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Trading is a Team Sport
This week I finished my one month experiment in running a trading chat room. Twenty straight days of 18 hours watching screens and I couldn’t be happier. It was truly one the most exciting and profitable experiences I’ve had since I started trading the markets.
We managed to trade through the SNB fiasco, the RBA rate cut, the massive 10% daily swings in oil that turned USD/CAD into a stomach churning rollercoaster ride and the various mini-dramas with Greece. When I said on CNBC that 2015 will be a most volatile year -- I didn’t think it would all happen in the first month! But never mind. We not only survived, but thrived with some of the traders in the room banking as much as 2% per day by the end of our run.
The motley crew that joined me in the experiment was truly reflective of the FX market at large. We had Americans and Australians and Brits and Chinese from Singapore and Indians from Dubal and even a guy named “Rusty” and a very nice woman trader from Berlin all trading with me at all hours of the day and night, united in our love of markets and desire to succeed.
The most common observation you hear about chat rooms is that they are great for emotional support. Certainly trading can be a lonely vocation and it is wonderful to have people cheer you on when things are going well and soothe and comfort you when they are not. But while the emotional support is nice, it doesn’t pay the rent. The much greater payoff of the chat room has been the technical progress we all made together.
I don’t think there is one member of the chat room that will disagree with the statement that all of us, me included, are much better traders today than a month ago. And that is the direct result of trading in a group where we used relentless criticism and analysis to adjust and refine our methods constantly. It is a true testament to the notion that two heads are better than one and that in life progress evolves from collaboration rather than competition.
The good news is that Kathy and I decided to keep the chat room going and make it available to all the BK members. I am going to ease up just a bit (you can only do 18 hour days for so long) but I am incredibly excited to continue with the experiment. After all these years I finally discovered that trading is a team sport and I couldn’t be happier.