Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Holiday Message From Brett Steenbarger

Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first, and the lesson afterward -- Anonymous

Dear Readers,

I hope you've had a wonderful holiday season and are getting ready for a happy and prosperous start to the New Year.

It's hard to believe that I began this blog just three years ago. There were a little over 6000 visitors to the blog that first month, less than now visit the site during a slow holiday period. Since that time, the blog has expanded to include regular information on markets and indicators as well as trading psychology. The Twitter Trader blog within a blog carries updated market information and daily links to mainstream media and blog posts. Three years have generated over 1900 posts and 4400 "tweets".

More is to come in 2009. Over time, the Become Your Own Trading Coach blog will evolve into an all-purpose self-help site for traders. Included in the new Daily Trading Coach book will be a dedicated email address that readers of the book can use to ask questions and share insights, to help traders apply the ideas and techniques to their own trading. Many of those questions and insights will form the basis for future blog entries, so that one trader's learning can benefit all readers.

We are going through what appears to be the most severe recession in decades; 40% has already been cut from major stock market averages. History suggests that secular bear markets do not turn around on a dime: the crash of 1929 did not bottom until 1932, and stocks remained volatile and well below prior bull market peaks well into the next decade. Similarly, the severe decline of 1970 was followed by an even more severe drop in 1974 and further inflation-adjusted lows into the summer of 1982.

Such markets, however, bring significant volatility and superior trading opportunities for those who are not wedded to buy-and-hold. I know of a number of traders who have prospered in the past year; the difficult investment climate has not impaired their ability to trade successfully. Timing is key; over the coming year, that will be an increasing focus of the blog.

In and out of markets, the important thing is to identify where *your* opportunity lies in 2009 and then pursue it. My hope is that this blog provides you with a few tools and inspirations that will help you reach your goals. Thanks, as always, for the interest and support--