Monday, May 25, 2009

Fighting the Isolation of Trading

A reader poses an excellent question:

What ideas do you have to help traders fight the isolation of trading alone with few outside contacts to discuss this style of making money? Most people are not very interested in discussing. Twitter is okay for news, but to share ideas it is just so so.

I addressed an important aspect of this issue in my post on virtual trading groups a while back; I also tackle this topic in the Trading Coach book. There is no question in my mind that, if I were to start trading full-time--knowing what I know now--I would either join a proprietary trading firm or would form my own "virtual trading group" by connecting online (and in real time) with a handful of like-minded traders.

Frankly, there is no guarantee that joining a prop firm will provide access to fresh perspectives and ideas, but at the good ones, the guys are always talking shop and you can pick up good stuff. My experience is that when you're prepared to give, you're likely to get. I often begin my interactions at prop firms that I work with by sharing my own ideas. It's surprising how often that leads to mutual brainstorming and exchange.

I know from my interactions with readers that there are many who are interested in mutual learning. Indeed, that is why many people responded favorably to my idea of a Chicago summer seminar in which the only "registration fee" was to bring one good, unique trading idea. My hope is that an event such as this could lead to further networking, from which could spring virtual trading groups.

Hint: Check out the most frequent participants in the comments sections of your favorite blogs and online forums. Many times, these will be the individuals most interested in networking and sharing ideas.