10 Summer Projects To Improve Your Trading

Trading season will reopen in August.

With the spring and coming summer upon us it’s time to ease the foot off the trading gas pedal. Aside from 2007, 2008, and 2009; summer trading is DEAD boring and very easy to lose money.  I will be using May and June as predominantly research and study months along with beta testing a new strategy with fresh capital.  I’ll be traveling through Southeast Asia for the month of July so the blog will be very quiet during that time. In August it’s time to get glued to the monitors again.

I have very little interest in pressing longs here and almost no interest in shorting. What is a trader to do?  Stand aside.  There is enough volatility in the precious metals to keep me glancing at the screens three or four times a day while I work on other projects.  I will also cherry pick the best setups and consider everything else noise.

If you are currently struggling don’t press yourself into the summer months. Just because you are not actively at your terminal pressing buttons doesn’t mean you’re not working.  Now is the most productive time to retool your trading and launch with a fresh campaign in August.

Here are 10 small projects you can complete before the summer is over:

  1. Research one additional factor you can add to your trading that will eliminate losses or find new winners.  Research completely outside of your traditional toolset.
  2. Analyze your trading results and eliminate one factor that you use to take trades.  There is usually one crutch you have in your toolset that long out lived its usefulness but you continue to use out of habit.  Simplicity is beautiful.  Strip your strategy down and find what is unnecessary.
  3. Learn a new API or write a simple program in VBA that automates one monotonous task like gathering earnings dates or downloading 10Ks.  If you can’t code then contract the project out to someone who can.
  4. Write a short whitepaper on your trading strategy and send it to some traders you respect for critique.
  5. Start a fitness regime to combat the sedentary life of a trader.
  6. Go to Chicago and visit the floor of the S&P pit while you still can.
  7. Switch workflow platforms.  If all your current tools are in Excel/VBA then finally migrate everything to a better leaner platform.  At least add a nice GUI.
  8. Find a mentor to work with, or become a mentor for another trader.  Keep the relationship professional and work at least once a week on something trading related.  If you are a new trader, offer to clerk for free in exchange for mentorship.
  9. Scour the world of Yahoo message boards and find a free forex chatroom where the proprietor calls out live trades.  Open a small forex account and take the opposite side of his trades all summer.
  10. Take a long break from staring at your computer monitors and reconnect with your friends and family.

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