Peter was, what I would call a good acquaintance. We met in this business and I even met him once at a conference in Florida. A great guy, personable, intelligent, fun to hang out with… just one problem: he could not control his emotions in a trade to save his life.
The 1 minute ‘noise’ did him in every time. He would enter a trade and dump it as soon as it turned against him, even if he had ample time and all the correct technicals working in his favor. If the charts turned on him, Peter sold – just like that. “Lost again”, he would email me. The next day… “Lost again. I just can’t seem to get it right.”
Did he ever take any lessons? No, not until several years later, when his losses were so deep that his only choice was to learn something about the markets. The alternative: hang up his trading account for good.
Eventually, he broke down and signed up for a little formal coaching. In fact, he was coming along quite nicely, while we were together. When I left him to his own devices, he would report that he “lost again… I cant’ believe this is happening again.” He finally admitted “I don’t want to quit but I have to get past this hurdle.”
We would meet again and do trades together. Those sessions proved fruitful with 5%, 10% and 15% or more gains on a regular basis. He was really starting to make some headway.
But by the next day, he was back to his old ways. A little tough love was in order. I know this man to be a very intelligent person; after all, he is a medical doctor. Goodness knows, I could never do what he does day in and day out but I could not stand watching him constantly lose when it was not necessary.
We tried everything. He lived several time zones away but still made it to his office early so as not to disrupt his family with early morning trading. He tried to hide his losses but his wife always saw the bank transfers. It was very frustrating for him… and for me. I wanted to see him succeed.
At some point, I told him to take a break. Perhaps the timing was wrong. Maybe subconsciously his wife’s intolerance of his activities was weighing heavy on him. Whatever the reason, he needed to stop for a while if just to clear his head. Injecting $1,000/week into this trading account was an expensive hobby, especially as he has not seen consistent, sizeable returns, ever.
He concurred, as far as I know. I’m sure I’ll hear from Peter at some point as traders never really stop. They just take breaks from time to time. I can only hope he turns it around and realizes the market takes no prisoners.