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You're ALONE

For the first 3 years of my trading, I kept no logs, had no written plan, and did what most do. I thought I was careful, consistent and wouldn't need to write things out because unlike the millions of other traders of which the majority fail - I was different. It sounds as stupid as it was, which I was (still partially am). One of the primary revolutions in my trading was getting organized and adding structure. Retail trading IS NOT a hobby. It's not something we casually try our hand in if we actually want to be successful.

Networks like TT are great but they lead people down a dangerous path where most simply try to copy what they see, without really understanding why things work the way they do or how to optimize things. It's also important to note, that ALL brokerages offer FREE education. There's a built in incentive for brokers to do this and you had better believe they have an agenda baked in, getting you to feed confident enough to trade more. They make money via commissions, spreads, PFOF, taking the other side of your book, etc. So why ramble about that? To encourage you that YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOU.

By creating structure around your trading enterprise, you treat it just as any other business with a business plan. While in college I started writing a trading plan and supporting trading log to define what I was doing and to create structure so I could reliably optimize what I was doing by defining known variables, tinkering with them, observing the results, and repeating the process.

Take for example an earnings strategy I regularly use - short straddles. For a long time, I traded short strangles only when IV was high. This was a grossly simplistic idea that lacked a lot of requisite detail. So in my trading plan, I created a written strategy outline that defined how I thought I'd use the strategy, how I'd screen for the trade, how I'd structure it, manage it, so on. I quickly learned a few things related to earnings plays, namely that it's okay if I have a directional preference but every single trade would primarily include volatility. So I stopped focusing so much on whether or not IV was high, but more on the variance between IV and HV. Then I'd tinker with different expirations, so on.

Here's a video on how I structure trading plans and strategy outlines:

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