for you. Use a page for expenditures. This is where you will lay out in writing your plans for buying new computers, monitors or other needed technical equipment. Keep a record of your monthly expenses. These are your operating expenses and include internet, cell phone, data feed and any other expenses needed for you to do business.
In the back of the binder is where you have placed the dividers or tabs for the Years, starting with 2018. This is the year where your focus will be staying on target, heading in the direction of where you want to go.
Your planner is your daily operating manual. As soon as you receive it, go to the yearly or annual part. Some planners have this section all on one page. Others simply give you monthly calendars to use.
For your homework this week, go through and mark the holidays. These should be not only the federal holidays, but also personal and family days such as birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions and any other days that will take you away from trading. You can mark these as non-trading days.
Next, block out vacation time. Treat trading as a business and schedule yourself two vacations a year. Traders need to step away from trading about every six months for a week. This allows you to clear your head. By clearing your mind, it sets you up to come back in a more relaxed and focused way.
Every quarter, schedule yourself a long three- or four-day weekend. As a trader, you can get so focused, tense and wrapped up in trading. You need a break. As Darrell says, “We want unconscious competence,” which can mean you’re bored with the routine. You can’t be bored if you’re all wound up and tense. Taking vacations and long weekends is part of treating yourself right in order to make yourself a better trader.
Now go through and put in all the FOMC meeting dates and the dates of the future contract rollovers for everything you trade. If you trade crude or intend to next year, mark all the OPEC meetings for next year. Even though they don’t control the market, their meeting minutes affect the crude oil market much the same way the FOMC affects the other markets.
Doing the above for your homework will get your whole year laid out. This will help you in the future as you zero in on the calendar for a week’s time and then drill it down to what you will do in a day.
Since most people who have been trading for at least a little while have figured out that it is a head game, next week’s topic will cover the importance of physical space and physical body along with your brain, mind and emotions all coming together to form an apex to your trading. These things directly influence whether you are a better trader or you continue to struggle.
The fun thing about Traders Helping Traders is that we are sharing experiences, not giving investing advice. If you take a little bit of this and a little bit of that and it works for you, then you have discovered a recipe for your success. Remember, if you have suggestions or feedback, be sure to share them in the forum.