Relationships

I think I've written on this topic before and care to touch it again, but in a different way.  Are you a giver or a taker?  I would love to be a consistent taker in the market.  Why am I not?  I still think it has to do with mindsets - what's deep in my subconscious and what's on the inside of me that manifests itself into this natural world.

For a long time, as a person, I was a big giver.  However, I don't want to be a giver of funds into the market, yet I have been that also.  The past 3 yrs, I've been learned to be a receiver.  That's a bit different than a taker.  Sometimes you do need to be a taker, but other times, receiving is different.

The past 2 months, I've gotten involved in my exercising back in full swing.  I figure I need to settle areas of my life before trading and this is part of the process.  It's to become steadfast in what I'm doing, rather than look for excitement in the market.

The most successful traders I know consistently take their trades whether profitable or costing.  They do the routine of taking money and don't need that additional excitement that I've found that I have needed, which has been detrimental.

The most successful traders I know are incredible people -- they have a good balance of caring for people (giving) and receiving from the market.  It's been interesting to see generous people who get more money.  The generosity continues.  Rather, selfish people who gain money, it's sort of like the Dead Sea.  It just all stops there. 

The weight loss program I'm on with Scott Colby, I've found him to be an incredible person with great integrity and a huge, generous heart.  He gives so much and helps people out a lot.  I can't help but want for him to have super great success that grows wildly.  He's real, transparent, yet, he's found a way to make money, have fun, help people out.  I have a super deep respect for the guy and hope that all his dreams come true.

I'm noticing many of the relationships that are coming into my life are from really wonderful people.  However, sometimes an icky person pops back in and I've got to take notice.  Why is that?  Is there still an element or stuff inside of me that is attracting sleeziness, people who lack moral integrity as well as people whom I don't respect or trust?  One could ignore that and say it doesn't exist within ourselves, but I do believe we attract what's really inside of us.

Gotta look deeper to see if there are areas I'm being dishonest in my life.  The reason why I'm writing about this in a trading blog is if we have unhealthy relationships, I do believe that will impact my ability to be able to trade well and to be able to keep money, grow my accounts consistently.

New Look

I think it's time for a new look for this blog.  Loved the other look, but needed a change.  What are your thoughts?  This is really a simple look.

Gorillas live amidst the trees.  What that some type of movie?

I'm thinking my future is filled with lots of green, an abundance of green.

Open Mindedness

One of the biggest I had in trading the past year or so is under capitalization.  The more things I read and hear about traders is that they are either using too much of their account to trade or under capitalized, which really is about the same thing to me.  Multiple professional traders talk about using no more than 1-2% of your account on any trade.

Thus, if you have a $100,000 account, that means no more than $1K-2K on a trade, or was that total in the whole market?  I have to go back and reread Alexander Elder's stuff, listen to some of Norman Hallett, Hubert Senters, John Carter, Mark H. and some of those guys.  Let me tell you this, I don't even have close to that account right now.  Yes, I have multiple times in the past.  HAD!

What about people who have small accounts, like under $10K?  Does that mean you can only trade $100-200? or if it's $5K, then $50-100?  Honestly, I don't really know at this point.  I do know that when you have a small account, there is the fear that you might lose it, which caused me to NOT follow my written trading plan.

Okay, this post wasn't really about that, rather to increase my capitalization.  How do I do that if I'm not trading? 

I don't expect to inherit money, win the lottery (I don't play), or expect any winfall.  Guess that means I just have to go out an earn it, eh?

Someone suggested with my background in engineering, I can do freelance work in mechanical design and charge less than the companies that only want to do high-end stuff for big price tags, where they have all sorts of setup fees and minimums, often equating to thousands of dollars.  The business entrepreneur I spoke with yesterday said I could charge $100-200/hr (BTW, I've never made that much as an engineer, even after 15 yrs) for my services and still be charging LESS than other companies that would do the same mechanical designs.  Most of the jobs would take 1-2 hrs to do, which would be $100-400 for me, which many companies do not want to touch those types of designs.  Why couldn't I do that?

Afterall, I did spend 6 yrs in engineering school, worked for 15 yrs in industry, why not put that further to use than take some low paying job that doesn't really interest me?  I could take the jobs I want and still work around my children's schedule and they would never know the difference as I would always be there for them.  Ten jobs/wk with an average of $250/job, about 10-20 hrs a week to earn about $2500, or $10K/month.  I'd need to give a cut to the guy that gets me the jobs until I earn a good enough reputation for this and get steady business on my own.  Even if I was making $7K/month instead of the $10K, that's still $7K more than I have now.

That's really WAY better than when I was an engineer working for someone else where they dictates my schedule.  Okay, I'll give my manager credit, he often let me set my own schedule to some degree.  God bless him for that.  However, I still had to show up to work 5 days/wk. 

Anyway, that money would allow me settle my divorce aftermath and get back on track with things there, resolve everything completely after negotiations.  After that (or maybe before), I can begin trading again.  However, right now my goal for this is at least $25K to save up.  Since I don't want debts hanging over me, I'll most likely get those paid off so I don't feel worried in my trading.

This may take me a year to do (still gotta live) this engineering thing & saving before the debts/taxes, living, and saving up enough for this account.  Before trading again, not only will I definitely practice, but want to hook up with a professional trader to have him guide me so that I don't blow my account again and can steadily have it grow.

I'm beginning to see the light that it may be possible to have a mechanical design type business, trading, and raise my kids myself - spending the time I want with them.  During the days, I would daytrade futures, but on the weekends or evenings, I could get back into some longer-term options trading or do some of Tim Sykes Pennystock trading, with a smaller account, for things like IRAs ore retirement accounts.

Anyway, it feels a bit scary to get back into engineering, especially since I never thought I would go back.  I didn't think I was all that great of an engineer, but to work for major corporations for 15 yrs?  I must've been at least alright.  Maybe the branching out on my own would allow me to rise to be the person I never thought I could through God working?  Apart from God, trading, engineering, being a mommy -- I could not do any of it well.  I totally need God in all of this and am depending on Him.

I will explore these options and if God wants me in these areas, He'll open the doors for me and empower me.  If He doesn't, then this may not be the way, but maybe there are other options for me in freelance engineering?

Oh, another suggestion was to get my General Contractor's license.  I haven't a clue on how to do that, but I could study for that and if I had that, it would open more doors for me.  There are options and God wants me to be resourceful, creative and have no fear!!!

Being Aware

It's been awhile since I've written.  Still on my hiatus from trading, but right now there is the need to write.  Currently listening to Norman Hallett's free teleseminar on "The 5 Keys to Disciplined Trading" - really good stuff.  He was talking about psychology and how our neuropathways are built.  He used the words "trading is gambling" and that really struck a raw nerve in me.

I feel this thing rise in me of anger.  Not going to "vent", but just share some things I'm noticing. 

One of the things I'm learning is with regards to being offended.  Have I been consistently successful for the long-term?  No.  As Norman is going through this teleseminar, I can see why.  My mom, more than most people, have reiterated to me how much trading and the stock market is gambling.  What I don't understand is that if that's so, then why do people bet their whole retirement, pension, 401Ks and place them in the stock market?  That makes no sense to me.

How about Vegas?  My mom lives in Vegas and I think periodically she does go to the casinos.  She does do some other types of gambling, and it's fun for her.  I've received a lot of formal education in trading, lots of psychological counseling, but looking back, I see where I got the education was not the right place or that I spent way too much money blowing it on the wrong education.

All the things Norman is talking about, I've had to learn through the school of hard knocks, which has cost me way more than what he charges.  Wow, I could've saved so much time and money going through him.  I'm not getting paid to promote him, rather as I listen to him, he's telling the truth about things.

So, what have I been doing these past 2 months?  Spending time with my kids.  They started school 5 weeks ago and that's a lot of work.  Been also doing a lot of reading on money, spiritual things and it's really hitting me hard.  I'm going to be a much better and different trader when I do come back.  In the meantime, my MLMs aren't working too well, so I will be looking for other ways to bring in money somehow outside of trading.  Pray for me.  It's not what I want to do, but it needs to be done for awhile.  Sucking it up.  It's all good.

What I've Learned From Tim Sykes

I've spent some of my morning just analyzing some of Tim's performance to see what I can learn. I love charts, tables, and analyzing results, especially if they look good.

Tim does have enough data points of 376 trades in the past 28 months of trading.

Here is some of his breakdown of where he puts his money in terms of stock dollars:


What am I learning from these results? Tim optimally trades in the $1.01 to $5.00 range. He has great results and the most consistent there. He typically takes profits around the 8-9% movement. It seems when he goes to more expensive stocks, he tends to be less successfully consistent.

He's confirming that the small hits on a regular basis over time helps build a good size account. He shows reasonable discipline, regularity.

I cannot say what his trading strategies or plans or as I don't have his DVDs or watched him trade. But, these are impressive real life results.

Quick & Dirty Tim Syke's Performance

I know that Tim has his stats on his site, but I wanted to see a few things more regarding his stats. Being a number's person, this was interesting.

He started trading in his account with around $12,415 in Feb'08. He made a total of 17 trades, 5 of them costing. 70% of his trades went in his favor. His profitable trades were $2881 and costing trades were $820 with a net of $2061. Not sure if in what he reported, this included commissions or not. It would've been nice to see how much money he put into each trade.

His avg costing trade was $164 and his avg profitable trade was $240.08, so if 70% of his trades are in his favor and 30% aren't, those are GREAT stats. Of the past 29 months, he made trades in 28 months. Somehow he either didn't trade in Oct'09 or forgot to put the data in his website.

After all the data is reviewed:

Total Trades in 28 months of trading = 376

Profitable Trades = 291 (77%)
Costing Trades = 85 (23%)

Avg Profitable Trade = $1186.16
Avg Costing Trade = $711.80

ROI = 2293% in 28 months of trading ----> Pretty amazing if you ask me.

His lowest month was 46% of trades in his favor, with only 4 out of the 28 months under 60% of trades in his favor. Wow! Of those 28 months, only 1 month was negative. Another month he netted $2.00. All the other months he made more than $100.

Least month = <$340.00)
Most Month = $49,327.00

PennyStock Investing

As a single mom with a lot on her plate and haven't truly made it in trading, I know that trading is a whole lot more than just the mechanics of it. As one who now does not have much money to trade AGAIN, it's not really a shameful thing. I've heard it said that when we do not learn our lessons, they keep repeating themselves. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as Groundhog day where you get another chance to do the same day over and over again until you get it right.

Someone that has intrigued me a great deal is Tim Sykes. He really hit it big as a kid turning a small account into millions and then becoming a fund manager when he became an adult, but bit the dust. Now, for the past 3 yrs or so, he's been into pennystock investing and totally tauting this.

He seems to get on the nerves of a number of people and traders. Perhaps most real traders do not take pennystocks seriously and when I look at the penny penny stocks, they scare the dickens out of me. I can't find a definite pattern other than sheer utter chaos. I rely on technical patterns and if it looks like a Reeses monkey on heroin drawing the chart, that's pretty scary.

How do I feel about Tim? I think he's cocky, arrogant, obnoxious. But, there seems to be this lovable thing about him that attracts me to perhaps his will to thrive and to "show 'em"! Or, the "I'm going to prove you wrong" attitude. I can't say that I've extensively followed Tim, but I do admire his perseverance and his ability to be creative, go out on a limb, market himself after the blowup with his hedgefund.

I think it takes courage to publically bite the dust so hard and to come back somewhat crawling on your hands and knees, humbled, and to rebuild things, not expecting miracles, but doing things differently, learning from your past successes & failures, changing. Yes, Tim does have a big mouth. Maybe that's his personality. We all have our own quirks.

Looking at things with him, he gets a lot of criticism for all sorts of things like having a subscriber list, selling DVDs, and maybe having other monies to help fund things. There's probably more that he gets bashed for, but these are the things as of late that I've read. As I look at his results, he puts his trades out there for others to see, his results for each stock. One cannot deny the results. They are actual trades with actual profits & losses. He also says that he's not that great of a trader, but he does do some things that good traders do, I suspect.

It's smart of him to also capitalize on other ways to generate income, which he does through his website, subscribers, book, DVDs and whatever else he chooses. This is perfectly alright as this is a part of capitalism. I'm not sure why others bash him for this as there are many other people who run internet businesses also and it's perfectly alright for them to do so.

Too bad I didn't do this years ago, because if I had, I probably would still be trading at this moment as some of the pressure would be off me as trading being the only source of income for the kids and I. That's big pressure. However, that's not where I was then in life and was not opened to hearing about it. Thought all I needed was trading. Guess I was wrong. Hard lesson to learn.

One of the good things about pennystocks or stocks in general are once you own them, you own them and there are no expiration dates or time value to fool around with. Tim also seems to close his trades not looking for the homerun, rather just looking for 1 base at a time. If he needs to walk, he'll walk. He takes no shame in how he gets his profits. A bunch of small profits lead to big profits. Take your costs when your trade turns against you.

So far, Tim has published 112 trades' results with an 86% of his trades profitable. That's REALLY good. Better than my 80%. His net profits are $204,076 and net costs are $21,767.

Avg Profitable Trade = $2,125.79
Avg Costing Trading = $1,360.44

He keeps his costing trades fewer and smaller than his profitable trades. Sounds like a good trader to me. This isn't like he made 3-4 trades and he's on the winning side, but this shows a pattern of consistency with 112 trades and these odds. This is just for the first 1/2 of 2010. I'm excited to see how he will fair for the remainder of 2010. It would be so cool to see him be able to make $400K+ in the next 6 months, which would bring his net for 2010 to $600K+.

Well, Tim, if you're reading this. I'm all for you, minus the swear words. Hope you make millions and keep it.

Money & Trade Management

For the example prior, never at any time is the whole account traded, even in the early stages when there is little money. Stops are always set and managed. There is no hope. There are defined trading plans & strategies that are implemented.

The Lottery

The topic of the lottery is greatly on my mind. Is playing the lottery a good thing, especially if you're a Christian?

How are the statistics of being struck by lightning derived? Are the number of storms that have lightning documented, as well as the number of people within those storms? Then, you take the number of people killed or injured when struck by lightning? However, what were each of these people doing? I'm sure there are other variables that play into being. Certain areas of the U.S. probably have a lower chance of being struck by lightning than other areas. And, probably a big one is what you're doing - whether you're making yourself more susceptible to being struck than not.

I read somewhere that the 2000 U.S. Census population was 280 million. Yes, that was 10 yrs ago and it's more than that now. It said the odds of being struck by lightning is 1/700K.

Somewhere else I read that to win the Lotto, which is 40 balls and 6 are chosen, the odds end up being 3,838,380.

The math is: 40 x 39 x 38 x 37 x 36 x 35 = 2,763,633,600. This is for the 6 balls and possibilities.

Because the order of the balls does not matter, you divide that # by the 6 possibilities: 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720.

2,763,633,600 x 720 = 3,838,380 are the odds of 1 lottery ticket

I have a friend who does about $10/month. This would be 3,838,380/10 = 383,838. Thus, his probability of winning is 1/383,838 = 0.0000026.

Whether you look at it from the odds or probability, it doesn't seem very good.

For example, if you flip a coin, your probability is: 1/2 = 0.50. That's really good.

The odds of getting struck by lightning in 2000 were 5.5 times more likely than winning the lotto. Personally, I don't know anyone struck by lightning. And, you could probably increase your chances of being struck by lightning by standing on a hill as being the highest point and carrying a long metal rod during a heavy lightning storm.

How do you increase your chances of winning in the lotto? Putting more money in. If you increased your amount by 5 times to $50, the probability of winning is 0.0000130263288 or, 1 in 76,767 chances. Still, those odds are pretty far off.

My friend has been playing the lottery for at least 10 years, maybe more. Under that premise, and since I'm a trader, let's see what could've happened to the money he used to play the lottery which he's had no real return on. Yes, he may have won $100 or so cumulative. Can't remember what he said.

He puts $10/wk in a savings account for the 36 months. Let's say there is no interest. At the end when he closes his account and opens a cash only options account at BrokersXpress, he has $360. Every month for the remainder of the 7 yrs left, he continues to add $10 of what he would've put in the lottery into his BX account. The minimum opening account is $200.

During those 36 months, he takes time to learn how to trade options. Yes, this will cost money, but he has a different account where he saved up money from giving up coffee for 5 years prior. He was spending $3.50/day every day. In 5 years with no interest, this equates to $6370. Every month he puts about $106 into his training/education (that's his coffee fund). At the end of these 3 years of training, he's spent $10,192 to learn from the right people BEFORE investing a dime into any trades.

Initially, you can't buy options like GOOG or any of those, but he has to by inexpensive options of lower priced stocks. He makes only 1 trade a month with commissions at $14.95/trade. Yes, he can probably get lowered commissions elsewhere for options with a small starting account of $360. But, I don't know those brokers, so I'm using only what I know. Since his account is so small, he doesn't have negotiating power to reduce his fees right now.

Also, during his training, the limiting beliefs on money, relationships, success, etc. were resolved. He developed good habits of money & trade management, did at least 2 yrs of simulated real time, end of day trading. He's learned to manage his emotions and has good money habits of discipline, self-control, organization and does not have a get-rich quick scheme mindset.

Let's say he makes now 10% on his money each month before commissions. Initially, he's just making 1 trade a month. He doesn't increase to 2 trades/month until he's bringing in $200 profits before commissions. This doesn't happen until month 67 of when he started saving the $10/month to invest. By now, his account is up to $3,477.34. Basically from month 37 to 67, he's only making 1 trade/month. That's basically 2.5 yrs he's been able to form good trading disciplines, self-control, managing his emotions.

Because he is wise with his money, he's also been looking for a different broker that has better tools and commissions, he decides to switch to a broker that will charge him only $1.25/contract/trade. He's significantly reduced his commissions from $29.90 roundtrip for 1 contract to $2.50. I actually pay less than this, but we'll say for the sake of this example.

During these 30 months, he's spent another $3185 in training/help to better himself in trading. The total is now $13,377 in education in trading, rather than learn the hard way. He continues to make 10% on the total of his account, only adding another contract when he makes an additional $200.

In month 86, he's making nearly $2K a month and up to 10 contracts. His account is up to $21,224.87. This is now 7 yrs down the road since he began his trading education and just a little over 4 yrs since he started actually funding any trades. Mind you, the $10/month investment at month 86 = $860. He's made a little over $20K AFTER commissions.

Year 8 (month 96) = $54.6K
Year 9 (month 108) = $169.3K
Year 10 (month 120) = $524.3K (total $10/month investment = $1200 for 10 yrs, $19.1K on education/training for trading)

At the end of his 10 yrs of investing in the lottery, he has nothing to show for it but to be bankrupt and in debt. If he had been smart and taken this route, he would have conservatively near a 1/2 million. Even if he stopped at Year 9, that's still a lot of money.

Though I do not play the lottery as my friend, I've had my own bad choices with money, trading, etc. I did not have the patience and learned the hard way on MANY things in trading, wiping out my accounts multiple times. It's sort of like the Tortoise & the Hare.

There were areas I took my time to learn properly, but other factors impeded me like impatience, lacking of knowledge and understanding, wanting to go faster than where I actually was mentally/emotionally. Pride!! (Yes, the Bible says pride comes before a fall and boy, did I fall hard).

Anyway, this is long enough. I'll have another article that expounds more on some of the mindsets here.

MLM

Okay, I signed up with a MLM, have a recruiter whom I've known for many years who will be one of my guides through this. She is a Christian. In fact, there are many strong Christians in this organization and they are really upbeat. After being around these people a bit, in comparison, my persona is like Debbie Downer. That's going to change.

I still have the end in mind. I want to trade and right now making money elsewhere will help trading immensely and take the pressure off me needing to make money in trading. This is really a fantastic opportunity as it will give me chances to learn about things I do not know or probably would not be exposed to myself if I only traded. Eventually, I would get bored and would seek out other avenues to make money.

The product line of this company's will take some time to get used to, as it's not something I'm too familiar with, but they do have a great training program and wonderful people. So, I'm looking forward to this. However, there are many fears that are surfacing, like, calling people and making contact with them.

In the end, I really want to be helping people and these are products that people do buy, just not particularly from this company. God is revealing that I am a people pleaser and this fear of rejection is way stronger than I thought. Time to let God come in and really war on my behalf and kick the Fear of Rejection spirit out of my life.

Imagine a life where you did not fear!!!

I'm not talking about things like if you down a bunch of toxic things that you're not being fearful, but using God's wisdom, combined with His power to walk out Your destiny & calling. This is one more step to living the life of my dreams, and I'm learning to enjoy the process. People who are successful aren't void of fear, rather than continue to move forward inspite of fear!

So here I go!!!

Gambling

A lot of people consider the stock market as a gamble, pure gamble and totally random chance. It's interesting that most people who work for corporations that do any amount of retirement savings, guess where they have their 401Ks? You guessed it, in the stock market.

Granted, they are in the form of mutual funds or some type of fund that places their money to some degree in the stock market - futures, bonds, t-bills, currency, stocks, etc. So, if the stock market is a gamble, then why would you risk your whole retirement (401K, pension, etc.) on the stock market?

The stock market plays on people's fear and greed, right? Don't supermarkets, shops, stores do something similar? The stock market, another way I see it, is supply & demand. When there is too much supply, the price drops. When the demand is great, the price rises.

I know people who actually also buy things (or not) on the premise of fear and greed. For fear that you won't have enough, so instead of buying what you may need for a couple weeks or even a month, you buy enough to last you for 2 yrs. Or, because it was a great sale, though you only needed a couple, you ended up buying 2 dozen so you can save money, or perhaps use the extra money you saved for something else.

Now being a person that is pretty frugal about many things, I find people are often very wasteful and frivalous. Why does a teenager need a Verizon Droid? Do you really need to spend $200 on the phone plus an extra $30 for the data package on top of whatever it costs for unlimited texts and minutes? If fact, do most people REALLY need that amount of stuff in one phone?

As someone who has a fairly simple, inexpensive phone, I really don't see the point in all that. Yes, it does require that I plan ahead - use a little forethought. No, I cannot text and drive. I prefer to be not driving when I'm texting so I can pay attention to where I'm going and be a defensive, rather than unsafe, offensive driver.

Is someone having a fancy phone greedy? I know a lot of people who share similar beliefs/values who have really fancy phones, even if they cannot afford to do other things, they have a fancy phone. Is that greedy?

The Bible doesn't say it's wrong to have nice things. Afterall, some of the wealthiest people are mentioned in the Bible, like Solomon, King David, Boaz, Joseph, Abraham, Job to name a few people. Having riches and wealth is not sinful, rather, do those things possess you?

If any of us were to lose our day jobs, could you survive? If so, for how long? What would you do? Think out of the box. Change your paradigms. Even for me, trading/the stock market has been such a love of mine since I was a child, so for over 30 yrs, I've had my hand in the market. Sometimes it's worked. Other times it hasn't. Why? Ignorance, stupid mistakes, over confidence, lack of discipline.

Just like anything, if we have proper training and can execute properly with the right time, most anything can be successful. Trading for a living in the stock market is also very statistical, if you have the appropriate conditions.

In my case, if I follow my trading plan and strategies, 80% of my trades will be profitable with small to large profits. 20% of the time, they will be costing trades from small to medium costs. Those are excellent odds and far better than gambling in Vegas.

In Vegas, their model is tested and true. Though they may make 4-5% net, in the end, that rakes in billions of dollars each year. They play on people's greed. The lottery also plays on people's greed.

Even people I know who are in financially horrible conditions continue to buy lottery tickets in hopes they will win. Of course, if you don't play, you can't win. I wonder if over the years the money that is spent on lottery tickets went towards educating in a small business or a trade, would that have allowed for the generation over period of time some really decent money?

The money I spent to learn to trade wasn't done willy nilly. Yet, people insist to call it gambling.

I also went to school for a number of years in engineering to learn to be an engineer. That did not make me a successful engineer just because I had my degree, but, without the degree, most companies would not have given me a job as an engineer. The salary I started out in the early 90s was really sucky. It would actually put me at poverty level with a family of 3 in 2010.

Is it a gamble to remain employed with someone and have no other means to generate income? Afterall, why do employers keep a person? because of their degrees? seniority? their contributions? lack of seniority? likability? marketability? liability? For every company, management team, it's different. No one is indespensible. Even if you're a part of the management team that lays off or fires people, who knows if your head is on the chopping block in the near future.

I worked for a Fortune 100 company and frankly, I still don't get why they keep some people and let some other people go. One could surmise a whole bunch of things. I remember one time there was an all employee meeting. This one guy, a PhD, received numerous awards for his contributions to the company. At the next layoff, he was one of the people they laid off. It wasn't a whole department, rather (it appeared to me) it was people singly chosen from various departments to be let go.

Is it a gamble to think your job is secure? So what if you've worked for the company for 10 yrs, 20 yrs, 30 yrs. Yes, there are the blessed people who get to see their retirement as they planned after X number of years, but those are getting to be fewer and far between.

I'm sure the majority of people with Enron or WorldCom or Lehmann Brothers didn't envision what happened would happen. Greed? Yes, but the people who were entirely invested in those companies also probably did so blindly. Many of the bigger publically traded companies have funds for their own companies. How many people are TOO heavily divested in that single company that if things went awry, you're up sh**creek? Isn't that a gamble to not be aware?

The stock market, at least the regular equities markets do usually trade in fairly predicable patterns. That's why those of us who are technical analysists can predict with some amount of certain. However, we do know that at any given point in time, ANYTHING can happen and you need to be prepared for those things with every single trade.

This past week, as I took my kids to camp daily, there was a lot of driving. Thankfully, with the 3 of us in the car, I could take the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane. It was rather frightening to drive in that lane as the other lanes were crawling. Most of the time, I was either driving at the speed limit or under, yet, it was zipping past all those cars. Doing the best I can, my spidey senses were on high alert as I watched for cars that might want to dart out in front of me. Thankfully, only a couple cars did and there was plenty of time for me to slow down or they did it after I had passed.

Was I gambling? In a sense, "Yes". In a sense, "No". I was as aware as I could be, drove white-knuckled, and approached everything with caution without causing others to be unsafe and irritated with me. I used my "expertise" as a seasoned driver of more than quarter century, as well as prayed, asking for God's protection, as I proceeded forward in life.

My kids and I made it to our destinations repeatedly, safely. Thank you God for Your protection and guidance!!! I mean that in all sincerity. Maybe He had angels surround our car and kept other cars at bay? I don't know, but I do know that He kept us safe and made our journeys pleasant and uneventful.

So, in my interim of being off trading, I'm going to allow God to show me where there is still resistance in my life that doesn't please Him, or, if I've made trading an addiction or obsession, that during this period, that freedom from that bondage would be made. It may take me away from trading forever, or just temporarily. I don't know.

All I know is that if God is not in whatever I do and does not go before me, then I don't want to do it.

Other Sources Of Income

The past 3.5 yrs I had my mind set on trading as being the only source of income generation for me. Looking back, that probably wasn't the wisest of ideas. Can't say that during this whole period that I wasn't emotional. Afterall, the stock market has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and finally making this a fruition as well as raising my children myself -- the freedom of time are all things I've longed greatly for, especially since the corporate world was too restrictive.

The funny thing is, some people have far more restrictive jobs than I had as an engineer. And, still, I felt that I was in a prison. Perhaps it's the fact that I just wanted to be with my children and have freedom to spend with them as I please, as well as time for myself.

Okay, so I've been asking God to send me opportunities and asking Him what I ought to be doing. Honestly, I did not want to go back to the corporate world or even work for anyone where you have to clock in. Freedom with one's time is what I greatly valued more than most things, which most Americans do not have if they work for someone else or if they are deeply in debt.

One of the opportunities that has been staring me in the face has been some MLM businesses. OH NO!!! MLM!!! Amway, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Arbonne, Isagenix, Arbonne, Primerica are some of the few that come to mind. There are many more. I think all these really are great. I've actually used and still use products from all these places that have tremendously helped my own life and at the same time helping other people.

Several MLM opps have been presented to me during the past year and I decided I was joining one of them. Won't say which one, but let's say, I don't know anything about MLM in any respects - no marketing or sales experience or the real structure of the MLMs. They have a great training program. Actually, I'm already affiliated with another MLM that I love their products and they have also a lot of good training. So, I think with the combination of both the MLMs, that's a lot of good stuff for me.

The MLM will allow me to make money fairly quickly.

The other sources of income I'm getting into or investigating is a shopping search tool, Google Adsense, writing a book, having a subscription based website -- right now, not for trading most likely rather for something else that I'm good at. Lastly, a former colleague of mine has been making money at this. He's a good technical trader and began putting his trades out there on a certain site and he got noticed by some other fund managers. For the past 2-3 years he's been getting paid to provide his inputs to these people. Last year he made $40K doing this. For Google Adsense, he made $3K.

Can you imagine making $43K extra for doing something you were already doing for free years before? Mind you, he started doing both these in 2005-06 timeframe, so he built up to this. He told me the Google Adsense was from several sites he had developed. The first year, he made maybe $50, 2nd like $500, 3rd like $2K, and last year $3K. So, this was not an overnight thing. Similar to his trades being tracked. He did this for a year or two with no pay, got noticed, first year made $10K+, 2nd year made $40K and who knows this year. BTW, he's a senior level engineer. So, guessing what he brings in a year is nearly $200K or maybe over. He may also be doing some other things on the side, too that he didn't say.

Anyway, this gave me ideas and hope, encouragement. Though I may start making money soon in these areas if I setup right, it probably won't be a lot, considering I have no idea how to bring traffic to my site, and at least in a way that I can live with.

Any ideas? There is a lot of information out there to sort through on these things. Maybe the combination of all this, my kids and I can live on and save some, without depending on anyone else for financial help. As I begin to be able to save money, then get my trading stuff worked through and get back into funded trading. As for now, no funded trading most likely through the remainder of this year, unless God delivers a whole bunch of miracles to enable me here.

So, I'm excited for the things I will be learning through this process of stepping way out of my comfort zone to do things in areas I never thought I would need to or want to. It's all good and I praise God even though I'm uncomfortable. Gotta give God something to work with. Afterall, it is God that gives the increase, not me. Can't just sit on my duff spinning my wheels. Enough of this working for free!

Sabbatical From Trading

As you may have noticed the past few months, my trading has really been waning. I decided a couple weeks ago that I needed to take a real break from trading period - practice as well as funded trading. It's not good to just limp by to make money to basically give most of it back. That really just works on one's psyche in a very bad way.

For now, I told Trade Navigator to put my account on hold, and I've also put my trading account on hold, so I'm unable to do really good practice -- this costs money for the real time data feed. However, I still have a real time datafeed with TOS, so if I REALLY want to periodically practice, I can still look at the markets periodically.

My kids are now on Summer break for 10-weeks. The past 3 yrs of trading has been incredibly stressful with all the not good personal things happening in my life. Though I've made money, I've also given a great deal back to the market. This tells me a lot about myself and my views on money. I'm not liking all of it, and I do think I can be profitable in the end and highly profitable, but am rethinking my approach.

I'm working on other forms of bringing in money, particularly passive income -- like various internet marketing things, writing, virtual assistants, etc. It will be less stressful for me if I'm able to bring in money from other avenues and not be totally dependent on trading and making money from this.

Plus, I do have 2 children who are growing and I do want to provide for their education beyond high school, as they get married, grandchildren, my retirement, current living, and all those other things many of us desire. I've really been frugal so that I could do this trading, but what I'm doing right now isn't working.

The thing is, it's really not my strategies because they do work very well. It's my mindset, discipline, organization, follow-through where I'm off. I have extra financial burdens of what occurred during my divorce that I'm still paying for.

These are not excuses or a feel sorry for me thing, rather it is reality. I gave it the best I could under the circumstances. Maybe it wasn't the greatest and maybe there are many things you could've done better than me, but this is how I handled things and where I am.

It's always much easier to live in hindsight. There were some things I listened to others, maybe almost blindly, which saved me or hurt me. Other things, I learned the hard way.

What are some things I would've done differently if I could do over again?
  • Not trusted my husband (now my ex) with ANY of our investments!
  • Not trusted any broker in their trading entries & exits!
  • Put protective stops on EVERY trade!
  • Small trades. Many trades in the 2000-2008 were way too big.
  • Searched the internet for the true costs of formal trading education. What I paid for at Bet ter Trades was WAY too much by at least 10x too much.
  • Would've bought my trading DVDs at a fraction of the cost from a third party, especially the BT's DVDs (way overpriced).
  • Searched for way better traveling costs when attending trading classes out-of-town.
  • Not traded with real money when things were super chaotic.
  • Managed my money better.
  • Not listened to the people that had me waste a lot of money buying into all sorts of subscriptions that I didn't need - this cost me tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Not been in such a hurry.
  • Dropped the pride, remain humble.
  • Stuck to my trading plan and strategies.
  • No multi-tasking while daytrading.
  • Not listened to negative people.

I'm not discouraged about my trading really, rather I'm learning a great deal about myself and taking this time to regroup. If you keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result, it's insanity. So, what I've been doing hasn't been working, so now I've got to do something different.

The stock market with its many differentials is still an incredible way to make money. I've been kicked pretty hard and down on the ground right now, but I'm coming back and it will be stronger, better, wiser when I do. Not giving up.

Financial Household

I would have to say that I've been wrong about trading, unfortunately. With all the stuff that I have going on, it's no wonder why I cannot trade well. Honestly, if you want to daytrade and make money, it takes well more than being a good technical analyst. It takes more than being smart.

One has got to be financially organized, and you do need to be organized period. I've been limping along in my trading for quite some time now that I've totally lost track. I wanted to do the noble thing in my personal finances, but it isn't working out to be such the case.

With legal advice, I'm going to be taking some huge steps back from trading and just not trade with real funds for awhile. This awhile may be a year or more or 6 months or a couple years. I'm really not sure, but one thing for sure is, my personal finances are a mess and it's totally screwing up my trading. If I continue to trade, I might as well be throwing money out the window to never-never land.

My personal finances, from what I can gather, will take at least another 1.5 yrs to resolve until I'm back in a good position to trade. In the meantime, though I'd hate to say this, but I'm going to go get a job or something to make money consistently and begin saving up to totally rethink and redo how I trade.

Things are such a mess, it's best to scrap everything and start over. One of the things I may consider is joining a company that has you trade their methods and I get a percentage of the profits. I'd learn how to become a professional trader. I'd do this part-time.

In the meantime, I'd either go work a regular job part-time or find another business that has been proven successful and follow their methodologies rather than reinvent the wheel. Maybe through those arenas, I can then be consistently successful.

One thing I've learned in trading is if you have a lot of CRAP in your life, it's going to negatively impact your trading. Have a good stash of money for those failures, as they will come. The better thing is really to work successfully with someone else, be successful there before branching out on your own.

I gave it my best shot and it just didn't work out. :( I've learned some valuable lessons.

Pushing Past

The only way to move forward is to not look back and step forward, regardless of your fears. Particularly when you have fears, one of the great ways to eliminate them (meaning to reduce their power), is to push yourself to acknowledge the things you are fearful about and push them aside as you move forward.

Too often I have found myself making a mistake because I was fearful. It was self-fulfilling prophesy.

I noticed that I do not have any problems attracting people or getting people to smile. Why? No fear. Even if they don't smile back at me, I still smile and think it's their loss. In fact, there are many things I do not fear and just do and there is great success in those areas of my life.

One of the thoughts that have been popping into my head the past week which I have not done in my trading is to LAUGH. Yes, that's right. LAUGH! Laughing releases endorphins, making one feel better, more relaxed. I'm wondering how does a person amidst a serious thing laugh. Maybe I should imagine the traders naked or at least partially naked wearing silly things? Has anyone ever tried that?

For now, I am taking a week off as I said if certain things happened, I would need to take at least a week or more off to regroup. Will continue to practice trade realtime, but after 3 weeks of ending negatively, that's just not a good thing and I need to figure out what's wrong.

At this point, it has nothing to do with logistics because my computer, internet connection, trading software, account, etc are all working fine. Maybe my gut reactions need a bit of cleaning out? My gut needs some laughter.

Fear

What are you attracting in your life? What is appearing in your life? The people? The events? What?

As I look at my life, there seems to be a stagnation of new people coming into my life. It seems there have been more people from my past coming back, but the people coming in all seem to be relationships where they've been healthy, not some weird thing going on.

Sometimes things come to a head to push us to act. The Bible says faith without works is dead. Basically it means all talk and no action is just all talk. There is little to support your talk. I've invested all that I know, but yet, the reality is, is it all that I know? I'm sure there are probably things I'm leaving out.

The past 2 weeks, I've been once again trading with real money and facing my fears. What am I thinking of? What do I fear?

Really, the stock market is neutral. It doesn't seek to harm me nor does it seek to do well to me. Just like this printer sitting next to me. My relationship with it is neutral. However, most would agree there are no feelings with your printer, but with many of us who trade the markets on a regular basis, to say we have no feelings is an understatement, especially if you're doing either not well or extremely well.

The market is really like a dance, just like my blog title. It's a dance with the gorilla and you always let the market lead. It may seem sort of clumsy, but I gather this gorilla knows what it's doing and is finely tuned. What do we care if we trade well and can profit well? Let the gorilla dance and lead. It can be a very sexy dance.

Really, it's just money. There is always more. If we think there isn't, it's all in our minds. Be aware of how you feel, the thoughts that are coming up. Keep noticing as these are clues to the roots of your fear, then you can address them.

For example, for most of my adult life, I had an addiction to exercise. I would exercise rigorously for a minimum of 2 hrs a day 6-7 days/week. I would run, bike, swim, lift weights, do yoga were the main things. I even took nearly passing out as a sign of a good workout.

Growing up, my parents (I perceived) were very controlling and did not convey the message of love to me the way I needed to regarding my self-esteem. I felt powerless as a person, a victim, and totally controlled. Little did I know that as a child, I could've chosen to be powerful. I just didn't know how. To be powerful, you must be in control of yourself and allow others to be in control of themselves.

When I left home to go to college, I rebelled in behavior in all sorts of ways. My anger towards my parents mainly and unforgiveness caused a lot of stress in my life. Plus, I placed expectations on myself that I thought were from my parents, which they just wanted me to be healthy, happy and do well in life. Of course, our society places a high regard on achievements. Those things combined with finding my self-esteem in performance, this caused a lot of anxiety and stress ------> exercise addiction to work out the stresses.

With exercise, I got to control the time, what I did and a gambit of things. I felt powerful because I had control. The fact was, I displaced my anger and unforgiveness of my parents and myself for not performing up to what I thought I needed to, into exercise. Some do this with sex, others with drugs, smoking, perfectionism, and many other addictions.

Through a lot of counseling, God intervening and allowing the same thing to show up again and again until I got it, and lots of other things, I can proudly say in a humble way I no longer am addicted to exercise or anything. I'm aware of the anger I once had and the unforgiveness.

Now I'm able to enjoy exercise not because I'm frustrated, angry or unforgiving, rather because it is good for my body. I'm able to stop after an hour or so, but also not push my body to a harmful state.

It's not like we won't have anger or fears or whatever emotions, but when we do, WHY do we have those emotions? What is the root?

I do fear losing all my money, not providing for my kids and I because what that means that I will have to possibly go back to the corporate rat race and have someone else dictate my time, not allowing me to spend the time I desire with my children and influencing them like I have in a positive way. That fear is like the pink elephant in the room. The pink elephant doesn't make me money, rather distracts. It can do no harm to me, because it's just this little statue sitting in the middle of the room that I seem to be captivated by.

This coming week, I'm looking away from the pink elephant. God has equipped me to trade and to trade well. It is well within my reach and to make money consistently. I've done it before and can do it again even better because I have better knowledge.

What do you give your power to?

Higher

Well, the Dow hit 11,000 and the S&P 500 is close to 1,200.

Something I learned today listening to another trader was the market is bound to push lower or higher on Friday's going into the weekend rather than on a Monday or somewhere during the week. The rationale is that people often have time on the weekends to spend money. If they are optimistic, consumer spending will be up over the weekend. That sounds reasonable to me.

We are into the start of another earnings quarter with Alcoa kicking it off on Monday. It's supposed to be a wild ride. Other big companies reporting are INTC, JPM, GOOG, BAC, GE.

Though I'm often a bear, I would have to say in the interim, I am wrong. The market hasn't had the bearish flavor I was hoping. The key is when trading is to always be present. If the market wants to go up, you go up with it. If it wants to go down, you go down with it. It is often dangerous to have an opinion, especially if you have the need to be right.

So, let it ride higher. If that means more jobs for people and lower unemployment, that's excellent. I'll take it for as long as it goes.

Small Profits

It has been a challenge both in practice and funded trading to be profitable lately. So, aggressively last night I began doing backtesting again, at a slower speed. Often when I do backtesting, I do it at 8x speed. Yesterday I did it at 1x, 2x, and 4x. 2x is like trading at 1.5 min. 4x is less than a minute, but it can be like 1 min. To go faster, it's not even close to what real trading would be like, so it's less valuable for me at this point.

I've found I have to set my profits typically at 2 ticks. At times, it will have to be 1 tick, other times 3, 4-6 ticks. Rarely will I be able to take a trade of more than 6 ticks as of recent.

Most days in the past 2 weeks have not been trending. Yesterday trading was in a 6 pt range, not much. You have to be able to take profits quickly. It was frustrating trading because I refused to believe we were in a sideways day.

So, instead of being frustrated, go with the flow. Take what the market will give you. If it gives you a trend, then take it. If it's sideways, take short profits and being willing to get in and out of trades more quickly.

From "Trading in the Zone", he talks about always being present, focused, in the NOW. What is the market telling you NOW! If it tells you to get out, get out. Backtesting last Thurs & Fri, I found typically taking 1-6 ticks allowed me to be profitable, while waiting for a bigger movement typically cost me bigger. Not good.

You can't force the market to do anything as the market doesn't care anything about you. Stay focused. Stay present!

Sabotaging

Okay, this may sound hokey to you, but one of the questions I've had is that if my technicals are so good, and I do all this other good, positive stuff, why has my trading still not been what it ought to be, or at least what I think it ought to be?


Monday I was listening to a couple teleseminars by 2 different people on different topics. However, both topics were about improving yourself. I'm in a constant state of learning about myself and growing to be the best I can be, uncovering the lies so I can live my true self.


Typically I eat healthy, get moderate exercise (been inconsistent in the past year plus), do a BUNCH of self-help, positive things from prayer, study/reading the Bible, affirmations, positive thoughts, EFT, EMDR, books, teleseminars, and the list of things goes on. Am I impatient about the process of uncovering false beliefs?


Let me get more to the point. Two things were said in Monday's teleseminars:


1. Fear resides in the stomach.
2. Whatever body parts you dislike, those parts are weakening & dying.


So you say so what?


My yoga instructor 1.5 yrs ago told me that fear resides in the psoas. Immediately I told my massage therapist to work on that area of my body to get those fears physically out. Maybe to some degree he did, as over the course of the next months, some really challenging things occurred and I was able to get through them.

The words we speak verbally and the thoughts we think are very important. There is life & death in the power of our words. I had been speaking ill to my tummy area my whole life. That's why I have the tug of war going on. I do a lot of positive things.

Zig Ziglar said for every 1 negative thing you receive, it takes 16 positive things to counteract it. Isn't that insane? Negative things really take a huge toll on our health as well as sabotage our success.

It's been more than a week since I heard those teleseminars. I've been saying good things about my tummy and getting excited about it - loving my tummy. Just like we can't plant a seed today and have it bear us fruit the next day, so it's going to have to be something I cultivate. Afterall, I spent several decades hating my tummy.

That area is where your gut, intestines, psoas, kidneys, liver, pancreas, various hormonal stuff like metabolism. My goodness, so many important things and I've been speaking ill to it all my life. It will take some work to undo this. God have mercy & grace on me.

Where might you be sabotaging yourself.

Trading Updates

I have been trading every day in the past 2 weeks. Most of the days, I've ended negative, but finally, yesterday I ended positive. Yay God!

My sleep has been really off, but starting 4 days ago, I began making these kale shakes (kale, water, banana, and mango/blueberries/raspberries/papaya/pineapple, water, ice). I drink one 14 oz shake -- it's a little chewy. I've noticed the past 4 nights I've gotten good sleep -- no naps during the day needed as I have enough energy, and getting to bed at a decent hour.

My eating has been frequently small amounts throughout the day. Before moving, often I would eat this way, but it's taken me awhile to adjust. When I moved in Aug'09, I went through a lot of internal emotional trauma which now does not exist, or very little of it does. I'm feeling so much better mentally/emotionally.

So, what does this have to do with trading? The questions in my mind have been if I know how to trade so well technically, how come I'm not consistently successful in being profitable? As I've talked about this in other blog posts, in the end, it comes down to our psychological makeup.

I learned some incredible things in Mark Douglas' book and was anxious to trade after that. I outlined the book, highlighted it, soaked it up. On Monday when I began trading, I found myself all over the place, not focused. Mon - Wed's trading I would make money only to give it all back to the market to end slightly negative for the day. Those days, my broker made money. I did not. I overtraded.

Through the course of this, I continued in my learning quest psychologically, reading and listening to some really good things.

The most recent thing I listened to was an audio by Raphael Cushnir called "The One Thing Holding You Back". He talks about emotional connection, living in the present, not in the past. It's also about allowing those emotions to come, not resist them, and letting them pass like a weather storm. It's a pretty cool concept and I could see it. He gives quite a few tangible, poignant exercises that really help you see what he's talking about that you can use -- in fact, I can use during trading.

Today, integrating Douglas' and Cushnir's concepts, my trading is better. Don't deny what you're feeling. Be completely present, focused, aware of what is going on as you trade. I seem to be flowing much better with the market today than I did Mon-Wed, and even Thurs. During most of my trading time today, the market has been in less than a 4 pt trading range, but that seems no problem to me.

The other day, it traded in a 4 pt trading range and I was so not in the flow, judging & condemning myself as I traded. This created greater resistance, which did not allow me to see clearly, as it took away my focus, as I could not be present in the now.

What also hit home was on Wed I attended a church service at his church (my beau, yes, we are back together again). The preacher there also talked about being present, not looking back. You can't run the race set before you if you look back. Be in the NOW each and every moment. The Scriptural reference is Philippians 3:12-14, where Paul is talking.

Here, we have 3 different resources (the Bible, trading psychologist, and a write) all say about the same thing. Don't worry about the past. It's the past. You can learn from it, but don't reside in the past. You must be present in order to move forward.

Trading In The Zone

I've reading Trading In The Zone by Mark Douglas a couple times. Once in 2005 and once in 2006. In fact, the book I have, borrowed and haven't returned back to my friend Matt. At some point, I will need to buy him a new book because at this last reading over the past few days, I've highlighted and marked it up.

Rarely do I ever borrow books, especially stock books, but I did with this. Reason why is I usually read with a pen/pencil and highlighter. Yes, I'm one of those readers!

There was so much in this book that I'm, most likely, not going to recap the whole book, but probably have several blog entries on the various topics and what that translates to me. However, though I will not recap the whole book in this entry, I will share the key points I learned:

1. I NEVER know what will happen in the market. ANYTHING can happen - it can go up, down, or sideways.
2. Be present in the NOW. Every NOW moment is unique and has never been experienced nor will be experienced again. Make no expectations as to the fact that you KNOW what will happen, because you do not.
3. When you think you KNOW what will happen, that's when you miss out on the information the market is giving you. You become blind to what the market is saying.
4. Be rigid with your rules, flexible with your expectations.
5. To change your beliefs, in order to avoid a fight back resistance response that is fight or flight, you must gently take action towards the truth of what you want to belief.
6. The market is a constant flow of information -- that is neither good nor bad.
7. Be focused, disciplined, accept risk.

That's it for right now.

Blame & Correction

For those of you who are parents out there, pay attention to your children. If you do that, you will learn a great deal about yourself, God, them, and others.

This morning, my 9-yr old daughter got up and began yelling at her brother who was in the bathroom, blaming him that she almost peed on herself. I watched as she berated him and all he was doing was using the toilet, which, she obviously wanted but did not ask him to hurry up, but just began blaming him for her nearly peeing on herself.

I told her to leave my room and told her her behavior was inappropriate. For one, she never asked her brother to hurry up, but just started blaming him. I didn't see the look on his face, but the look on my face was appalled.

How often do we do that? We have a trade go against us BIG TIME and blame it on the market. "The market is bad." "The market wasn't good."

Honestly, is the market ever "bad" or "good"? The market is the market. It goes up. It goes down. It goes sideways. If there is too much supply, the prices drop. If there is more demand, the price goes up.

People make these definitions about the market as if the market is out to get them. It isn't. The market could give a crap about who any of us are, even if we're billionaires. Supply & demand.

Look at why you blame the market for your inability to manage your trade. If you enter the market, be aware that your trade CAN go against you, so you'd better have a good plan to get out. HOPE rhymes with DOPE, at least in trading. To think that trades will never go against you is delusional. You don't know when this will happen to plan for EVERY trade if it should go against you.

I've learned about this over the years and it's been hellishly painful at times. If it costs me big, it's because I didn't plan or execute properly, or I chose to take a bigger risk. They are based upon my choices, not what the market does.

#2 - CORRECTION: Yesterday after repeatedly telling my kids to do something and trusting they would, but they didn't. My patience was running thing as a number of things were delaying me yesterday, so when I went into the kitchen and saw there was spaghetti on the floor, that was the last straw for me.

I asked a number of times when I went into the kitchen earlier and saw the mess to tell the kids to clean up after themselves and their messes, specifically pointing out the floor, the kitchen table, the stove, etc. I see no reason why they have to be slobs and finding spaghetti all over. Apparently the spaghetti was really good that I made (gluten free, grass based beef, etc) that the kids got numerous servings.

I had done the cooking, cleaned up what I could minus the pan the spaghetti was in. I have this thing about being clean and neat in the kitchen and I think by the time you're 6 and 9 yrs old, if you spill or drop something, you yourself can cleanup after yourself.

Because they had disobeyed, there was a consequence. I then gave them a very short time limit of 15 min. to clean up the kitchen, get their rooms cleaned up and showers taken. They panicked, but somehow they got everything done and still had a few minutes left.

After they were done, I said they still had to face their consequences and whether they think they deserved it or not. They said they did and willingly took their consequences. They cried for maybe 30 sec at most, asked me to forgive their disobedience and said they would obey next time the first time.

In the past, they would cry for a long period of time, making it melodramatic, not really see why they had a consequence. Now, they understood that I did not want for them to face a negative consequence, but it was my job to teach them certain things in life. One of them was obedience to me, and their lack of obedience was disrespecting me, not honoring me.

These days, they are much more readily accept responsibility for their choices and the consequences that ensue. I tend to love to lavish praise & love on my kids over correction, but it's necessary when they go out of alignment.

How does this relate to the market?

Sometimes I am consistently following my trading strategies and have a number of trades go well -- bigger profits, smaller costs. I get prideful, sloppy and begin NOT following & executing my strategies as I'm supposed to. I get corrected by the market with a bigger cost, and sometimes I get corrected with a good profit, however, that is rare.

Rather than blame the market as it was its fault that I had goofed up in trading, I recognize where I erred, take what came to me responsibility, learn, and correct myself, and move on.

I've heard multiple times that if you do not learn the lessons in life you're supposed to in whatever areas, you'll keep repeating them in life.

How To Conquer Your Fears - Article

Tips To Help You To Conquer Your Fears
February 16th, 2010 by John

How To Conquer Your Fears

Everyone is afraid of something. That is simply human nature. You would have to go a long way to find someone so completely self assured that they are not afraid of anything at all and when you did find someone who said that they were afraid of nothing then they would simply be lying. Most commonly people are afraid of things like public speaking, flying, spiders and insects or water. There are lots of phobias that people have and everyone is subject to some sort of weakness somewhere. If you think of someone rich and powerful – what could he possible be scared of, you might think? but of course if they do not have some sort of irrational fear like that of claustrophobia they will almost always fear the thought of losing the power that they have. The point is that no one is infallible and everyone has a weakness. If you are someone whose fears are getting in the way of your goals then you might want to find a way to conquer your fears so you can get right on with your life.

In order to conquer your fear there are several steps your can take and tips you can consider.

First of all, analyze yourself and be totally honest of what your fear is. You will never be able to kick the fear if you are not honest about what you are feeling. The first step to getting over any fear is to recognise it.

You then need to stop nourishing your fear. When you confront the thing that you fear do not let it get ahold of you. If you are afraid of the dark do not allow this to stop you sleeping. Think rationally about what your fear is and bring it back to earth. You need to face the think that you are afraid of and should not allow it to get on top of you.

Therefore, if it is the dark that you fear then go and sit in a blacked out room. If you are afraid of public speaking then do not back away from it whenever you are put in the position to do it. Face it with confidence and your confidence will grow with you.

You need to stop nourishing the fear and trying to avoid it and instead nourish your courage and meet it head on. Avoiding situations where your fear might arise will only restrict you in your life. Instead, have the confidence to confront your fear with courage and you will grow as a person.

The most important part of actually getting over any fear is understanding why you have that fear. Many people are afraid of heights and the reason why this is is because of the fear of falling and hurting yourself. This is totally rational. However, other fears that people commonly have such as fear of rejection are things that will only hold you back in life. You need to understand what exactly the fear is and then realise that life is too short to worry about something so trivial.

In order to conquer your fears, therefore, you need to recognise, understand and confront what it is you are afraid of.

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To YOUR Success


John Stone
Online Marketing Coach

John Stone Marketing
740-258-5622
JohnStone@JohnStoneBlog.com
http://JOHNSTONEBLOG.COM
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Someone Told Me To Invest In . . .

I get this periodically, maybe a dozen or so times a year that since I'm in the stock market, for whatever reasons, someone tells them about a good stock tip. It can be even a wonderful company that trades really well. The person will tell my friend that some news is about to come up that can send the stock's price shooting through the roof and instant millionaire they will be.

If it were so easy, I'd already be there and stayed there, and so would you, my readers.

Yes, a novice or someone who has no clue COULD make money in the market. However, keeping the money is a different story. Sometimes making it is elusive, too.

Today a friend asked me to look at AAPL. When I was trading all different stocks, I LOVE APPL. It's really a good stock to trade and steadily make money, so as long as you know how to play the up and downside.

My friend's contact told him something about a product of Apple's that will release and possibly send the stock to $250, maybe $275. He asked me to take a look and so I did. I told him I'm a technical trader and will tell him what I see from the charts.

I think I burst his bubble. AAPL is at resistance and volumes have not been looking great, at least on a weekly period. In fact, it's in bearish divergence. Could it break through and do what his contact said? Of course. Could I be wrong? Possibly. However, I wouldn't be entering a bullish trade with the information right now I see on AAPL.

Maybe I would trade up until the announcement of when they are going to release whatever product he was talking about will release and go in the direction of things. If I'm trading 2 contracts, I will allow one to trade profits before the announcement and keep my cost stop tight if it goes against me on the other one, just in case it does go more in my favor (that is, if I'm bullish).

Oops, I forgot, you can have opposite positions at the same time in my options account. In either cases, whether I'm going up, I'd keep tight stops just in case.

Whenever I hear someone tauting a stock, all I can think of is "pump & dump" and SUCKER. Let the chart tell me what to do. I'm not going to listen to hearsay.

No, it will take me quite a bit to get to millionaire status . . . slowly, steadily . . . that's okay. Sure, I'd like to be millionaire overnight, but it won't solve all my problems. And, I don't think I'm ready for it to happen overnight. Gradually, yes, as I learn to handle and manage money better on all points.

Windows Update

What happened after my last Windows Update which occurred Tuesday evening? I didn't reboot until Wednesday morning and guess what? My laptop wouldn't reboot at all, not even in safe mode.

Any 4 days later and $238 later, my laptop is back up and running. The stuff they told me they did (the computer repair shop) was very labor intensive. Though that seems like a lot to me, they were able to save my files minus my programs -- well, they did save Trade Navigator and my financial software stuff. Outside of that, all my programs have been wiped out.

It was forced spring cleaning on my laptop. Thankfully I had much of my stuff saved & backed up on my external harddrive, but I wasn't sure what. Needless to say, I had several days without the computer and got to get a lot of reading done, which is good.

In the meantime, God has just been doing a work in me. I no longer have a beau, either. Dealt with some spiritual bondage of some childhood lies I've held in my belief system. So, over the past several days, I guess I've not only gotten my computer cleared of a lot of junk, but dealt with relationship issues and emotional/spiritual stuff.

Been quite a week. It is a new Chinese lunar year, as I'm Chinese. Gong Hay Fat Choi!!!

I still haven't been able to bring back up my Trade Navigator software and am waiting for the Genesis people to answer their phones to help me with loading things up -- forgot my customer ID.

Being Wrong

Most people cannot handle being wrong period. That is why most people should not be trading. In trading, you have to be able to be humble and be wrong. If you cannot stand to be wrong, then you must not trade, as you'll lose your account.

Been there, done that, more than once. No thank you.

Yesterday I was talking to a broker and he was relaying what he saw some people do. They were way up in their position, didn't put any protective stops in place, and then went way down against them to end in a cost. He saw this over and over in people.

Do they not know about protective stops or taking profits off the table? Are they not paying attention to their position? Are they expecting some huge win fall? Are they ignorant? Were they being hopeful? Did they trade without a solid, written trading plan or any good, written strategies?

Honestly, from the time I entered the market in 1995 to 2005, I had never heard of protective stops or stops in general. I, like many people, hoped to make a killing in the market, which I did -- but gave it all back (more than once).

In late 2005, I got formal trading instruction where I learned about those stops, but it didn't really register until I really drew down my accounts big time. By the 2007/2008 timeframe, stops became more common, but the discipline to use them every single trade still eluded me.

Now, in 2010, they are very important to me. They protect my account from huge drawdowns or wiping out my account. In a typical trading day, whether using real funds or practice, about 80% of the trades go in my favor. The 20% that don't, is a part of my strategy that takes costs into account.

I do have written, detailed plan and strategies in place, but following them is still an issue at times. However, things like I used to hope, close my eyes and wish that that wasn't happening, now I just get out and chalk it up to being wrong and it was okay, as I got out before things got really ugly.

You have to look at how you do life -- do you ignore the truth? Are you afraid of the truth? This will really come to bite you in the butt. Take responsibility for where you are in life. Maybe for a bit it won't seem like things are getting better, but they do.

If you're wrong, close your trade ASAP.

Trading Is Gambling

This evening I was talking to someone I know and she told me not in so many words that trading is gambling and for me to do something else. Her ex-husband traded, so she is quite familiar with trading in the stock market. And, frankly, because trading has such a strong hold on me, that I'm addicted.

There is a part of me that felt offended, but not super offended.

My mom makes similar comments along those lines that it's gambling. She doesn't mention any addiction.

Funny, I've never even purchased a lottery ticket in my life. Yes, I have gone through a whole lifetime so far without purchasing ONE lottery ticket. Seriously, there is no thought and it's all up to chance. I truly have no control over anything except whether to buy a ticket or not.

If you get to choose #s, I suppose that's one element more that you get to control. How many numbers are there and isn't each slot up to the number 99? What are the odds of you winning? I mean, really.

People think it's okay to throw a few bucks at the lottery system, which has been going on for at least 20+ years and has raked in many billions of dollars. People, no matter how poor they are, still think they have a chance, so they will play. What are your odds? Like 1 in 300,000,000 to be the big winner or a higher number than that? Those are not real good odds.

The times I've been to Vegas or Reno, I have never even put 1 penny in a slot machine or played any game where money could be won. Have I ever purchased a raffle ticket? Yes, I have, but it wasn't really so that I could win per se, rather it was to help out whatever benefit that I was buying the raffle for (usually some personal friend).

So, I highly doubt I have gambling tendencies, at least on the money thing.

I don't play chicken in driving, or doing anything along those lines.

In terms of assessing activities (physical), I weigh the odds of how it would impact my life. Going sky-diving or some what I deem as high risk at this point purposefully while I have young children, does not constitute as wise to me. However, I know that if you take all the reasonable precautions and educate yourself, training, you could greatly minimize your risk. It won't be risk free, but it being deemed as "high risk" maybe dropped down to low to medium risk.

To ruin my children and myself financially is not something I deem logical. Yes, we are in some pretty challenging financial situations, but let me assure you, I've assessed this quite well. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But, I'm doing this to the best I can for this moment in time.

See, so many people are so afraid to take risks and go for their dreams. My #1 dream (outside of living my God-given destiny) is to raise my children -- not have other people do it, but raise my children myself. I didn't plan on a divorce and the financial challenges that I've encountered, but I aimed at making my dream come true.

I did start buying stocks in '95. I won't go through the long, gory history again, as it's probably somewhere in this blog. But, it did lead to me spending about a year's senior level engineer's salary for my formal trading education, which took about 1.5 yrs. That's a lot of money. It took a great deal of effort on my part to learn, while having a full-time job, marriage, family.

A month or so ago, I received an email from someone who was very frustrated in his trading and wondering why he wasn't successful. I asked him a couple poignant questions. That's it.

1. Do you have a solid, written trading plan?
2. Do you have proven profitable trading strategies within your plan?

If he answered yes to those, then the final question is:

3. Do you follow the plan and strategies to the "T"?

His answer to the first two questions were, "NO!"

Though I spent a boatload of money learning trading, they never told me about the trading plan or strategies. Yes, I did learn strategies, but it wasn't the same as having a good written plan to accompany it. It wasn't until I learned from my 2nd trading coach regarding the plan and strategies. But, even with him, it was still a bit confusing.

How do you expect to have success if you don't have a good plan or strategies? You're just throwing caution to the wind. Yes, you could have some great technicals, but if they are not written down (strategies & plan), you deviate and change all over the place.

When the Speed Limit says 55 mph, it's 55 mph. That's your gauge. It doesn't say "whatever you feel like". Can you imagine what would happen? It works that way similar in trading.

So, you have a good plan and good trading strategies. That's not enough. Can you execute flawlessly? That's where I mess up. It has nothing to do with gambling, rather being able to read and take precise action. There are other things, like the logistics, to make trading successful, but it really comes down to those 3 things, IMHO.

Though I'm not there yet, trading allows me to spend time with my kids. I can go to every school play, musical, field trip, lunch, etc. that I want -- well, provided my kids don't have them exactly at the same time, I can at least make one of them. I volunteer every day at their schools (barring sickness or the occasional other thing I want to do non-kids stuff), know their friends, the families, the staff/teachers. There is community.

My children feel a great sense of safety, with good/healthy self-esteems. They have a respect for those in authority over them. They are learning to think, be good citizens, think out of the box, not be afraid to go for their dreams. They are empowered.

Not saying that children whose parents work outside the home have kids that are horrible. You can certainly have close relationships with your kids even if you have to work a lot. But, as one child who greatly desired a closer relationship and time with her parents growing up, I didn't get it. The pain from that caused me to make a lot of wrong choices, as I didn't know any better, because they were huge voids that left me.

It's not wrong to have great wealth. I see many fancy cars dropping off kids at school. But, I do see some of the kids hurting, showing disrespect to their classmates & teachers & to themselves, kids feeling neglected. So many of the kids really latch onto me, sort of like a surrogate mom. Many have expressed that they wished their moms or dads could participate like I did in their schooling.

I know what it's like to be a parent and not be able to spend the time with their kids as my job always took me away from them. A number of parents I know would love to be able to spend the time with their kids doing what I do, but all different circumstances.

See, we all make our choices. If you truly want to spend that time with your kids and that desire is strong enough, you will figure it out. I'm not saying trading is the end all, because it's not. But, I will figure out how to make this work mainly because of God, and for my children. Another person may find some other means, and that's fine, too.

I must give my friend and my mom grace, as they lack the understanding, though, they are both moms. For me, it was a "gamble" to take on trading as my profession because it's a very challenging one. It will reveal all your fears, inadequacies, weak areas, and anything that is undesirable in your life. As a very emotional woman, my goodness!!!

The market has only 3 directions to take: up, down, sideways. That's it. My strategies cover all of those, and with fairly high probability of success. The better I let go of those hidden lies & fears in my head, the better my trading will be.

Could I go back to work as an engineer in a profession I immensely dislike? Yes. But, why? Why put myself through that torture? Life is really too short.

The lives of my children and I are very rich. We are so incredibly blessed. Financially we haven't hit the abundance yet, but we have all our needs met, plenty of good/healthy food, a roof over our head, good transportation, friends, family, awesome church, freedom to choose our professions.

No, right now I can't go out to buy that big 54" HDTV or whatever those things are called. But, I get to take my kids to school every day, participate in their schooling, help them with their homework, tuck them to bed each night, play with them after school, get to know their friends. I don't have to leave my kids in the care of anyone else. I get to develop deep relationships with my children. They desire and need that time with me, as I do with them.

Have I always made the best choices in trading? No, but when I do get there, it will be the story of a woman who had such a great love for her children, she set aside her own uncomfortableness & society's to just go for it, making her dreams come true with God has her pilot. I've had to overcome a lot of fears, phobias, criticisms.

It took me 6 yrs to get my engineering degree. Then, it took me another 6-7 yrs to even make $50K/yr.

No one balks at a poor college student raising his family on hardly anything while he gets his education. That's not a gamble. The college student when he graduates may make starting $40K or whatever, have a ton of student loans that will take him years to pay off. That's not a gamble. By the time he's through paying his student loans from the time he started school and done paying for it, it could be 10-20 yrs. That's not a gamble.

1.5 yrs of formal trading education. There was extra work because we had to undo all the bad habits I developed before getting educated. It's been about 3 yrs after the education. In the end, I've not netted a lot . . . . made a lot, but gave much of back due to various reasons, which I'm working out psychologically to not repeat (finding the root cause). During the 3 yrs after the education, went through the most traumatic period of my life.

I'm really 4.5 yrs into this and I see success right around the corner. After making $50K/yr after 6-7 yrs in engineering, I stayed to more than double (but not triple) that in the next 8-9 yrs. That's a total of 6 yrs education + 15 yrs work experience = 21 yrs to make $100K+ compensation/yr.

Let's say, and it's highly possible when I get my psychological act together to make at least $100K/yr in the next 1.5 yrs. That will be a total of 6 yrs to accomplish that. That's about 29% of the time. That equates to trading 200 days/yr making an avg $500/day. Yes, that means being consistent.

Being able to do that in a year consistently, the sky is the limit.

As I look back at all the trauma I've faced over the past 3 yrs, it wasn't fun, but it certainly did bring out a myriad of emotions I would've never experienced otherwise. It puts it all out there so I would have to deal with them. Praise God!!! What the devil meant for bad, things are working out for God's glory.

Yes, trading CAN be gambling and it is for most people. For me, in the late 90s, yes, it was gambling. It was less gambling the more I learned, but with limited knowledge, and lack of humility, that was quite dangerous.

Anyway, is there a better way I could do all this trading? Maybe. I don't know, but I do know that I want to be the one to raise my children.

Healing From Lies

Yesterday my kids and I ran into someone I met over Christmas timeframe, about 1.5 months ago. Couldn't remember his name, but I knew he traded stocks and was a swing trader. Met him through my sister.

Though we are both intelligent beings who have accomplished some decent level of things in life, we had one thing in common -- not executing our trading strategies consistently. In the case of my trading strategies, I have 4 things that must occur before entry, and 4 things that must occur before exit. That's it.

Honestly, that's not a whole lot of stuff to remember to do. In fact, I don't have to remember it, as the strats are up on my screen, just in case I forget, telling me exactly when to enter the market.

If I do that trade after trade, I can be assured that 80% of the time, my trades will be profitable, and that those profits are usually in the medium to large range (relative to the timeframe that I'm using). Sometimes they can be small in super choppy markets.

The costs, and you will have costing trades, are typically in the small to medium range. You must follow the strats, otherwise you could end with large costs that will eat away at your profits.

So, knowing this information, logically one would think -- just do it, don't deviate.

The question is why am I not doing it consistently? I know I'm not alone, because many of you are doing something similar -- if not in trading, in other areas of your life. Like, I know I should exercise some every day, but do you? I know I should sleep at least 6 hrs of sleep a night or more, but do I? I know I ought to eat more veggies (french fries do not count), but do I?

We have all sorts of excuses, but the truth is, we believe some lie or a multitude of lies because we are living what we believe. I would surmise in this life because we are humans that are imperfect, we will always be subject to living some lies in our lives, but it doesn't need to be plagued and hindered from living our destinies.

One of the things I've realized is if we believe those lies, whatever they might be (typically subconsciously), we are challenged to live a certain life, needing great willpower & self-control, discipline to do that which we ought.

If our actions are congruent with our beliefs, there really is no struggle there. For example, I'm thoroughly convinced about good dental hygiene - brushing your teeth multiple times a day and flossing. It's not a willpower thing to do either, nor do I need self-control to do this. I just do it because it is a part of my belief system.

A different example would be my relationship with Dr. Pepper. I used to be (prior to Aug 2002) addicted to this drink. But, the lie was exposed by the Lord through a process called EFT (emotional freedom technique), and was dealt with spiritually & physically. I had to take responsibility that it was due to my choices of receiving those lies that I lived in that addictive Dr. Pepper lie from 1984 to 2002, for 18 yrs. Hate to see the impact of that nasty drink to my innerds.

When that lie was exposed and it's grip broken, since then, 7.5 yrs ago, it is not a struggle to stay away from Dr. Pepper. It no longer has the appeal or draw for me because I no longer believe the lie that it held. It was subconsciously that I held that lie, but the outward expression was my daily consumption of Dr. Pepper.

The revelation and my allowing the Holy Spirit (God) to really reveal the root cause of this addiction was necessary. Sometimes we say we want to and are ready to deal with certain lies in our life, to get rid of them, but the reality is, we aren't. We are comfortable in that lie and to make the changes to something different (healthier) will take work, and often pain.

But, let me tell you, it's been freedom to not be addicted to Dr. Pepper. I'm significantly healthier, I don't have the hundreds of calories of those drinks, nor the short-term cost of buying it nor the long-term healthcare costs. I was healed completely from that addiction in the course of 1 hr, because I was willing to allow God to help me work through that pain and for His complete healing.

Granted, the addiction to Dr. Pepper was small compared to probably my relationship with money & trading, which has many aspects to them. However, when Jesus healed in the Bible, he healed completely. The blind man could SEE, not just partially, or needing bifocals, but he could completely see. The lame man was no longer lame, rather he could walk -- there was no limp, no sciatica, no pronation, he was able to walk!!! What impressed upon me was they didn't need to go to physical therapy or anything. They were made whole in the area Jesus healed them in.

I so want healing in my trading & finances from my Lord. I pray I am ready to be opened to allow Him to really work in my life, to expose every lie. I know without the Lord, my search is in vain. Sure, I may get a little bit here and there, but, as we can see, as I've now had this blog for about 2.5 yrs, I've gone through so many iterations of my own effort.

It takes complete submission, the grace of God, and Him revealing what lies I believe (mainly in my subconscious). It's all about Jesus.

Look in your life to see where there is faulty thinking. Do you make excuses for things? Do you blame others? Do you depend solely on yourself or rely on your performance or hold others to some performance standards to base your worth?

If you're a Christian (this means have received Jesus Christ as your Savior because no other can save you from your sins), are your actions congruent with the Word of God? If you look closely, there are many areas that are probably not congruent. They aren't blatant, most likely, but still not congruent.

When we rely solely on ourselves and am not dependent on the Lord, that is a lie. We can do nothing apart from God -- not even take a breath. It doesn't mean that we are to sit back, eat bonbons and expect God to throw financial abundance our way, but as we go about our daily lives, we recognize it's God that empowers us to do our work, raise our children, and the list goes on.

Let's see as I submit to the Lord what He'll do. I'm excited.

Lie

Okay, this is really frustrating. As my readers, you probably see a very troubled, inconsistent trader. Yes, I know my technicals, can even explain and share them, but why am I NOT more successful at them? I've had success, but consistently, month after month, year after year. That's what I'm talking about. It seems like I'm all over the place.

What lies are embedded in my belief system? What lies do I believe? Seriously, what are they? If there were not lies, I'd be making millions every year.

Here are some of the knowns with me:

1. Good technical trader
2. Know how to trade & make money
3. Good written, proven trading strategies
4. Good trading plan that is living
5. Focused on one differential in trading that is a good one with plenty of liquidity
6. Knows the rules for trading

So why am I not consistently making money in the market? I have my plans and they work. They make money and they make money in ANY market -- fast, slow, medium, choppy, trending, sideways. Those are your only markets.

I don't need to have a large trading account, which I do not have right now for all sorts of reasons -- like, mistakes in the market from my decisions or from logistics in trading, or that I need money to support my kids & I. I enough money to trade with and to make money, so that's not the issue.

I don't need to trade with more than 1 contract to make more than enough money to live on or to even make more than I did as a senior level mechanical engineer. In fact, that amount of money can be made in 1-3 hrs.

I have the time most every day, 6 days a week, to usually trade 1-3 hrs a day. I'm just requiring that I do it 5 days/wk (M-F).

I'm not trading a bunch of things, just ONE thing - the ES (the S&P emini futures), so it's not like I have to be up on all these companies, their earnings, news, etc. It's so much easier to just keep track of ONE thing.

I'm hardwired connected to the internet, no longer WiFi, so connection issues should not be an issue. All my "stuff": software, laptop, etc. are working fine.

What is holding me back? It's very frustrating to not see it. It's not like I'm lazy. I'm here at the computer trading. All I have to do is switch from the sim (practice) account to my funded account.

Possible Lies:

1. I'll lose the money I have because of more bonehead things like not following my strats, then I'll have to go back out to work as an engineer and not get to see my kids because I'll be working all the time and too exhausted to spend the time with them?

2. I'm not worthy of making all that money because of all the stupid decisions I've made with money in the past?

3. Though I've made a lot of money before, I lost it all because of ignorance, pride, and a host of other things, so it'll happen again, so why go through all that effort if I'm going to lose it all again?

4. Am I doing something wrong in terms of my relationship with God?

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