The Answer is in the Question

During a client call the other day, our conversation got sidetracked as we started talking about the upcoming NFL season and the pre-season games. Ted’s a die-hard fan who knows the rules and understands a lot of the finer points related to strategies including how teams use time to give themselves an edge, and the key stats of his favorite teams.

How might Ted’s football knowledge also benefit his trading?

It was both fun and interesting to listen to him because he was not only knowledgeable but also genuinely excited about what he was saying. His excitement heightened my focus on what he was saying and kept me engaged even though we don’t share the same level of excitement for the game.

When we got back onto the topic of trading, he told he was having a tough time and his results have been pretty much flat-lining, make some – lose some, but not much real progress.

(Quick note: Ted has been day-trading the e-mini for about 7 years. He’s relatively competent, knows what he’s doing, has a methodology that has been refined over and over, and consistently prepares for each session and, is what I call a ‘good student’).

I asked what he thought the reasons were for the results he was currently getting. His first answer was that he’s confused about what going on in the current market based on what he reads, sees, and hears about the economy and world situation versus a market that just keep’s going up.

Next, I asked him “How good of a job are you doing – right now – when it comes to managing your TEAM (Time-Energy-And-Money) as it relates to your trading?”

(Note: The word manage is a verb with several different definitions. Some of the most common are: (1) to bring about or succeed in accomplishing, sometimes despite difficulty or hardship, (2) to take charge or care of, and (3) to handle, direct, govern, or control in an action or use.)

He said he didn’t really know since his focus has been totally on the market, his trading, and time with his family.

Ted’s response happens to be the norm when I ask “How good of a job are you doing – right now – when it comes to managing your TEAM (Time-Energy-And-Money) as it relates to your trading?”

In working with hundreds of clients over the past 40 or so years, I have asked that question or a variation of it to clients, prospective clients, subscribers, and audience members. Why? Because in my experience, most of us are so busy ‘doing’, we neglect many things that are important including the management of our NUMBER 1 TEAM (our Time, Energy, and Money) which is key to achieving our goals.

Why is that so?

Well, start with your management of your time and everything you do related to time such as: The number of hours you’re awake. The number of truly productive or ‘in the zone’ minutes or hours you experience each day. The time you waste. The time you do things that are necessary but not important to achieving your goals. The time you want to be doing something different than what you’re currently doing? Etc., etc., etc..

Next, your management of your energy. Think about how you invest your energy such as: What you think about? The amount of energy you invest in thinking about your future and your plans. The energy you spend doing trivial tasks at the cost of investing that energy in directly achieving a goal. The energy you expend in putting out fires versus making something happen. The energy you spend because others didn’t do what they said they would do. Etc., etc., etc..

And finally, your management of your money. The risk (potential loss) on entering a position. The hardware that supports your trading business – its functionality, reliability, upkeep. The same with your software and services. The security of your funds in your trading account (MF Global and PFG). The commissions and the commission rate you pay. The taxes you pay. The interest you earn on your investments. The equity you have in various holdings. Etc., etc., etc..

A quick quiz:

The question: “How good of a job are you doing—right now—when it comes to managing your TEAM (Time-Energy-and-Money) as it relates to you both personally and your trading?”

Are you so busy ‘trading’ that you lost focus on becoming a trader?

Are you so focused on your trading and doing things that you lost focus on being an effective personal time manager?

Are you so focused on your trading and doing things that you lost focus on being an effective personal energy manager?

Are you so focused on your trading and doing things that you lost focus on being an effective personal money manager?

As the title says, I believe the answer lies in the question, IF the question is stimulates thought, diligent thought.

Until next time . . .