The Value of Building a Trading/Investing Network

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On the top left hand corner of one of my 6 trading screens (and above the ice tea with lemon) stands a list of professional traders that I follow on StockTwits and Twitter. This is my intraday trading social media trading network.  I need it to make better trade decisions- as much as my ice tea or perhaps your ice coffee.

On my main screen (lower middle) there are often 5 separate chat windows open with traders, with whom I am communicating in real-time on our desk.

Our trading desk encourages the free-flowing of trade ideas between traders so we all have more trading opportunities.  In fact, just yesterday a young trader was “talked to” about not sharing an excellent risk/reward trade with others on the desk.  The traders on our desk and this communication is a very large part of my trading network.

There are two professional trading chats that are open at all times spread across my screens as supplemental idea flow.

My partner, Steve Spencer, makes fun of me about how many emails I write in a day to other traders and I crank out a few during slow times.

When I travel, I make a point of pre-publishing that I am free to meet with traders. A typical day on the road is a presentation and then 8 separate meetings with traders.

I regularly email people whom I have never met about their work and invite them to visit SMB when they are in NYC or Skype.  It is rare when I do not get a response, which is a testament only to the willingness of those in the trading community to share.  And to those who never respond, who cares.  You build your career around people that matter, that share your values… not that don’t get your work or you.

I actively, purposely and diligently work on my trading network.  I would go a step further and say I have to to stay in this trading game!

An article by Cal-Berkeley highlights the general benefits of networking:

  • Help you solve a difficult problem
  • Provide perspective
  • Teach you new things
  • Support your efforts
  • Inform you of new opportunities
  • Celebrate your successes
  • Give you valuable feedback
  • Help you relieve stress

Specifically for us traders/investors this social investing and trading article outlines the benefits for us:

  • Build a brand and grow influence in the stock trading field, thereby opening up doors to brokerage clients.
  • Follow trends and analyze market sentiment based on trades from fellow investors.
  • Connect with other experienced traders
  • A chance to follow successful traders and copy their trades.
  • Connect with influential traders and learn their secrets.
  • Analyze market trends.

Further, this blog post points out the emotional support that is essential to sustain at this game and can be provided by a trading network.  When trading is not going well who can you lean on?  When one of our core traders blew up in a few hours of bad decision-making SMB’s first concern was to make sure the trader was emotionally stable.

Who can you talk to about $AAPL making a new all-time high?  Or what to do about this $NFLX and $CYBR sell-off?  Or what will cause $SPY to head south in this market environment?

Also, one of the people I admire most in the trading community is Howard Lindzon, who co-founded StockTwits.  Notice how many people he touches each day with his ideas or absorbing theirs.

Moreover, Dr. Steenbarger may have written the best article to date on the reason traders should network:

Life is a team sport. You learn from others, you benefit from their experience, you develop your thinking by incorporating their perspectives–and they learn, benefit, and develop in their interactions with you.

Finally, I offer my thoughts on the power of networking in this short video below:

Reach out and expand your trading network.  It will make you a significantly better trader and this game more sustainable and enjoyable.

*no relevant positions

One Comment on “The Value of Building a Trading/Investing Network”

  1. Never thought of life as a team sport but i have definitely learned, benefited and developed my trading from other traders. Even away from the screens i have learned from others that have changed me for the better.

    There is just so much you can learn from your own thinking.

    Mike what are the two professional chats that you have? Kind sir.

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