The Imprtance of Accountability

WHEN SOMEONE WATCHES YOU, YOU WATCH YOURSELF…

When I first started trading, I would place good trades all day and tell my wife how profitable I was. Each passing day, I would talk it up about how much money I was making. I would always want her to be proud of me and my new found abilities. Her proud voice would always make me feel like a million bucks!

Well, as fate would have it, and since I did not yet have a good trading plan or any rules whatsoever, I would eventually start losing money. One day one through ten, i would be profitable. I might take $100 and turn it into $150. My words were always something like, “I have figured it out.” or “Trading comes easy for me.” On day ten or whatever, I would lose $10 in one trade. “No sweat, I will just average down.” I thought. Then I would begin to lose $20…$30…$40 and before long, my initial $100 investment would turn into a margin call, leaving $2.13 in my account. (These were the days of 400:1 Leverage.)

I would be devastated. I would often be ashamed at what I had done. How in the world could I be trading so well and then one day blow everything in a single day? This was humiliating. So now I would have to figure out how to cover it up. I would come up with some plan to show that I didn’t lose that money but I was, in fact, doing great.

Some of the tactics I used was…

1. Open a new account and deposit $150 so she could not see the ‘history’ of my trades if she wanted to look.

2. Just ass $150 back into the account and hoped she didn’t check the trade history report.

3. Just lie, deposit a few bucks to trade with, and hope that I could build my account back up before she found out.

All of these were bad ideas. First of all, I was a liar. Second of all, I was lying to myself. I wanted to be a profitable trader but I just could not figure it out so I would make up false stories.

I remember one day, I was sitting at a truck stop in Laredo Texas, in the back of my van. I was sitting on an old milk crate and my laptop was sitting on a tote. I was in a losing trade. Each day, I was losing money so I kept ‘feeding the machine’. Each day I would deposit funds just to keep the trade open, in hopes that it would turn around where I could at least come out with a break even trade. I eventually lost about $500 on that trade and it was another turning point in my journey.

I studied and learned and studied some more. I was spending at least the same amount of time as a full time job, studying. Every day, I would read books and all that. I became so good at trading that I could at least break even over the long run.

I vowed never to lie to my wife again. From that moment on, I never have,

When she arrived here and we moved in together, everything changed for the better. I could not lie about my trading even if I wanted to. She saw my screen and my profit/loss every day. I would often place a trade and then go to work while leaving my trading station open. i would ask her to ‘watch my trade for me.’ This was when I became profitable.

Why could I be profitable with my wife observing me but I could not be profitable when I was the only person who could check my account?

One word… Accountability.

When I became accountable for my actions, I knew that I could not just take any chance. i knew that she would see all my trades and know all my positions. Her view of me as a trader, as a man means the world to me so I could not let her down.

Before I would place a trade, I would analyze and analyze and check and recheck. I would make damn sure that I was on the right side of the market and I was trading according to my rules. I would not even think of placing a trade until I was 100% confident that I would be profitable.

This is the point where I became profitable over the long run. Always have someone who will hold you accountable.

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