Here are the top 10 signs you might need a trading sabbatical…
You catch yourself talking to ticker symbols
You are diagnosed with Trader’s Elbow
Any time you hear a bell ring your mouse finger begins twitching
You seriously contemplate adding more screens to your 6-screen trading workstation
You think hooking yourself up to an IV treatment is a good way to “multi-task” while trading
Fat finger trades have become a daily routine because your fingers have really become fat
You get out of bed in the middle of the night for updates on overseas currency and futures markets
Your Rip Van Winkle beard keeps getting caught in the keyboard
You just received an award from your broker for the most trades ever made by a live human being
You just paid the phone bill in gold-adjusted dollars
In all honesty, most of us need to take a break once in a while. The great thing about doing this for a living is that most of us who trade full-time on our own can take time off to work on other things and get away from the markets for awhile. Constant focus and dedication to trading at a very high-level can only be maintained so long as you do take much-needed breaks along the way to avoid burnout, overtrading, and achieve some much-needed balance.
As some of you already know, starting today I’m officially starting my first trading sabbatical (in over seven years) as I wrapped up a successful year last week. While I’ll keep existing positions in place (at least until they get stopped out) and keep up with my daily responsibilities here at The Kirk Report (i.e. premarket, after-hours reports, weekly interviews, mentoring, etc. will all continue like normal) I have decided to put my trading on hold for the rest of the year. The one primary exception will be Thanksgiving week where, like I’ve done every single year for the past 12 years, I’ll donate 100% of that week’s trading profits to charity.
Not spending in upwards of +50 hours every week dedicated solely to my trading will allow me to do some other things I’ve really been looking forward to including all of the following…
Final work and preparation of the new members’ only website
Complete research and work on the new screen machine to debut in 2011
Write a chapter of a book on trading and the markets
Meet with lawyers, accountants for tax prep and other future projects
Figure out ways to improve two very different trading systems
Clean out and organize computer files, bookmarks, office clutter, etc.
Sketch out ideas and thoughts for a new video tutorial series for next year
Learn how to use video editing software for my weekly chart shows
Prepare and review the annual membership survey
Do a couple of media interviews I’ve put on hold for several months
Lose 20 pounds through more exercise, new diet regimen
Read and review 11 books on trading and investing that have been sent to me for comments and reviews
Don’t worry, I’m also scheduling in some much need time for rest, travel and relaxation especially around the upcoming holiday weeks. But, if I spend my time wisely, I’ll have these items crossed of my list and be ready to “rock and roll” on January 3rd.
* The top 10 list was made in cooperation and with helpful assistance from Joshua Brown whose wit and intellect constantly make me smile.