Transparency & Accountability in Trading
This post originally posted here on 10/20/16 and republished here with permission.
I got whacked today, nothing catastrophic, but took a nice 9K loss after breaking some rules. It inspired me to briefly touch on one of the most important topics in trading to me.
I wanted to give my two cents on transparency and trading. I don’t share my PnL daily on Twitter because I think that’s unnecessary, I think it puts a lot of pressure on you that you don’t need to broadcast your entire business to the twitter public, and probably will affect you more negatively than positively. Some people do it, and it works for them. Great. As in all things trading, there’s a million ways to skin a cat, whatever works – these are all just my opinions on the matter. I think it does more harm than good to share with the world on a daily basis.
I do however, highly recommend you have a trading buddy or small group, people whom you trust, and share with them on a daily basis. I run a small trading room of about 12 guys, and I share my PnL and charts in there with them every day.
Because it holds you accountable. Day in and day out. It’s a constant reminder to not be a dumbass, and trade the correct way, respecting your rules. My trading significantly improved since I opened my room and built my group – for that very reason. A willingness to expose yourself in the name of transparency on a daily basis is healthy, helpful, and necessary. If you’ve got someone to answer to at the end of the day and need to provide them with a report card, it will change the way you think if you’re getting in trouble on a trade during the session. Trust me. It’s a little thought in the back of your head knowing “I’ve got to share this mess of a chart and explain it to someone when I’m done.” It helps keep you more firmly grounded in reality.
In a bigger picture sense too. If you are not answering to someone at the end of your trading sessions, it’s just you, yourself, and you. And everybody knows you are your own worst enemy when it comes to trading. If you start to go on a slide or cold streak and you don’t have anyone to fall back on for support or checks and balance, you’re putting yourself in a very dangerous spot.
We naturally want to succeed. That feeling is inherent to every single one of us. Nobody comes to the market each day and wants to fail. So that being said, we want to succeed so bad, our brains are already pre-programmed to believe this and be a cheerleader towards it. You can talk yourself into believing almost anything. Being completely and utterly delusional and entirely unaware of it – all in the name of a burning, and often blinding, desire to succeed. “I’m fine” Yeah…sure you are… If you start spiraling and you have no one there to give you a second opinion on the situation, then you’ll talk yourself, and your account, down to zero.
You need a healthy support system. It is so vital. So find a trading buddy if you don’t have one, and get in the habit of sharing your journey with them on a daily basis, complete transparency – it will hold you accountable, and give you a much more stable sense of reality by having an outside, unbiased set of eyeballs observing your work.