I’m gonna be honest with you — last week was a roller coaster for me.
And not because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tried to ghost the Queen of England.
In overnight trading Tuesday, Dow futures were down about 400 points, as Wall Street got wind of the Iranian missile attack on U.S. troops in Iraq, fanning the WWIII flames.
And while buy-and-hold stock traders were starting to sweat, my bearish options trades were looking better and better.
However, that plunge in stocks turned out to be just a knee-jerk reaction, because by Wednesday’s trading session, the Dow was higher and the S&P was on its way to another record.
Now, do I want a big stock market crash or an economic recession?
Of course not. Only a sadist wishes for hard times.
But have I been expecting a downturn? Abso-friggin-lutely.
I mean, bull markets can only last so long, and the clock is surely ticking on this decade-plus rally.
So when I saw my bearish trades up big, and then not up so big, it was a bit of a gut-punch. And as I told some of my V.I.P. Weekly Windfalls subscribers, I was even tempted to pull a Harry & Meghan — at least for a few days.
Then along came inspiration from none other than Patriots QB Tom Brady.
If you polled the American people, my guess is the majority of adults would consider themselves “busy.”
Unlike some of our friends in Europe and elsewhere around the world, the American value system is centered on a strong work ethic.
If you told someone from, say, Spain or Greece that you worked 55 hours this week, they might look at you like, “But… why?”
And when you conjure up images of Wall Street, in particular, my guess is you’re not picturing a laid-back trader with his or her feet up on their desk.
No — you’re probably imagining that old trope: a frantic trading floor with hundreds of sweaty, coked-up suits shouting buy and sell orders, aren’t you?
Of course, a lot has changed on Wall Street since the ‘80s, as most business is done from behind a computer screen now… but that doesn’t mean stalking stocks and options is any less stressful these days.
And while I know there are a lot of jobs that are more stressful — props to our military, especially — that doesn’t mean “trader fatigue” (which is exactly what it sounds like) isn’t real.
It’s very real, and sometimes all it takes is a blip of a cold streak to hit you.
You also have to remember that unlike a lot of other “gurus” making stock and options recommendations out there, the traders here at RagingBull are putting our own money on the line.
So when sh*t hits the fan and a couple trades go wrong, we can’t just turn off the lights and say, “Have a great weekend, Bob-o!” and not think of it again until Monday.
It simply doesn’t work like that.
RagingBull gurus, including myself, not only have a burning desire to make our subscribers money, we (like everyone else in the world) also want to make money for ourselves.
Now, I’m not trying to make excuses or solicit sympathy here — I’m simply explaining my mentality and giving you some background.
And the reason I’m outlining all this is because I’m still a teacher at heart (remember, I was an elementary school teacher before I began trading stocks), so I view every experience, good or bad, as an opportunity to learn and get better!
Because remember: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
3 Lessons from Tom Terrific
After the Patriots suffered a home-field upset by the Tennessee Titans during the playoffs last weekend, the sports world was all abuzz with one question:
Is Tom Brady retiring?
However, last Wednesday, the future Hall of Famer all but put an end to the speculation (at least as far as retirement rumors — it’s still TBD if he’ll remain a Patriot), posting this caption on Instagram:
In my opinion, Brady couldn’t have said it better, and the timing of his post hit home for me, personally.
So, here are some things we can learn from one of the greatest athletes of our generation:
Even GOATs fail sometimes. But they learn from it.
As Brady said — failure is inevitable. But the important thing is that you find teachable moments.
As I settle back into things next week, I will continue with my three strategies — Jason Bond Picks for small-cap stock trades, Smoke Signals for more aggressive bearish options trades, and, of course, Weekly Windfalls for my “casino strategy” — and accurately journal what’s making me money and what isn’t.
By writing things down, I can get a sense of things that are working and things that aren’t, and call an audible when necessary.
Brady also helped me remember that I’m pretty darn good at trading! That’s how I went from being your average American school teacher to making a steady six figures in trading profits each year.
So while I am ALWAYS striving to be the absolute best, and improvement is a road that never ends, I need to maintain confidence in the abilities that got me this far.
(And, to be honest, the schadenfreude derived from a legend like Brady taking an L doesn’t hurt…)
We all need strong leaders in our lives to lean on when life goes sideways.
Whether it’s your wife, husband, best friend, mom, grandpa, rabbi, boss, creepy neighbor — whatever — it helps to have someone who can pick you up when you get down.
Just like on the football field, you can’t be great without a great leader.
My trading mentor, MENSA member and fellow RagingBull founder Jeff Bishop, took me under his wing and taught me about trading stocks.
And thankfully he did; it was the lifeline I needed to crawl out of a sea of student loan debt, and even now he’s there to give me words of encouragement when necessary.
In turn, I mentored three of the most red-hot RagingBull gurus trading today: Kyle Dennis, Nathan Bear, and Taylor Conway. And I would say they’re doing pretty well…
Ahh, the circle of life. 🙂
And if one of them starts to show signs of trader fatigue in the future, I’ll be there to pick them up and put the wind at their backs again.
I’d also like to teach YOU, guys and gals — and if you upgrade to my premium Weekly Windfalls service, you can watch me trade in real-time. I guarantee total transparency and honesty, obviously, along with a stream of lessons on stocks and options.
Dust yourself off and get back in the fight.
Timing the top of the market is hard — everyone knows that.
And getting the rug pulled out from under me last week felt like a dagger.
I was infuriated and even considered a couple of weeks off from trading.
But, as I told my premium subscribers last week after Brady’s Instagram post, I’m ready to address my trading mistakes and get back in the arena.
I also have more to prove.
I’m no Harry & Meghan.
And, guys and gals, I hope that you too won’t give up when things get hard.
Because again, you’re bound to have losing trades — that’s part of the game.
But as long as you’re allocating only a designated percentage of your capital to each trade, and going into each trade with a game plan and a solid setup, you should throw more touchdowns than interceptions, and, thus, have longevity.