Thursday, November 16, 2006

Feeling Pavlovian

Dear readers, as you know I've been having a difficult time of things lately. I haven't been secretive about it, but I have been keeping the full magnitude of the recent events out of my blog. I've been in a period of introspection. I do try to bring you the unvarnished truth behind my personal journey here, not only for you to understand what Teach Me To Trade/EduTrades teaches, but also for you to understand my perspective of the journey to becoming a professional trader. I'm attempting to bring you the trials, tribulations, joys, sorrows, successes, failures, mental & emotional adjustments to name a few. So it would be wrong of me to withhold the negative experiences along the way, wouldn't it?

Of course I want to be able to report all the things I'm proud of here, all the happy news of my successes, and no, I don't enjoy bringing bad news to you. I'm sure there will be better news to report to you in the future, the near future, certainly, but you must know just how trying the last few weeks have been on me personally. Not everything is directly related to the market and my pursuit of becoming a professional trader, but since putting in the time takes away from other activities that I'd like to partake in, the personal aspects are inextricably linked. I consider the time spent trading as a short-term sacrifice for a long-term goal. As I become able to live off of my trading profits time will become less of an issue considering that I won't need to devide it up between 2 jobs. It's an investment, but this time commitment has created a terribly difficult strain on me personally.

As you know from reading previous posts, I finally became ill about a month ago. The time burden of the schedule was certainly a large contributing factor. This then led from one thing to another, including a break-up with a girl that I loved very dearly. Yes, even though that relationship started a mere couple months back I really loved her. Why does that break-up have anything to do with the Trading? Simply put, I created a situation that she could not have in her life because of my commitment to trading. I put the market and trading ahead of her and her interests (at least in the short-term) and I don't blame her for deciding to end things based on that. Now, that is a much simplified version of how things ended, but it's at the core.

You must also understand that my actions were actually a consideration of the future with her and that I wanted to be a successful trader in order to provide for both of us. It stung even more to have the market destroy the relationship I was hoping to provide for via the market. So the very actions I was taking for the long-term destroyed part of the reason I wanted to be a success. Is it odd to link the two together? Maybe, but it's the truth of the matter for me personally. Call me traditional, but I still hold to the ideal that I should be the primary provider in a family and I have a strong desire to be able to provide financially, as I know that I already have much to give personally. It would appear that I prematurely invested too much of my emotions in a future with her. The fact that she was unable to forgive me for the single failure on my part, which is really as simple as an adjustment of priorities, is a clear indication that she's not the right person for me. I can't be held to perfection, that's too much pressure for me, and I already have enough pressure from my own expectations of myself. Not to mention that holding someone to perfection isn't something that a loving partner does. I recognize my shortcomings and failures and strive to do better, but in the end must forgive myself of my faults. I do the same for everyone else on the planet, and especially for those I love. I need the same understanding and forgiveness from a loving partner.

It seems that, at least for the near-term future, romance & relationships are not possible. Between work, music and the time it takes to become a successful trader, I don't have time for such pursuits, not to mention the pain and emotional trauma brought on by this most recent experience.

The worst part is simply the timing of it all. I finally, after several months of diligent study and practice, including time with Coach Rob and Mentor Jordan, enter real money trades and get a series of losers immediately followed by my girlfriend dumping me. Talk about a low point, and of course it's become a Pavlovian response for me to simply avoid the markets for the past couple weeks. Think about it, at the moment, the markets have brought me very little more than pain. Pain financially and emotionally. Rationally and logically I realize that I'm letting my emotions get in the way of my success, and of course that realization makes me feel worse because I want to be able to put all of that aside and just do what I need to do. I will.

I have no change of plans for my future and I am, at my core, a resilient optimist. I will be a successful trader, and these events will simply add to my experience to make me better at what I do. I appreciate your interest in my journey and hope that you continue to find my trading blog interesting and compelling enough to be worth your time. We will get back to our regularly scheduled broadcast after this week. I've been working full time and rehearsing & performing everyday this week, accounting for approximately 15 hours of each day (including the commute time), leaving very little time for anything else.


ljh said...

I hope things are going better for you now. I have enjoyed your blog. Have you looked at your "losing" trades lately? Every single one made money. One of them made $30.00 a share. That's some pretty good stock picking if you ask me. It looks like you were just a little early on each one. Don't be so hard on yourself! Take care.

MC said...


I applaud your diligence & patience in beginning the path of becoming a successful professional trader with the help of TMTT.

Your posts are through, insightful and fair. No one else on the web shares the kind of info and personal experience that you do. I cannot begin to tell you how valuable this is to those that are interested in taking a similar path as you. You have unselfishly shared the last 7 months of your experience as you endeavor to become successful as a trader. Few people are willing to do what you have done and give the world a play by play, with all the details…good, bad or ugly.

I think it makes you a remarkable person and someone who is certainly worthy of appreciation and respect. My hat goes off to you Mark.

I attended the TMTT 3-day intro class and wanted to continue on, however due to recent downsizing on my job, I cannot proceed with such a large purchase at this time. I have been contemplating daily on when and how I can make it into at least one of those classes. Your honest blog has been a true inspiration to me and I just want to say thanks!

As far as your personal life is concerned I just wanted to make an observation. It is clear to me that you, at the very minimum are kind, considerate, diligent and faithful. Otherwise you would not have the compassion to begin this blog and share all of this info with the rest of us. What a great journey you have had since May!!! I hope you encounter that special someone who will celebrate your successes and comfort you in your failures. You are indeed worth it! Love is patient and kind.

You have made great sacrifices to be at this point Mark, and I am convinced that the best is yet to come for you. You have sacrificed a lot to be at this point and I truly hope that as you heal you realize that you are being a blessing and encouragement to so many, including me. You are a top-notch guy who I know will be very successful. I hope that you surround yourself with people who appreciate how great you are and I hope to see you at the top!

Mark, please be encouraged. I wish you great & abundant success in both professionally & personally.