GMan, Joe P and I traded QCOM After Hours (chop!) and then I hopped on the subway much earlier than usual to head uptown. It was a road trip for SMB to experience Avatar on the IMax with 3D glasses. On my ride uptown I overheard some new day traders from another firm talking. I found their conversation unproductive.
Three twenty something new traders stood bantering away. Did they discuss QCOM after the Close and the repeating ARCA and then NASD sellers who would not lift? After chopping up this play GMan exclaimed,”That was a 3k play.” And then he sat and started to replay how he will make that happen next chance he sees this pattern. Joe P joined in GMan’s quest to better trade this AH trading pattern.
Did they discuss the downmove of CAT below 53.50 and the double bottom at 51.25 that fueled an impressive upmove into the Close? Did they discuss crazy AAPL today? At one point I thought we might see 225. At another point I thought we might find 195. At other times a few thousand shares moved AAPL 50c. I tweeted:
if you want to know how the mkts would trade if we passed transaction tax watch $AAPL no liquidity $$
How about the bounce into the Close? How about the failure to close below SPY 109? How about the amazing new tablet to be offered by AAPL? How about Congress grilling Geithner? The President’s State of the Union? The Toyota recall? The Bullwhip effect on the front page of the Journal and that Steve highlighted during our AM meeting? The Fed decision to leave rates unchanged? What to trade tomorrow?
After this day, these new traders with an audience of other well educated traders, and a thirty minute subway ride ahead of them decided to talk about?
You learn so much from talking trading with other traders. Right after the Close is the best time to talk trading as your mind is fresh with specific details about trading patterns. By listening to others discuss their trading you can learn a trading pattern that perhaps you can use. You can gain information about important levels in stocks you may not have traded. You can learn how some stocks may trade. You can get a different perspective on perhaps the same stocks you were trading by swapping war stories. And on and on and on and on……
And look these guys were very polite, bright, ambitious traders. They work at a very good firm and I wish them nothing but the best. But they had a choice how to spend their time during that subway ride. And they chose to talk about? It wasn’t anything to do about making them a better trader. They talked about how much others at their firm were making. It was impressive how much knew about how much others were making.
Your life is what you do and not how much you make, where you sit on an airplane, who your parents are, or where you live (it is also partly how hot your girlfriend is :). If you goal is to become an elite trader then your time is a very valuable commodity. It is the most important commodity that you have. Use it wisely. Act in your self interest. Be focuses on all things becoming a better trader. Talking trading with other traders in your firm is a great way to get better.
BTW SMB loved Avatar. Amazing visuals. An incredible movie experience. I would tell you what disappointed Dov about the movie but I am not sure if that is even appropriate for a blog.
Best of luck with your trading!