Trading & Golf Part II

Since I have nothing better to do today I will keep posting until I pass out. Right now I want to go back and revisit a topic I started a few weeks back. If you didn't read my original post, click here. This will bring you up to speed.

I mentioned that I had read an interesting article a long time ago that tackled this same topic. I thought the correlations were interesting, and my plan was to post on this topic every now and again as a trading psychology exercise. I would also have the opportunity to put my own spin into it. I also hoped this would motivate me to golf more often. I scheduled a tee time for later this afternoon, so apparently it worked! Anyway, here is today's topic...

Good Equiptment Won't Make You a Better Golfer.

First off, don't tell my wife. In all seriousness, it is the truth. I bought a new set of irons this year, along with a Driver and fairway woods. I put together a mean set of sticks, but the difference in my game was only mental. I looked at myself as a better golfer, but it didn't change the problems with my grip, or my stance, keeping my eye on the ball, etc. A great set of clubs makes me feel better about my game, but does not improve it. I could reach the same score with a set of Callaways, or a set of rental clubs. My skill set didn't change.

The topic of trading equiptment has been suggested several times. This will be a great time to bring it out into the open. I know that many new traders have a vision that I am sitting in a vault somewhere with about twenty different monitors displaying charts, news, quotes, etc. Perhaps I purchased my own exchange, so I can route my own orders, and get better prices on my fills? What if I paid a developer to create the best trading software available? It backtests everything, predicts the future, gives me daily affirmations, and makes me lunch so I don't have to leave my room.

If trading were that detailed, I wouldn't be here. I prefer the simple side of things. Trading, life, relationships, or anything else I come in contact with is kept K.I.S.S. style. (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Especially with trading. I use the INVESTools search engines, and trade with ThinkorSwim. Do I subscribe to any magazines...yes. Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities, that's it. I read it for the educational articles...I swear!!! Other than this, I don't subscribe to any magazines, newsletters, software, etc. However, I do have one computer, two monitors, a trading platform and a little spare time to watch the market. Simple? Maybe, but I prefer it this way.

If I did subscribe to tremendous software, receive the best newsletters around, or pay for other random services that advertise results....this wouldn't make me a better trader. If I paid for a "system" where the signals are generated for me on specific trades, then this is different. This may provide profit, but I wouldn't refer to myself as a "trader" at that point. There is abundant technology out there to improve signals, to be faster than what you currently have, or to outlast the competition. Giving in and paying for this equiptment only makes you feel better, or look better equipped. The problem is that it doesn't change the skill set. Be careful with all this technology and junk that offers hefty promises, but fails to deliver. If there is something that you truly need, wait until the need arises to go shopping. If you continue to shop and find the holy grail, when it doesn't exist, you will have spent all your trading capital and will have nothing left to work with.

In closing, remember that the Hardware doesn't make you great. Your drive to learn and your committments to being successful will make you a star. If you have any comments, feel free to leave them. Perhaps each of you can recommend equiptment or platforms that others can benefit from.

Another good analogy with golf.
Had a thought while I was reading your article on equipment. I have been amazed at how you can find so many patterns in the charts.
At the Advanced Options seminar in Nashville, someone from Investools gave a brief sales pitch on Prophet for use in finding patterns. Does this fall in the realm of fancy but not needed tools? Or is it a time saver to find patterns to trade?
Thanks for your blog and all the good info you provide.
Great looking family picture last week.
Larry Meier

Jeff, I'm an IT project manager. I deal with big expensive business system engineering efforts every day.

There is a saying I heard once that relates in my field, to exactly what your stating here.

"Disciplined people using terrible software will outperform great software being used by undisciplined people". I have seen this truth repeated over and over.

The person's discipline, attitude, focus, knowlege, work ethic, passion, etc. all make the difference.

A hammer in the hand of a carpenter will outperform a hammer in the hand of a ballerina every time.

as new traders we all need help, as a golfer whether a 2 or a 20 we need help. You need a professional to assit with the swing and just as important a professional who can fit your swing and body with the right clubs. The right thing for us to do is learn as much as we can from you and the other pros

You forgot to mention one important piece of 'equipment': a trading journal or blog. Keeping one has really allowed me to sharpen my skills since I have been trading.

The new Toolbox looks great!

I was up all night transferring my interactive charts over to thinkorswim. This is amazing. Now, rather than switch back and forth from Schwab to investools, i can have everything on one screen, including live updating quotes, market indices and charts!

I highly recommend everyone at least TRY the software.

My only gripe is that the interactive charts on Investools lets you customize different watchlists whereas thinkorswim requires you to use only one. I hope this is fixed soon.

you can have watch list in TOS and then right click from the watch list to Interactive chart when you want to see it there. By the TOS charts are better then the Interactive charts plus you can have multiple panes of them. Have you guys tried saving styles, drawings and studies. It is excellent stuff.


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About me

  • I'm Option Addict
  • From Saratoga Springs, Utah, United States
  • I am a professional trader and an instructor for Investools. I've had relations with the markets for 9 years. Born in Concord, CA, but reside in Saratoga Springs, Utah. Father of THREE, Husband of one.
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