As we turned the calendar last week one thing hardly ever changes - we promise ourselves we will make improvements in the year ahead. Maybe it's lose some weight, join a gym/exercise more, Perhaps it's improving your attitude in life, keeping up with friends/family, performing better at work or adjusting to life changes. Optimism reigns at the beginning of the year, but will changes hold to the end? We promise ourselves to follow-through, but we often fall short of our goals.
As traders and investors we can also resolve to make positive changes. We don't want to make wholesale changes often during the year that may threaten our consistency and focus. However, once a year we can step outside of ourselves, look at our trading activities and objectively (and honestly) make an assessment. To this end, we should strive to make constructive changes that help us be better in the year ahead.
Some suggested thoughts to improve in 2016:
- Are we growing our accounts and our knowledge? Experience is the best teacher, but with that comes the pain of losses, we all go through the school of hard knocks. However, none of us has an endless supply of capital to keep taking losses regularly. Something has to change if that is the case.
- Keep a journal. Write down your daily activities -- what trades you did and did not take, what surprises hit the market. What affected you personally that caused a behavior change. Go back and read your notes regularly. This is the most powerful feedback mechanism of all.
- Join a community. Our chat room is filled with regular traders just like you, looking for an edge. They realize there is strength in numbers, and we have some very savvy market players whose goal is to help others.
- Identify your shortcomings -- change them one at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day, but showing some incremental improvement in your process should show up with positive results.
Here's to a great year ahead for your trading/investing. Whatever happens, make your main goal of being better/smarter twelve months from now.