I am no stranger to the process of learning new skills and consider myself a life-long learner. So when the idea of becoming a day trader was presented to me recently, I felt the challenge of taking on a new skill set but the satisfaction of a calculated risk. Unfortunately, this process will be much different than my traditional and online learning formats: no professors, no grades, no deadlines, no summer breaks, no group projects, and definitely no established curriculum. But then again, alternatives to these elements can be found elsewhere. I will have to network with others to find mentors, establish working deadlines and breaks, determine my own evaluation methods, and develop a custom learning plan. What formal education will bring to this endeavour is self-discipline, objectivity, reflection, and goal-setting. I know the learning curve will not be smooth, but then again, nothing worth working for should be easy. This is why goal-setting is essential to the process. It keeps the learner focused on what is really important. So allow me to set some goals!
Short-Term & Long-Term Timelines Because my current family and work obligations fill my time right now, my focus will be on absorbing as much information as possible (see my reading list), practicing with paper trading, developing my trading rules and style, and setting up various trading and researching accounts. Once my current contract is fulfilled, the plan is begin actual trading on a limited scale in July and a larger scale in the fall when daily routines are more easily managed.
Journal, Trade, Reflect Any teacher or student will attest that writing is essential to any learning, so it was well-expected that all my preliminary reading advises keeping a journal of trading activity. The idea is to journal pre-trade to establish one’s plan and post-trade to reflect on the results. However, this information should be reviewed and analyzed periodically for trends and connections. There is no better place for such insights than an online blog where others can provide feedback and direction. My goal is to establish a set routine for pre- and post-trade journaling once I have decided on my rules and focus. Also, I plan to organize and reflect on my thoughts, sort of like a school assignment, every two weeks until trading goes larger scale. At that point the need to blog will change in some way, so better to decide at that time.
Absorb With Filters Websites and blogs are also a wonderful place to collect information. I imagine I will find a plethora of information out there, but how much of it is worthy and relevant to my style. Using an online tool for collection and reflection allows the user to change and rework what is available for others to view at any time. Please follow me on my journey to absorb what I need to know and justify what is worthy.