Studying the quality of your prep work

Hey everybody, Michael Martin. I got some great feedback from those of you who listened to How to Control Your Environment episode, and some of the feedback was really good. Some of it was good, constructive criticism, and one of the amazing things is like how do you control your environment when you’re trading and try to keep things peaceful in serene and still be in the zone? And my whole take is like, well, that kind of answers the question itself. It helps me get in the zone. If I have CNBC blasting every all day, or even on mute, there’s still data coming from that isn’t particularly helpful. So the way I look at the TV, for example, is that it’s like that annoying per, I’m trying to have a conversation with a person here, and there’s this one annoying person over here who’s getting under my skin or keeps interrupting me or otherwise.
So how do you put yourself in a spot where you too can actually have the TV off? Not on and muted but off. And I think that comes down to the quality of your preparation, the period before. For me it’s usually the night before again, because the markets I’m in, Los Angeles market’s open super early. I think it’s hard to be that sharp at 5:00 AM That’s just me. So I like to do my analysis the night before, write it all out, double check the numbers, keep the TV off, because I also don’t want, and this might be tough for the day traders out there because you’re looking for a catalyst. So the TV is a good spot because it’s a one-way conversation. It’s a lot of, well, I don’t know if they’re catalysts exactly right, but it’s certainly noise. It’s up for you to figure out what the signal is.
And I’m sure there’s a few of you watching who kind of know how to listen with a certain type of an ear to kind of hear the money. But for me, excuse me, I find it a complete distraction. And so I don’t even like to see the moving images or what have you on it because it’s data. I don’t think it’s information or signal for me. And so that’s why I’m able to have peace around it. I know many of you though, are looking for catalysts and don’t know where else to find it. So you have the TV on. But to me, I would say you have to find a better place to source your ideas. To be frank. If you’re waiting on news headlines I guess you can surely develop a skill. But then the problem is that how do you get away from that? How do you get away from the TV and your screen and make money? You see what I’m saying? Because if you did it my way, you know, could put in your stop orders and then turn everything off and then let the market come to you. There’s really no reason to sit there all day. It might feel good. You might feel like you’re in control, but I don’t feel like you’re actually in any more control than I would be. So
Two, I set the ringer off on my portable devices, smartphones, what have you. I don’t need people checking in with me. I don’t find it flattering if people call or text or do whatever to ask me my opinion on anything in the markets because it’s like, what the hell do I know? I know what I know and I know how to do it. How that relates to anybody else, I don’t know, might be interesting. So I don’t typically want to have folks calling me during the day, which could also be a problem for clients because they might want to chat about the markets. How are you doing? Why are we in this? Why are we not in that? And I just don’t like having those chats, so I don’t have those people as clients because I don’t really want to talk about the markets at all. I don’t find it entertaining or informative or anything like that. Don’t, there’s really nothing that I could learn about myself from someone else as it relates to what I should be doing right now. I’ve got a pretty good lock on that. So I think it depends at the end of the day, what level of peace that you want. I don’t want a lot of outside stimulus coming in because I just need to focus right here. And so
Whether it’s going to the tweeting platforms, some of the discords, having the TV on, you’d mean there’s just so much extra out there that you can block out and retain all that mental energy. And I think we also talked about mental capital and all of that’s kind of tough. Everyone has a certain amount of energy that they can go through their professional day with before they start to need nap or have to take a break or walk away. It’s hard to be intense for 12, 15 hours a day. You typically need some cool downtime. So one of the ways that I can modulate that for myself is I just don’t let a lot of noise in, so then my brain doesn’t have to process stuff that has nothing to do with my risk management. You see, and I find there’s a lot of solace in that.
There’s people out there listening to this today that’ll be like panic struck. What are you talking about? I can’t trade without having a TV on. I can’t trade without real time quotes. I can’t trade with one minute bars. Well, you probably could if you would just take the time to train yourself. You probably don’t want to, which is the issue in and of itself. But then the question becomes, how much of your environment do you need to control? I like to have a lot of peace and a lot of solace around stuff. I don’t need excitement. I don’t need high energy. I don’t need music on in the background. I don’t need to love myself with food. I just want my space and I want it nice and quiet so I can think.
And if nothing else, when an order does get filled and they call me with the fill prices, I can think clearly and know how to put on my stops, my protective stops without making any errors, right? Because that’s another part of this is that if you have so many distractions going on, sometimes you make a boneheaded mistake. Could be fat fingering, a ticker could be doing the same thing with your keyboard when you’re entering in a price and all of that stuff is avoidable and it’s all the trader’s own fault. So that’s just my 2 cents. I might sound a little puritanical around it, but I’ve been around enough to know what makes me tick and what I like in and around my environment. Then when there’s times when the markets are closed or I have no positions on, then it’s a different story. But I just want to have all of my faculties focused on one thing, and I don’t want outside distractions to kind of get in my way or start up my thought process going down a rabbit hole because something came across the tv.
The opportunities that I see come from my analysis and the work that I do at night and the preparation before. Some of you might do it differently. You might like to do it in the morning, but then again, what happens if you’re 15 minutes before the market open and you don’t have any ideas? Are you going to force trades? That’s kind of why I like to do it before, because then if I know where my entries are, and I know it’s like say you were taken, I know where my levels are, but the price in the current market might be quite a bit of ways from where my levels are, where I would want to get involved and ed or remove the risk. And so on those days, there’s really nothing to do but sit on my hands. So I like to know that the day before, I don’t, I don’t want to wake up.
I mean, it’s not that I don’t want to, but it’s a lot better for me if I know the night before that the next day is going to kind of be light. Because then I could say, okay, well how can I reallocate my time, do more research, do some different back testing, right? Use my time productively so that all comes down to it too. So controlling my environment impacts my time blocking and how I control what it is that I do during the day. Anyway, I appreciate your feedback. Please like and subscribe. Maybe leave a comment if you want, and if you want to suggest a topic for the show, by all means reach out. If I have something that I think I can say intelligently about it, I’ll be happy to help. If not, I just kind of say I don’t have any experience, so I don’t know what I’m talking about. But any rate, thanks very much for being here, folks. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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