Christmas is a crazy time for traders.
There’s a ton of pressure to wrap up the trades we’ve made during the year. We’re analyzing and overanalyzing, and getting into gear for next year so we can make even better trades.
Plus, there’s Santa. Come Christmastime, the pressure to succeed is ramped up that much more. We need to win big time so we can afford to take home that Xbox or Macbook, enjoy that bottle of 25-year-old single malt or buy our loved ones the special gifts they asked for.
All I’ll say is this: Don’t let the pressure get to you, or you may end up like my friend Jeff (real name).
Jeff is a lot like me, and so probably somewhat like you. He was an experienced trader and had even made it his full-time job. He knew what he wanted out of life and, if we’re being honest, how to get it.
Jeff was actually doing great at the time of the incident I’m going to tell you about. Gorgeous new flat in Stoke Newington with a sunny loft and an actual backyard. He didn’t need to commute anymore, so he’d gotten rid of whatever he’d been driving at the time and was basically getting around everywhere on a vintage Triumph he’d restored himself. He had—and still has—a loving, independent and supportive partner.
Life was good.
Then the ho-ho-ho mania hit Jeff hard and he decided that somehow he was going to conquer the world, North Pole included. Except he was going to do it manually, without his algos.
First thing my friend Jeff did was get rid of all his losers. Tossed them out on the street like a gang of homeless elves. He didn’t want them anymore, expectancy be damned.
Then he got cocky and traded a bunch of “sure winners” a “gut feeling” told him would land him in the Seychelles for his New Year’s ham.
As soon as he’d re-invested in all his hunches, Jeff got rid of his stop losses, closed his eyes and let those trades play out as confident as a pasha. Until they started to sink. Fast and hard.
And he dumped the lot.
And watched as the next day—December 23rd—they all leveled out again, and eventually climbed deep into the green for a full holiday effect.
Jeff was kind of lucky in so far as he hadn’t wiped his whole account out with his impulse trading. But he’d been stupid, and knew it. He’d keep his house and bike and his endlessly forgiving girlfriend, but he’d probably be shopping at Waterstones this year.
A few days later, at his favorite pub down the road, Jeff gave me the full play by play. I listened patiently because I’m his friend. Then I told Jeff what had really happened.
In retrospect, Jeff knew his hunch had been right. He didn’t know that I knew it was right in real time. I would have told him, if he’d asked me. But the problem was, two days before Christmas I wasn’t sitting at my desk with red eyes and an itchy finger like Jeff.
I’d backtested Jeff’s “hunch” and saw how it had played out historically. I knew it was going to tank before it rose again. I knew that it wasn’t just a hunch, it was actually the real deal: a viable trade that could make me money.
And I knew that I wasn’t going to pull out when it started to sink, no matter how much my fear of losing told me to. I was going to let my algo do its job.
Which I did. Miles away from my laptop, with my iPhone in my pocket, while I was enjoying a Christmas walk downtown with my girlfriend, eyeing the latest MacBook in the shop window.
I knew it because I’d built, tested and traded my algo with Tekton algotrading software.
While I’d like to thank Saint Nick for the new MacBook I bought that day and the good whisky I drank that New Year’s, I knew the fat man in red had nothing to do with my holiday success.
When Jeff was done listening to my version of events—and we’d ordered another round to make the pain a little more bearable—I did the only thing left to do.
I took the Christmas card with Jeff’s new Tekton login info on it out of my jacket pocket and gave it to Jeff. Jeff may have forgotten to log in to Tekton this time, but I was positive he wouldn’t forget the next holiday season.
Happy holidays from the crew at 2Ring Markets and Tekton. May your holiday trading season be stress-free, code-free and subscription-free.
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