Productivity and Organization, Part 1

I have a lot to be grateful for.  The blog experienced a VERY good couple of weeks and I’ve had some great trading for my strategy to start the year.  It’s important to build on success and continue working hard regardless of how good you feel you’re doing.  I have a HUGE workload on my plate in the coming months.  Some are work related projects and others are personal milestones, including getting married this summer.  For the first time in many years I feel the need for really structured time management.

Part of trading is being prepared for unknown opportunities.  You can’t be prepared for the unknown if you aren’t even prepared for the known.  Organizing yourself so that you’re always on top of the basics is critical.  There’s no excuse for coming into work not knowing that the non-farm payrolls were just released.  That’s a real dick move.  Earnings and economic events are among the biggest catalysts for equities, so it makes sense that you have a method for tracking them.

Earnings are easy for me because my trading program automatically tracks them for all the spreads in my portfolio.  I get a polite snippet of blue text five days prior to earnings releases.  If you don’t have this type of functionality, go to earnings.com and look up when $AA Alcoa reports.  Alcoa is traditionally the first large cap company to report each quarter.  Log into your calendar application, in my case Google Calendar, and set an alert for that day.  Scroll deep into the future and set reoccurring reminders of Alcoa’s earnings for as many quarters as you can.  I have Google Calendar email me one week prior so that I can start planning for sizing adjustments in my portfolio.  Each quarter, when you get your Alcoa earnings season alert, you look up all your stocks on earnings.com so you’re not caught with your pants down.  This method isn’t foolproof because some companies report well outside the traditional earnings season, particularly foreign companies.  Be warned.

I have a calendar reminder for every important economic release and option expiration date.  You should too.  Don’t rely on CNBC for this stuff, stay on top of your game.


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