The Financial Athlete

It has been said that day traders have more information coming at them per second than just about any other career with the exception of fighter pilots and Indy car drivers. I can’t back up that statement but it makes sense. Race car drivers, fighter pilots, and day traders are all expected to make split second decisions that can have dire consequences. While trading might not be life or death, losing everything or blowing out your account can have devastating emotional effects.

When you think of a fighter pilot what type of person comes to mind? Typically we would see someone who is extremely fit, mentally strong, confident, with tremendous belief in their abilities. Indy drivers? Again in shape, mental toughness, able to make decisions under pressure while remaining calm. Those are the characteristics you would find in both pilots and drivers. What about day traders? If we put ourselves into the same category we should share same characteristics?

As traders we need to be physically fit, mentally strong, confident, with unwavering belief in our abilities so we do not second guess our actions. We need to come in to our trading room every day, 100% ready with our “A” game. Well rested, calm, able to make split second decisions and then take responsibility for our actions. We are financial athletes and we must give ourselves every advantage we can when it comes to trading and making money from the markets.

Our edge goes beyond our ability to trade. Our edge is our ability to think on our feet. It’s our ability to confidently take positions in a moments notice. In order to do that we have to take good care of ourselves. Keeping hydrated. If you are not fan of this philosophy, pick up a copy of “Your Bodies Many Cries for Water” at your local library. I think you will change your mind. Are you getting 8 hours of sleep? You might think you can get away with 6 but that is the illusion. Try getting 8 hours per night for a week then look at your P&L at the end of the week. Are you eating healthy? Do you skip breakfast, let your bloodsugar drop mid morning, then wonder why you can’t see the market as clear as you did an hour ago?

All of this comes in to play when trading. To be the best trader you can be, you have to be in the best shape you can be. Diet, exercise, sleep, attitude, all play a huge roll in successful trading. Probably more so than most want to admit. I highly recommend taking a personal inventory of your day to day routine and see if you can change a few things to give you that added edge and in the process, add some extra profits to your bottom line.

Good Trading!