3 Life Lessons I've learned from my Children (and how I apply them to trading)
Hi Everyone! It's been a while since I've taken to the keyboard to do something creative, but this one's been bubbling around in here for a while and it's time to put it out there for YOU! Most of you know of me through Real Life Trading and know that I don't put myself out in the spotlight as much as Jerremy and Brad do; I'm more of a behind-the-scenes Gal. Some of you may have learned that I am as passionate about real estate and hand bells as I am about trading, and I'm equally enthralled with sharing things I've learned about these things with others. Teaching is one of the most effective ways to improve our own skills, I think. The flip side of being 'the teacher', though, is being 'the learner', and nothing I've done in life has enabled me to learn more than raising my children. Here's a little rundown of some of my parenting experiences and how I apply them to my trading journey.
1) Things don't always happen when or how you expect (or plan) â€“ Let's take the 'way back' bus and revisit my early 20s . . . new marriage, new career, new house, new kittens . . . definitely not a new baby in the plan. Ready or not, though, it became the plan quickly and I did a ton of growing up over the next nine months. This isn't to say that this is a life event that can't be planned, which is always more preferable in my world - - - like a trading plan!
Trading plans equal certainty for me in a pastime filled with so much that's out of my control. You know one of the points in my trading plan is actually 'expect the unexpected'? In this way, even when I'm hit with a complete surprise, like a new baby or a huge white candle right into my bear call spread, I'm able to find the opportunity for growth (personal profit) in the unanticipated situation.
2) Things don't always happen on my timeline â€“ sleeping through the night, crawling, recovering from an illness, walking, talking, toilet training, learning to share, advancing through school, passing a driver's test, getting through college, finding and marrying 'the One' . . . Is it just me or do some of these steps seem to drag on F O R E V E R while others speedlikelight? I can close my eyes and feel tears well as I relive some of the frustrations I felt while parenting my children â€“ Will this ever pass? On the other end of the spectrum is the moment my eldest introduced me to Katy, the one he had already realized was his life partner before I even knew they were an item? Perhaps the sadness comes because the ways we experience the passage of time is so utterly beyond our control?
So it goes for a Real Life Trader â€“ some trades we enter drag on much longer than we hope, while others are over and done just moments after we hit the 'Fill' button. We trade our plans knowing that we can only extrapolate potential moves based on the past movement of the stock price. There are no guarantees, though, hence our risk mitigation, and sometimes the fun comes after the trade is closed and we look back and say, 'Wheeee, that was fun, whatever just happened!â€
3) Things don't always go well for the one you thought they'd go well for â€“ Okay, this has to be the favorite life lesson my Children have taught me. You know how you can have three kids, or three siblings, or three friends for that matter, and the grown ups looking on think they can peg which one is 'gonna go far', or be the one to end up in the hoosegow? I did this to my children. There's the firstborn who always does what's expected; good boy, just like his Momma. Then the prim and proper girl in the middle who wrinkles her nose at Mom's wine and insists on full coverage clothing in spite of her barely clad classmates; sweet girl. Finally there's the hellion, setting off a smoke bomb inside the house and refusing to stay in school; where did HE come from?! Take a guess which one got the DUI . . . now guess which one dabbles in the stock market? Not only that, he came back to live with me for a time to 'learn the stuff from you that I was too dumb to listen to back then.â€ Yep, the rabble-rouser everyone put in the pile of black sheep. Surprise!
When we day trade we often watch gaps on many stocks at the same time â€“ earnings season is a blast! Using our criteria, we may select several to stalk closely upon market open in the morning, while discarding others as 'not good enough'. We'll do similarly with swing trades, cherry picking only the best and ignoring others. Anyone who has done this for any length of time has experienced this particular JOY of trading: a complete flop (and loss of profit) on the one perfectly lovely trade of choice . . . and an absolutely out-of-the blue screaming wild profitable move in the 'black sheep' stock pick (that you weren't in . . . of course).
Does it mean your analysis or trade execution was wrong? No. You did your homework, stuck to your plan, made an assessment of future action based on past data, and then acted decisively. Each stock simply behaved differently than expected. Did I fail to teach my daughter right? No. I could not have known that she would experience things as an independent, young adult that would shake her values to the core. What was the turning point to the positive for my youngest son? It surely wasn't anything I did; it came from within him. In each case, I was not in control and my role was simply to continue following my plan to love each child unconditionally. I had to learn to stay the course and provide the same steady support I always have. Just like with trades, a consistent and faithful approach to trading from a successful trading plan creates balance and ultimately, profits.
Thanks for your time, Traders! Please reach out to me whenever I can be of assistance; you are the reason Real Life Trading continues to enrich lives everywhere! We will always be here to empower traders and especially the incredible women and mothers around this beautiful planet! We are all here, because of you!