Help! This Isolation is Killing My Trading!

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Dear Mike,

I am almost through reading your book One Good Trade. It’s phenomenal! Now one of my favorite books about trading, it really altered the way I think – helping me purge the psychological demons and reinforce good habits.

I completely agree with your viewpoint that trading as part of a team compounds the learning process. I have been day trading since the beginning of 2014. I have tried out chatroom communities like (deleted) and (deleted) and made friends with great traders whom I think of as my mentors, but I still feel isolated. I live in Indianapolis and work from home. Chatrooms are just not the same as being at the same physical location. Do you happen to know of other places similar to SMB Capital where I can share ideas with like minded traders? I am open to relocating.

Last year when I began day trading, I switched from being a long-term investor who thinks like a portfolio manager to an agile intraday trader. I invented my own setups and had an initial streak of success, but a lack of loss control rules led to some costly lessons. I have since educated myself on risk management through resources like your book, sized down, and am just working on process and consistency. I feel like I have potential, but need much more work. Your book is great, but I wish I could get immersed in an environment like SMB Capital all day. If you have suggestions on how I can find a team, they would be much appreciated.



I traded isolated for a few months of my career and hated it.  I did however love the extra naps.  As a trader I really love as much input from others as I can get.  I like then choosing the ideas to follow or dismiss.  It’s up to me.  I would wither and be eliminated as independent trader.

Recently, I had a few excellent chats with a new trader who would “never” move to NYC and trade with us because “he values his freedom too much.”  One all-star retail trader gets all pretzeled from trade ideas of others.  He shuts himself out from the rest of the trading universe for optimal performance.  Some are not meant for teams.

Some of us our introverted and do best isolated.  Some of us are extroverted and trade best with more stimuli.  Our best short trader is a very social person who thrives with opinions of others.  Or just the ability to talk trading with another being.

Online learning can be terrific.  And you keep that freedom so many cherish.  But you also miss learning opportunities that cannot be virtualized.

Some scenes from our trading desk today:

  • Top traders walking out for lunch discussing HLF
  • Five new traders in our conference room viewing charts together
  • Bella going off on new traders explaining their gap between what the market demands and their impression of what the market demands
  • A firm quant showing a new trader how to build an automated script
  • A trader shouting, “Watch TWTR.”

Finally, I am always surprised when traders do not realize that we hire.  We hire experienced traders monthly.  We hire new traders 3xs a year and train them.  All traders trade firm capital exclusively.

You can apply here.  HR is responsible for hiring decisions and seats are competitive, but you cannot get hired if you do not apply.

Do you trade best isolated and introverted or around others and social?

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