Arriving at your desk each day is like descending on a trading battle – you must come prepared or you will be slaughtered. You must think up tactics to outwit your opponent and create strategies to claim small victories. You must systematically win ground. You must try to balance offence and defence, for if your entire army (capital) falls on the front line, defeat will surely come. You must constantly think of these two things and ensure that you are able to defend equally, if not more gallantly, than you are able to attack.
This theme has been on my mind over the past few weeks. Over the past 18 months, the market has churned and barrelled sideways in massive, often cliff-like moves without any clear direction. The eternal war has raged between the bulls and bears for almost two years now and no victor can be declared (except in resources where the bears are clearly winning).
Consistent traders are the ones who can adequately protect their capital during difficult times. They defend well. They understand that the market is a mechanism that people use to take money from one another. They know that their only job is very simply, to take money from those who are not as well prepared as they are. It sounds a little cold and callous perhaps, but this is the truth. For every winner there is a loser. Casualties are needed in order for the few to rise victoriously. It’s survival of the fittest. So make sure that you are prepared for the warfare that rages each day the market.
Part of being prepared is being well-rested to ensure that your mind is sharp and clear. As this year draws to a close I can feel the fatigue starting to weigh heavy on my mind and I know it’s time to rest. We are entering into the festive period where the entire world slows down for a few weeks.
In wars of old, enemies downed their weapons, played soccer and shared rations during this period. For me, it is time to do the same. The market goes quiet during this upcoming period (with even a few half-days here and there). This is the perfect opportunity to take time off and get away from the market, so that I can come back well rested and ready for battle!
Enjoy some time with your family and friends. Worry a little less about what happens in the market. We are seldom given chances to step away from the market for a few weeks and switch off completely. We need to remember that the market will still be here next year, as will the opportunities to trade and profit. For now, rest and be merry.