By Sherrie Nish
A question posed in the forum caused some deeper thoughts and internet research. The question involved learning to trade and if it might be easier to run a Marathon. Not being a runner, I consulted google to learn what it takes to train for a marathon. I was surprised by the similarities between training for a marathon and training to trade.
The guide I consulted was from REI. It suggested the first step in getting started was to define your reason for wanting to run and then hold onto that reason for when the times get tough and you want to give up. This is the same for trading. It is important to ask yourself why you are trading and then go at least three levels deeper. Keep these thoughts in mind especially on the losing/learning days.
Next, start small. Similarly with trading, you don’t want to just jump off the couch and run 26.2 miles. It’s better to be consistent with a few small runs each week working up to longer runs. When trading, it is best to demo trade with small one- or two-contract trades that are easily managed.
It then suggests that for your first marathon you might want to choose one close to home. Like this, when you first trade live, you want to trade with the instrument and using the strategies you have been demoing.
Other tips are given to help you when running your marathon such as making sure you stay hydrated, incorporate rest and recovery into your training and not trying something new on race day. These and other tips can apply to trading live. The quickest way to wipe out an account is to try a new strategy that you haven’t first learned and proven in demo. Plan some rest days into your trading plan to eliminate burn out. Take care of yourself, not only through hydration, but also by eating well and exercising.
Also suggested is to take a week off from running after the marathon. This is where trading slightly differs. It is important to schedule some vacations throughout the year. It is equally important to know when to stop trading for the day. Set your limits and stick to them. Follow your risk management plan.
Trading and running a marathon both involve training that cannot be skipped. Take the time to learn. Plan to be able to trade not only next week, but next year as well.