Aug 17, 2011

How not to invest

Tried my hand (again) at day trading, after sucking arse at it several hundred times.

Why is it the ads show a relaxed dude in a pool with a laptop when in reality its anything but, requiring and intimate understanding of the technicalities and current markets for foreign exchange, world economics, needing to read every bit of national and corporate economic news, having an understanding of the products each company sells, an understanding of technical analysis, up to the second knowledge on where all the indices are, where all of the resistance and support is for each of these and for all the stocks you are looking at, etc etc.

I mean if ever there was a job that required about 20 hours of hard work each day, this is it. Combined with the fact that if you have a bad day, its not like you go home and kick the cat, you don't have a home...not sure how that translates to pool-side relaxing myself.

Then you have to learn execution and avoid getting horrible fills, and avoid (or make) all the mistakes that everyone makes - "I hate this company I'm going to short it because its crap, how come everyone can't see it, oops there goes my house", or "if i read more about this one company I can be better than it than everyone", never minding the fact its what you think, its what the market thinks.

Then you gotta dodge all the spruikers, the "wall street parrots", all the advertisments promising you "56765765% in the next five seconds", the hot stock tips, avoid putting all your eggs in one basket, avoid putting all your cash in at the beginning and having nothing left, dodging margin calls, avoid the mistake of hanging onto your losers, or having the balls to ride it out for months-years (only for it to rip the moment you sell), and avoid getting bored with things and doing things out of boredom, avoiding doing things just because you can "hety I just got access to the NYSE, sweet, lets buy a shitload of Google" (me).

Its a feeakin' nightmare.

Having said all of that, I had a goodnight with "The Goat" ( at last night. Having a chatroom full of dudes telling you to pull your head in, having old hands leading the way, available to answer questions, makes the whole thing eminently within the realms of possibility after all. My insanely tiny trades were a point of mirth for all, but it was good to learn without too much stress, and a small amount each night/week will hopefully add up in the long term.

Here's to not cocking up (much) more.