I’m a few months back into trading after about a year away, and I didn’t give it much thought until someone asked me why I stepped away. I sat down and I really thought about it, and I came to really see it as an important part of my trading.
Let me first say that I didn’t step away from trading for any trading related issues. I wasn’t a good trader, I was losing money as a whole, but I didn’t blow up my account or get so frustrated that I quit, it was just life changes. I also left trading stocks as well because I was looking at investing as a whole to be more of a hobby. I took up fishing as a hobby before I came back to trading. I used to do it as a kid and I thought my kids would enjoy it, they didn’t but I went H.A.M.F. (Hard As a M******). I went from 1 fishing rod and a few different lures to 6 rods and a large case filled with different boxes of tackle in less than 6 months. This is coming back around to trading I promise. I was 100% in, I was watching fishing videos, I was trying different types of fishing techniques, and scouting around my area trying to find good spots to fish. Even with all that, I’m still a pretty lousy fisherman, but I get great enjoyment trying to figure out how to get the fish to bite. The emphasis is on enjoyment, I don’t expect to make any money fishing, it’s a hobby. A hobby mindset can be dangerous, like I said the emphasis is on enjoyment not making money.
Coming back I quickly established that I wanted to treat my trading like a business, it was something I was trying to establish before I left, but I was using someone else’s idea of what trading like a business should be. Looking back now, there is no right way to treat trading, anybody that tells you there is is wrong. I drew on my previous forex experience a put together a strategy that made sense to me and adhered to what I considered trading like a business. One of the tenets of my strategy I took from fishing, which is I’m probably going to be a lousy trader. Surprisingly, (although not surprising when you think about it) I actually get more enjoyment out of trading now that I am more serious about it because the strategy fits me instead of trying to make someone else’s work for me.
Coming to the conclusion, and the title of this; my break from trading was important in making important changes to my trading. It was long enough that I was personally detached from the results of my trading. I didn’t have an ego about it, all I had was some spreadsheets and the data from myFXbook (priceless). I also had a wealth of knowledge to pull from because I had actively tried to learn as much as I could about trading the first time around. I’m not saying I know a lot about trading (I consider myself a lousy trader for strategy purposes) but I knew enough about the things I liked and didn’t like to make a system that wasn’t going to cause me stress. Like I hate negative swap, HATE. It drives me crazy. I have never liked it, and if you’re a lousy trader who will probably get stuck in bad trades, it’s a profit killer. There are no negative swap rates in my system.
So, I’m clearly on the side of breaks from trading can be useful and productive. Even though I only came to these conclusions after looking back, there was a change of mindset over my break. What do you guys think? Does anyone else have a story about a productive or even an unproductive break?