Saturday, October 2, 2010

Goodbye September, Hello October!

Last week was probably one of my best trading weeks as far as profits are concerned and same goes for September as a month. Hopefully, it was the same case for you readers out there. No matter how much I would like to attribute this totally to my awesome trading skills, I can't afford to fall prey to any such illusions. Let's face it unless you were stubborn and hell bent on averaging down on VXX, September was an easy month to trade with a clear trend in place. It was especially good for momentum traders like me with a lot of sectors breaking out. And for that I thank thee Market Gods!

I am under no illusions to repeat my September performance this coming month. It was the kind of month that happens once a year. Its time to forget about the last month and start life (read trading) afresh. New month, new challenges, new opportunities. Who knows, maybe it will be an especially tough month to trade with no clear trend? Maybe it will be a period of slow consolidation. Maybe we will have wild swings but with the market going nowhere in the end. But one must not forget that as short term traders, it is our responsibility to make money in every market condition. Sure, it is easier to make money in months like the September we have just had, but losing money because of overall market conditions is an excuse best reserved for the mutual fund managers and buy and hold investors.

As a trader, I can't control the overall conditions but what is certainly under my control is my level of preparation and the time and effort I put into the markets. This doesn't necessarily mean the trading time, but the time spent on the markets when the trading day is actually over. I believe its no coincidence that the month that I spent the most time I ever have preparing for the markets turned out to be one of my best trading months. This fact is reflected in the amount of blog posts written last month, a trend I am hoping will continue in the future. Hopefully you readers benefited from these posts too!

Like I said, I know that no way October is going to be as  good as September. OK, let's rephrase that so I don't sound as too much of a pessimist. I know that it is highly improbable that October is going to be as good as September but I have tasted blood, and I want more. Win or lose, I am excited about the coming month, and can't wait for Monday. Let's make one thing very clear: that maybe I won't make that much money this month; in fact, maybe it will be my first losing month of this year. But one thing is for sure, that it won't be for lack of trying and I will emerge a better trader. I would like to end with a few lines from the poem Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson that I have found inspirational ever since I was a kid:

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads you and I are old;
Old age had yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are,
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Goodbye September, Hello October!

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