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Social Trading

Tonight’s post was sent to me by @seldomawake — a friend I met on @StockTwits — after sharing several of our recent trading experiences with each other. We have shared both the joy of well executed plans, and the pain of trades gone terribly wrong. Tonight we’ve decided to start journaling to learn from our mistakes and to improve our skills over time. We hope that the community as a whole can find value in what we have to offer.

As @ppearlman has repeatedly said, Visualizing and Journaling Past Successes will likely help us become better traders.

Without further ado, tonight’s first post from H Khan, @seldomawake:

Seeing as how both @CoderTrader and I are relatively new to this trading business, I thought I’d join him in blogging about learning to trade. While his posts discuss the actual nuts and bolts of trading, I thought I would focus on the psychological side. The trading mindset is pretty darned far from the mindset of civilians, something that I find endlessly fascinating.. mostly because I still deal with them on a daily basis..

The obsession started early. In 2007, with the Dow around 12,000, I had dinner with a veteran investor. At the time, I didn’t know anything about the markets at all, except that the Dow was some measure of the biggest US companies. Over dinner, he casually mentioned that he was very short, and expected to cover around Dow 7,000 to Dow 6,000.

I stopped chewing, which is a pretty big deal. You don’t normally come between me and my food.

“So,” I said, mouth full of glazed tuna, “you’re expecting our major companies to shrink by.. half?”
“Oh, yeah,” he said, matter-of-factly, while munching on his salad. The salad was, to him, far more exciting. It didn’t even have dressing on it. He was that bored.

I’ve known him for some time. The man’s got ice in his veins.

Over the next year, I watched the Dow drop. Around Dow 6,000, the Dow bottomed. Well, I thought to myself, I’ll be. I gotta get in on this. How hard can it be?

So, I opened a brokerage account.

I proceeded to find myself unable to take my eyes off the damn quotes. I couldn’t look away. Mostly, I saw red. Far more red than I would’ve liked.

I’ve learned a lot since then. I can look away from quotes. I am far more calm, and a lot more disciplined. I’m not quite at the stage where I can casually discuss a halving of the Dow over salad, and far from the point where I can swing a giant chunk of the move.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll start talking about some of the psychological aspects of learning to trade. Hopefully, I’ll help some other folks starting out.

What could possibly go wrong?

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