Post Seminar Thoughts

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I’ve just come back from a seminar given by Worldspreads, the spread betting company that I use. It was a most informative and interesting evening. One half of the talk was given by Alpesh Patel, in which the usual “Mind, Money Management and Method” were discussed. The other half was given by Brian O’Neill of Worldspreads. Both were useful and Alpesh’s in particular was entertaining.

All in all, I think it was helpful in some ways but not in others. I feel reasurred that I do understand how Worldspreads do their business which of late I had felt a bit hazy on. It was also very interesting to find myself amongst other clients. Some looked similar to myself, lost in a sea of suits. Of a less helpful nature is perhaps a confusion that I thought I had dispelled with regard to the style of trading that I believe is best for me. I find myself considering day trading again. But as I sit here, thinking rationally, I still don’t believe that is a viable (or should I say profitable) option for me.

One other thing I found quite interesting was that the level of unease about financial institutions at the moment seems to be even higher than I had believed it to be. Whilst not exactly off my radar, (I have not exactly been keeping a close eye on the stock markets), I expected some pessimism about the markets but there appeared to be a much higher level of fear in the room than I would have thought likely. Northern Rock, it would appear, is in even deeper trouble than I had noticed.

These are merely my impressions of the evening. I’d like to go through the material that they have provided and perhaps run through what I will take from it as a Stepping Stone.

P.S. I’ve just deleted my order for Oil. Once again I pick a winner but chicken out! It’s heading towards 97.50 which would almost have been a doubling of my account size. Everything is so easy in hindsight.

Once more unto the breach! Well almost.

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For the past several weeks, I have been asking myself, “Should I return?” At times it has been more insistent, such as around the time of my last post but since then it has waned a little again. It is certainly a less frenzied question now than it was then.

My desire and interest to re-enter the markets has been fluctuating. This has as much to do with other things that I have been doing as it has with my own thoughts and feelings about the experiment that I had embarked on several months ago. At first, it was a desire to take a break, not just from any open positions but from everything in general. Indeed the month of October was a steady decline into complete burn-out. During the past few months, with work during the day and other projects such as my trading and this blog taking up my time afterwards, I had been burning the candle at both ends and it eventually caught up. A project I had been working on went live in October so that was my priority and the trading fell by the wayside.

At the tail end of October though, I think it had more to do with the fact that I had been out so long already, much longer than I had originally intended plus there was a nagging fear that I would lose everything. I must admit I don’t think I have completely overcome that fear but it is more in control. Add in a mix of other interests and personal projects and the time soon flies by. So we come to this week.

I have been slowly and haphazardly reintroducing myself to this world of trading by keeping an eye on a handful of markets and today I finally put in an order for a long position in Oil. Having already missed the boat a couple of times I was determined not to miss it again, then a little of the fear and probably some greed took hold and I moved my order much lower to the point that I felt sure it wouldn’t be hit today and possibly not for several days. Sure enough my original order would have been hit later in the day and at the close I would have been ahead. With my current account size, it would have made quite an impact.

So while I have re-entered the fray, it’s more on the edges, in the back, near the emergency exit and I probably only have a little toe inside the room at all. Still, it’s a start, but to where?

Hesitation Sickness

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I feel like I’ve just woken from a blissful sleep, after a long and crazy party, to find myself with the mother of all hangovers and destruction and disaster everywhere I look. Back when I started taking my little nap, I was very interested in both Crude Oil and Gold. In fact I was on the verge of opening a position in Oil but I hesitated and the hesitation grew into a complete stop. As I do my sums now, I am groaning as I calculate how much money I have missed out on.

Today, roughly speaking, if I had entered long positions in Oil, Gold and Soybeans around the time I was stopped out of soybeans, I would be looking at an account position around the €2,500 mark. Take away the soybeans and gold, which I probably would not have gotten into straight away as my account is so small and I would still be at the break even mark. I feel sick. Hell, even if I had entered two weeks ago, when I felt my absence was stretching a bit long, I would still be much better off.

So where does that leave me? Do I now wait for a correction or do I open a position now expecting the trend to continue? I find myself still hesitating. I am wary of waiting for a correction which requires me to guess a good price. Also, I’m not sure whether I should buy now as there has already been such huge movements recently.

Caught between, jumping one way or another, I find myself sinking further which then introduces the overriding factor. I don’t trust myself to make the correct decision when I feel like this. I can feel the panic. It’s the same feeling as when I am losing large amounts of money. Losing money and not making money, to me, feels the exact same. So, I figure that perhaps the best move to make at the moment is not to make one at all, until the panic has subsided. But is that the right move?