Who is a better teacher? Profit or Loss?
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Option trading is not easy, just like any other business. Those who think it is, thank you. I surely don’t think so.
It takes a lot of time and efforts for one to understand this new century’s investing and trading style. Just like any other business, option trading needs to be treated like that and and one needs to understand rules of the game and how this game is played. Before I converted into an income spreads trader, I have been fascinated by 100s of % points gain overnight. I generated over 1000% returns in single day, not one time but several times. Now think about it for a second, 1000% in one day, isn’t that amazing? Those huge gains filled my chest with super duper confidence, so much that I can win the world and I am the new trillionaire on the block (huh..pun intended).
Profit was surely not a good teacher for me, at least. There was hardly any portfolio guideline that I followed as everything was making money. Till that time I haven’t had really tasted the darker side of option trading. Greed was high and success was “by chance”. Though there was a lot of hard work involved before I made those trades, but when I look in retrospect, it was hard work but not smart work. It took only a few meltdowns to tear me apart.
And these initial losses were the best thing to happen to me in trading.
To me loss was the best teacher amongst all. It forced me to think hard and smart, design risk management plans, research and develop portfolio guidelines. I spent considerable time on educating myself and thousands of $$$ on books (yes one of those books costed a fortune, my most expensive book). While I was educating myself, I also lowerd my expectations from 100% per month to 5% per month to be realistic. I committed to add more trading capital only if I can consistently make money for more than 2months. If one month is loss, the new money is delayed for next month.
Now-a-days before I dive into any new strategy, I virtually trade it for at least 3months. Sometimes I even trade the “underlying for 3 months” to know its character. A trading system is very important. Even though within a few months you may find your system working very well, give it at least a year before you move on to new strategies. 5% per month for a big portfolio, is an excellent result by any standard, if you can do it consistently, month after month, year after year. The key word is “consistent”.
Since I became spread trader, the results have been extremely motivating. Since I started tracking my results I am about to double my overall capital in less than a year’s time while significantly reducing my trading time. I have over 10months of successful RUT Iron condors’ track record (past performance is no gurantee of future performance), and many more to add (OPN subscribers know that).
I think therefore it is important to have clear objective in mind, be realistic in goals, have a tool box of strategies in place and do have rigourous measures in place that allows you to track your progress/performance.You may also want to record your trades to analyze why you made money or why you lost money.
There are no free lunches (thank you Mr Warren buffet for paying for my lunch:)) and it takes hard work before we can taste consistent success. Do get quality books, sign-up for good services, its worth paying to them as “they” have done hard work. Learn it, prove it and then trade it.
Now who are “they”, that’s an interesting question. Before you sign-up with anyone, google their names, find links related to them, go to forums and see what people are saying about them. Don’t just satisfy your desire with mediocre performance and always run a qualifying question, if I had $1 millions to invest today, can I sleep comfortably if I invest the way “this” guru is suggesting?
Cheers, have fun and have profitable trading, OptionPundit