I’m going to describe a scene and I want you to tell me if it rings a bell.
The time doesn’t matter, but it’s probably pretty late at night. There’s a desktop computer, or maybe a laptop, and it’s surrounded by empty Red Bull cans or dirty coffee mugs. The screen is smudged. There’s a stale, familiar odor in the room.
There’s a person looking at the computer screen. Kind of a person. They have dry, reddish eyes and the glazed look of someone who’s been ignoring important emails all day because they’ve been waiting for “something big” to come through. They could probably use a shower and a bite to eat.
But they won’t do either. They’ve just made the one trade that’s going to get them out of the hole they’ve dug themselves into, you see.
That hole is about four or five trades deep already. Every foot of that hole is one little failed trade made to correct the little failed that came right before it.
At this rate, it looks like the hole could keep growing forever.
But it won’t. It’s going to grow until the account that made it goes bust, and then it’s going to cave in and bury everything inside.
We hope not, because what we’re describing are the symptoms of late-stage itchy trigger finger syndrome (ITFS for those in the know).
Now, this may sound funny—kind of like a milder case of irritable bowel syndrome for fingers—but it really isn’t. If trading were a medical science, believe us, you’d have whole clinics dedicated just to treating this widespread, toxic illness.
But for today, Doctor Tekton is in the house, and we’re going to give you a market-tested technique for beating itchy trigger finger syndrome that works every time.
Step 1: Recognize itchy trigger finger syndrome
You’ll know you’ve got a case of itchy trigger finger syndrome if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Little gut feelings all throughout the day that tell you you need to be trading “right now”
- A tightening of the chest whenever you see the market moving in a direction that might result in a “huge win” for someone else
- The delusional belief that when a trade hasn’t gone your way, you need to make another trade right away to make the loss go away
- Impatience and extreme agitation
- Dry eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased focus
Step 2: Open a “pony” account
Ponies are underappreciated. They can’t move as fast as real horses and they’re only about half or a third the size, but they’re great for other things.
Like making your trigger finger go away when it’s about to get you into serious trouble.
This is what we mean.
A day might come when a setup you like just doesn’t come. Even if you’re trading algos it could happen. One day is ok, but that day might multiply into two and then four days.
And, of course, the longer you sit there doing nothing, the nicer and nicer the market is looking. Forget about the fact you have no idea what to really do with the market, and have zero reason to be doing anything anyway. Your trigger finger’s talking and it won’t shut up.
Listen to the finger.
Us: Do it.
You: But didn’t you say the other day that impulse trading was for suckers?
Yes, we did, but seriously, do it. But do it this way.
Set up a second “pony” trading account and use that, not your real one. Don’t fill up your second account like a Range Rover. Fill it up like a Fiat. And trade at about one-tenth your normal game.
This won’t serve any higher trading purpose, but it will satisfy your need to stay in the game. Kind of like Justin Bieber playing with the LA Lakers: smaller, feebler and pretty irrelevant (Bieber, not your reserve account or your need to stay in the game).
Try it if you don’t believe us.
If you do, you’ll see that the usual itchy trigger finger symptoms will begin to go away almost immediately. Give yourself a week or two of itchy trigger finger detox. Then start to cut down on your side betting and focus more on your overall strategy.
Soon enough you’ll have Bieber-stepped your way past your pony account entirely and you’ll be ready for a permanent solution. We’ll name this solution “The Kuzminskas” in honor of Mindaugas Kuzminskas because man can that boy play.
Step 3: Start algotrading (the Kuzminskas Method)
Obviously, the best way to conquer itchy trigger finger isn’t to play basketball like Mindaugas Kuzminskas, but to get rid of the itch all together.
Think about it. If your house is cold, is it better to invest in warmer socks and more tea, or in a sensible heating solution like a radiator or central heating?
You don’t even have to ask Mindaugas Kuzminskas. Successful algotraders will all tell you the same thing.
The sensible, long-term trading solution to itchy trigger finger syndrome is to start using good algotrading software.
Once you start trading algos, that gut feeling telling you to make something happen will stop bothering you. Something will always be happening (unless you stop your algos from running.)
You won’t be tempted by something better either, because you’ll have backtested all your strategies before you go live, so you’ll always be trading with the best strategy.
Best of all, you won’t ever be glued to your laptop at eleven o’clock at night wondering where all your money’s gone again. Instead, you’ll be building up your know-how, discipline and confidence over time and turning all of that good stuff into a system that is literally unbeatable.