Saturday, January 26, 2019

Finding Your Drinking Accountability Buddies

We've been hearing a lot lately about the importance of having a "trading accountability buddy" to help you avoid mistakes and stick to good trading processes.  That is very helpful, but let's focus on what traders really need:  Drinking Accountability Buddies.  You know what I'm talking about:  people who will go out with us and make sure we don't do things we'll regret in the morning.  After all, if you make a bad trade, you can always battle back the next day.  If you bring home the wrong person from the bar, you've probably exceeded any reasonable stop out level.

So how can a Drinking Accountability Buddy help us?  Here are three situations they help us avoid:

1)  The Joint Closers - Look, at real bars there are always guys who are there until the bitter end, drinking away until the joint shuts down.  Very often they get more surly and belligerent as the night goes on, because they're frustrated that they haven't found any cute young thing to take home.  You're just starting to have a good time and a couple of the closers give you the evil eye.  That's when, nursing your third strong one, you're tempted to dust off your Andrew Dice Clay line and ask the closers, "Hey, are you Neil and Bob or is that just what you do?".  Well, you know how that goes down.  Faster than you can say, "Katie bar the door," the surly dudes get off their barstools and it's all flying fists and broken glass.  Your Drinking Accountability Buddy will see the evil eye and knows that you can mouth off, so he'll quickly get your ass out of there.  Think of how much you'll save on a 24-hour bail bondsman.   

2)  The Newbs - OK, you decide to go out after the market close with a few traders and you head out to a good craft beer spot.  You know, one that's rough enough to have some color and action but not one where there are so many joint closers that a beer and a shot is likely to mean a beverage and a handgun.  You find the right spot and you place your order, maybe a good bourbon barrel aged stout or maybe you up your game and get a double shot of a good reposado.  The next guy orders and, along with the others, cheerfully announces that they'll share a pitcher of Bud Light Lime.  Well, at that point you are screwed.  Your evening is about to be spent with complete idiots.  Because the fact that they are drinking newbies usually means that they are trading newbies and will ask you questions about strange chart patterns and "what the algos are doing".  Your Drinking Accountability Buddy will see this situation before it gets underway and steer you to a bar where you can maintain a normal blood pressure and avoid week-long bilateral hemiplegic migraines.

3)  The Classy Drinkers - This is where you end up going out with "successful traders" who, of course, have to hang out at the kind of place where successful people hang out.  Nice soft music, in-your-face cocktail service, and a wine list 30 pages long.  And, sure enough, that's what all the classy drinkers drink:  petite goblets of wine that they sip with their pinkies turned out.  Meanwhile, you're sitting there with your 18 year old single malt, wondering why the major topic of conversation is "toxic masculinity".  One time it got to me so bad I started singing The Rodeo Song and telling stories about growing up in a trailer park and dating my cousins.  That didn't end well.  A Drinking Accountability Buddy will notice right away that everyone in the joint is wearing way-too-tight clothes and nibbling from veggie plates and steer you the hell away from there.  Then you can go to a dive bar and have yourself a fun evening telling jokes like, "What's the similarity between Michelob Ultra and sex in a rowboat?  They're both very close to water..."

Well, there it is.  Trading Accountability Buddies are fine, but it's the Drinking Accountability Buddies that really have your back.  Hell, they're almost as valuable as that near-perfect market indicator I discovered and that infallible wave structure I wrote about.  The main thing is to have a good time--in life and in trading--and never lose your sense of humor!