A week away – working and wishing with my head in the clouds.

I’ve had a great week. I’ve been away conducting my six monthly simulator checks, it’s always a satisfying week with lots learned but, somewhat surprisingly it’s been a great week for my trading headspace too.

I always enjoy these weeks, although I hate being away from the family I always get a lot out of the simulator, I love the flight down to London and more so I love being immersed in aviation. The sim is conducted at Farnborough – a major Business Aviation hub in the uk, it’s a great place, people from all different walks of life coming together in a big sim hall to do their respective thing in their respective sim. The weather always seems to be great when I’m here I always find it really inspiring and I always go away with a clearer vision for how I want the future to unfold. It’s proof I think that sometimes it pays to get away.

The aircraft here are impressive to say the least. There’s something about seeing vast array of sleek, beautiful business jets that gets me wondering who is flying in the back of them, where did they come from and how did they get themselves to the position where they can fly in those aircraft? I often think if I ever had access to those perks I’d just fly about in the back for hours, enjoying the view and allowing myself to get lost in my own thoughts, reeling in that beautiful disconnection from the world that a blanket of cloud always seems to give, a visible segregation from the distractions of that particular day.

Naturally, the week has me concentrating on my work, reading the books and making sure I’m on my game for the 12 hours of assessments we conduct in the sim. It’ll come as no surprise that it doesn’t leave much time for trading so I don’t even try. This is one of those weeks I don’t give my self a hard time about being in or trying to learn the markets. It’s a viewpoint that since adoption has really helped cut out some of the self imposed stresses of trying to make it in the markets, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you hope it is that trading will give you I’ve come to the conclusion, you absolutely should be enjoying the ride. This week it’s a viewpoint that’s had a surprisingly positive effect.

Although all my time this week has been dedicated to work, I’ve still had the travel time to the hotel and the daily commute to work to listen to something I’m hooked on – the Chat With Trader’s podcast. I’ve heard a lot of them now and they have been really enjoyable. A recent couple of interviews has had me revisiting what I know, or what I don’t know about the High Frequency Trading world and asking myself some questions about the modern structure of the markets, it has also had me thinking about what the future is and where it might leave me a retail guy.

I’ve been left with a sense that manual hand trading will become less common in future years, that the mass retail trading market might fade into history as something that had it’s day, provided liquidity for the big players and gave a host of sketchy training providers and brokerages an opportunity to make a boat load through savvy marketing and the deception of an even playing field. Hopefully, I’m wrong. Hopefully everything will find a way to migrate into whatever comes next, after all markets, it’s makers and players all change and I guess I will need to change too.

That’s a pretty bleak prospect given where I am in the journey. Here I am not even profitable and already facing being phased out of the market and left behind. What’s the answer? I don’t know to be honest. My game plan at the minute is to just keep on keeping on, learning what I’m learning, managing the down side (that’s the part I’m shit at) and trying to just enjoy the ride. What I do think however is that at some point in the future the ability to code will become paramount for even the most basic trader, so I’ll have to look into what I need to do to get that underway, but maybe I’ll get profitable first!

Why am I writing all this and what’s it got to do with my week away? Mostly I’m just doing what I said I’d do, getting my thoughts down on record, but also because historically the worry of the future and my perceived inability to morph with it would have me on a big downer, being fixated on the worry that it won’t work out. This week however it feels different. I’m excited to see how it ends up. Every time I hear a new trader tell their tale in an interview, watch a new documentary on how things work or get to thinking about what the world has to offer I get fired up now. Tonight is a prime example of the positive influence mindset can have. Instead of having a beer to celebrate finishing the week I got right back to work, sucking in information, watching, reading and listening – that was my reward to myself. I don’t say that to praise myself or be a dick, it’s just surprising how inspiration for something can change what you view as a reward.

I think the morale of this little tale is that sometimes there is real value in the things you don’t see coming. So many times you hear the advice to surround yourself with those you want to be like, those who you will make you better. It’s great advice but sometimes it’s not something you can choose to do, sometimes it’s not a reality. This is where podcasts, documentaries and books come in and sometimes these are the things that when you are lost in the weeds of trading can become lost. Sometimes it takes a bit of time doing something else where you only have ten minutes for a podcast or a lunch break for a book to have those resources, the people who provide the and the people on which they are based become a benefit again. For me, if I can’t be around these people at least I can be around their thoughts, views and experiences. I do think I need to get some trading connections at some point, I’ll figure out how to I’m sure but for the time being, I’m going to hop back on a plane home, get back to the family, the DOM and try to remember information is to be enjoyed and understood, not just consumed.

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