What’s in your toolbox?

I am always incredulous when people declare themselves “self made”.  While I understand that ultimately each of us are responsible for doing the work in whatever path you take in life, the most successful people do not achieve their goals without powerful mentors that are there guiding them along the journey.

The most important tool in my toolbox is the successful traders that I have learned from in my career.  I feel lucky to have learned from some of the best out there in my mind. The key to successful trading is finding your niche and finding a mentor with a style that makes sense to you and that you can replicate with a high success rate.  While I have experienced several types of traders out there, two traders provided me with what I felt was the most logical path to success for me.

#1 Oliver Velez

Oliver’s book, “Tools and Tactics for the Master Day Trader” was the first trading book I ever purchased.  It was so exciting to me I attended one of Oliver’s seminars in Chicago and became part of a prop program he had launched.  That experience was one I will forever remember as it opened my eyes to the opportunities that the market could provide and started me on an extremely disciplined path for my future.  Amazingly, I found Oliver on Periscope, where he shares his trades LIVE and talks through them.  Not too many traders do that that I am aware of!  One of his biggest messages that really resonates with me is the importance of specializing.  FOMO can be HUGE for traders and one that I am guilty of myself.  His greatest analogy is how market makers work….they don’t go jumping from pit to pit…their job is ONE STOCK.  When you really think about it, it really is the idea of becoming intimate and very knowledgeable with one stock.  It enables you to hone in and be react to moves that are happening based on its trend that you are following day to day.  So, what if that stock is not moving?  Well, don’t forget cash is a position as well.  Having a universe of 6-10 stocks will increase of your odds of at least one tradable action occurring with those stocks that you know well and will keep you out of trouble on them when there are not moves that warrant taking a position.  When my Periscope whistles at me to let me know Oliver is live, I can say that 99% of the time he is trading AAPL and I have only seen him lose once on it.   He has been trading that stock for nearly 30 years…definitely seems like an intimate relationship to me 😉

#2  Titus from Stocktraders.net

While Titus, Goose and Monaco trader are all pretty amazing and I glean such great information from each of them, Titus really beats home the fact that less trading is MORE.  Similar to Oliver, he doesn’t like jumping around and prefers to trade less.  The highest number of stocks I have seen him trade in a day is 5, and generally not all at once (his norm seems to be 3).  He tends to stay away from the crowded trades out there every day and is just so calm.  I have only been in this room for a short while but I look forward to learning more and more from Titus and the team.

#3 Monaco Trader

Monaco in my mind is Yoda!  Whenever I begin to get reckless in my thoughts, I pull up my screen saver, which is the following snippet from his twitter page:

#4 Modern Rock

Another key part of ensuring I don’t take trades out of boredom is to reread Modern Rock’s Trading Fish twitter feed and/or listen to his Chat with Traders interview.  He is so disciplined and specializes in what he is best without deviation.

Trading can be a lonely and intimidating road but finding mentors to lean on to whatever extent you are able is sure to play a large part in ensuring your success.

Hope and Fear

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.
Goodness, what an absent blogger I have been!  I have been reflecting a lot the past few months and focused on future direction in some life areas that aren’t applicable to the intent of this blog, so I haven’t felt the need to share here.  I am back prior to the new year to commit to showing up here regularly!
A lot of what I read these days speaks to me from various angles but whenever I am in doubt (of anything), I always revert back to reading this which is posted above my computer.
These last two months have seen the largest positive swings in my trading, to the point where I sometimes wonder if I am just “lucky” or if it is truly me becoming much more stoic in my trading.  Stepping away from ego and taking this approach to trading has separated me from my prior trading self to who I am today, and I am truly grateful to those who have pounded the table on this point to me, whether it was directed personally or in their general messaging.
Titus shared a valuable youtube post that I come back to frequently, check it out when you have a few minutes: