We Don’t Have To Trade

As I have alluded to in recent posts, and as the time between those posts has illustrated, I trade a lot less during the summer. There are a few reasons why.

One reason is that the markets are generally quieter (though there’s always something to trade). I’m eternally lazy and like an easy life. If it’s going to take me longer to find a decent trade, chances are I’ll choose to just not trade. Added to this is the fact that in the summer months, when the schools are out and everyone is in vacation mood, there’s always a ton of fun stuff going on. As much as the markets are quiet, life outside them is buzzing. There are fairs and fetes and competitions and spectacles and fireworks and parties and a hundred other things to see and do. Most of these things are more interesting than sitting in front of a screen for a couple of hours of a morning, which is why it doesn’t take much persuading by Mrs W. for me to take the day off and go outside and do something less boring instead. I realize I am insanely privileged to be able to walk away from my ‘job’ like this, but as I’ve harped on and on about in this blog and others, the freedom to be able to do so is exactly why I took up trading in the first place.

The final reason I spend a lot less time trading in the summer is because it can be hot. Really bloody awfully uncomfortably hot. Europe has been going through yet another heat wave thanks to the climate catastrophe, and I don’t like extreme heat. It turns me from a mild mannered day trader into an irritable and uppity beast. A tired and grumpy one too, because it stops me from sleeping. These factors mean that when it’s very hot, I am not in a good frame of mind to trade. I want to lash out at the world, to make it hurt for my discomfort. And the heat doesn’t just mess with my emotional equilibrium, it saps my energy. If I sit and stare at a chart when it’s above about 30 degrees outside (proper ones, not American ones), then I feel my eyes closing of their own accord and before I know it I’m dragging myself out of a sweaty slumber to find the market has long since closed.

Clearly these conditions are not conducive to calm and collected trading. And so on days like those, of which there have been too many lately, I leave the markets well alone. I advise others to do the same. Even if you need the money, trading when you’re not in the right frame of mind is a terrible idea. When we’re not in the zone we make poor decisions, we do things for the wrong reasons. Trading when we’re not feeling ourselves is like driving when drunk — a very bad idea. We might think we have to do it to get to where we need to be, but there’s a good chance we’ll crash and burn and never make it. Better to sit it out.

Yesterday the sun hid behind some clouds, a little rain earlier in the week had freshened things up, and Mrs W. had somehow left a hole in the events calendar, much to her dismay. Her error and the break in the hell-like weather meant I managed to get a few trades in. The nicest one was this from continually beleaguered Boeing:

Being the summer it was a bit choppier than usual, the entry was late and the exit not exactly executed with precision, but the drop was so precipitous that none of that mattered and the trade still netted well over a grand in about ten minutes.

Will I trade again this week? It depends on the whims of the sun and Mrs W’s ever evolving agenda. But really it doesn’t matter. We don’t have to trade. We never have to trade.