I woke up feeling kind of strange. You know, that feeling you get when you wake up in a place other than your bed (Don’t get the wrong idea. It wasn’t someone else’s bed… I was in my own house). My back was aching and my brain was in a fog. Then it dawned on me that my snoozing time on the couch, which is only a few feet from my desk, had gotten a little overextended.
I had spent the entire evening eagerly scanning hundreds of stocks, looking for setups; breakouts, flags, pennants, you name it. It was the week that Bernanke had announced QE forever, the market was soaring and I didn’t want to miss the boat… Except that I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I crashed on the couch and eternally hit the snooze on my phone until I must have unconsciously turned it off.
Lying there in a daze my first thought was, “Oh I’ll just head up to bed for a few more hours before the market opens,” but then I realized that there was sunlight shining through the shade. I also realized that it was 9:17am.
“Oh God, I’ve only got 13 minutes to get ready for the open!” I hurriedly opened my laptop and as soon as I glanced at my screen, a sinking feeling came over me when I noticed… it was Saturday.
And that’s when I realized that I might be a trade-o-holic.
Oh, there were other signs, but I managed to conveniently overlook them. Well, you could really say I justified all of them so that I could keep on trading. Because when you’re in the middle of it, you can’t see what’s happening until you wake up one day with a stranger… who actually turns out to be you.
So here’s a list of some of the warning signs that you might be a trade-o-holic. A dirty dozen if you will. Some are funny, others not so much, but they’re all mostly true. Perhaps some of these don’t seem so bad to you (which could be a warning too) and maybe you’ve seen signs that are much worse. If so, please let me know and we’ll add them to the list!
#12 – On your birthday you find yourself looking for reversal patterns in the candles before you blow them out.
#11 – You dread the weekend and look forward to Monday morning. (This one is not really funny, but I had to get it in there)
#10 – During your long awaited vacation in NH as you gaze upon the sunset over the mountains, all you can think about it how it resembles a line chart of the S&P 500.
#9 – When someone advises you about “leaving your options open” you shudder and think “did I forget to close out my position on AAPL last Friday?”
#8 – Out of the 63 apps on your phone, 57 of them are stock apps.
#7 – As you’re busy writing your list of signs you’re a trade-o-holic, you check the market at least every 2 minutes. (Yes, it’s still hard for me to stop)
#6 – You’re relieved that your broker offers electronic statements because your paper version would be just too big to fit in your mailbox.
#5 – That same broker starts calling you with special promotions because you’re a “preferred” customer. (The more you trade, the richer he gets)
#4 – You spend most of your evenings struggling to balance your “family time” with “watching the futures time.”
#3 – When you see abbreviated words like LOL and WTF, you feel the urge to look them up to see if they’re publicly traded companies.
#2 -After a losing trade you find yourself trading even more furiously because you feel the market “owes you.”
And, if you made it this far…
#1 – As you read this you’re thinking “This guy is wasting my time… I should be looking at charts!”