Monthly Archives: March 2015

Life is a Marathon, not a Sprint

The past quarter has been a roller coaster ride for me, especially the past 3 weeks. During the CNY period, as well as during the past 3 weeks, I made and lost a fortune.

During CNY, I went to Dubai for holiday. During that time, I made and then lost about 7.8% of my portfolio. From March 13 to 20, I made 11.5%, but lost 10.3% on the night of 20th March. On 23 March to 25 March, I made back another 6.5%, but lost 9.5% from 26 to 29 March. In fact, I am now down year to date, which is remarkable given that at one point I was up 13% for the year, handily outperforming the S&P500.

In both the CNY and the recent 3 weeks of volatility, I made a few similar mistakes. The first was to have a big open position during a time when I could not monitor the position. The first, because I was on a plane to Dubai and also on holiday which meant my schedule was disrupted and was less able to look at the portfolio, while on 20 March I was at a concert.

The second mistake I made was that I forgot that life is a marathon and not a sprint. As a result, I had huge futures positions in crude oil, wanting quick gains. I forgot that I had initially started trading in futures through very small positions, only have one or two open contracts at a time. Instead, I started trading up to 10 contracts, not including options. This was perhaps foolhardy.

On the bright side, I did learn that I am surrounded by a few encouraging friends. Other traders such as Charles, Ma, and WR were all encouraging me even as I questioned my trading ability. It was most heartening to know that I have surrounded myself with such sincere friends.

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