Un-Trump Me

Soooooooo….. How’s everybody’s holiday going? If you are reading this in the United States of America I am guessing the red/blue divide in your family this year will be particularly deep. It is certainly in mine. But for the sake of sanity it would probably behoove all of us to lay down our rhetorical arms for a bit and enjoy the season for what it is and give thanks for all that we have.

And I must say watching our ADHD-addled President-elect operate over the past few weeks I realized that I must give thanks even to him for making me realize a very important point about myself. It is clear that Mr. Trump lives in a constant state of stimuli seemingly afraid of nothing and no one except being bored. Such an approach to life has certainly been a success for him as he is now the most powerful man on earth and holds all of our fates in his hands.

Watching him wheel and deal over the past year, I realized that I share a lot of personality traits with the man. I certainly posses his predilection for constant excitement -- it’s is after all why trading has such a hold on me. But this holiday season I finally understood that unlike Number 45, this very desire for stimuli is actually hurting my performance.

Allow me to explain. Those of you who have known me for a while, know that I never stay true to my strategies. I am constantly fiddling, tweaking, exploring and changing my approach to daytrading. The upside is that my own ADHD-addled mind has produced lots of interesting and exciting setups that many traders in our chat room have exploited for far bigger profits than I. But the downside is that I never allow my strategies to fully express themselves in the market over a meaningful length of time. Not only that but the constant “tweaking” actually destabilizes me mentally and puts me “offside” -- as the Brits like to say -- far more than needed.

Let’s take today. I have at this point pretty much perfected my Boomer strategy and just need to patiently lie in wait in order to scalp off 9 pips whenever my levels are hit. But today, I get distracted by a new variant traded by one of my star traders in the chat room. Meanwhile, USDJPY decides to explode for 200 points to the upside during the US session and blood pumping through my head I decide on the spur of the moment to try his variant in my own account. Except of course I am not satisfied with his exact levels and decide to expand the range. In short, not only am I not using his setup (which worked fine by the way) but I am now using my own untested method in the middle of one of the most volatile days of the year. Exciting? You bet. Stupid? Beyond all doubt.

Of course, I get stopped out. Now I am pissed. And to compensate for my own idiocy I decide to modify my bread-and-butter setup to “adjust for the volatility”. My original setup would have worked perfectly. My new fangled version fails miserably and I am now carrying two stops for the day -- something that I haven’t done in months. Sound familiar? It should. That’s how we all get into trouble.

We seek excitement. We seek the new, new thing and the very thing that brings us daily success is compromised as a result. So this holiday season I am making just one resolution. I will stay boring. I will rinse and repeat my successful set ups.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Boris Schlossberg

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