When the Best Trade Is No Trade…
I’m here eating a TON of great food and trading from Japan. Sushi, tempura … I even had some amazing ramen. The restaurant is Kagari — I think it’s the best ramen I’ve ever had. If you’re ever in Tokyo, you have to check it out.
As always — I’m so grateful for my amazing life. It’s made possible first from trading and now by teaching people to strive for freedom.
The Save the Reef documentary is coming out on June 13. We posted a little teaser trailer on the Save the Reef website. Enjoy.
Trading, Travel and Time Zones
I haven’t been trading from Japan as much. There are a few reasons. One of which is that the time zone I’m in makes it incredibly difficult for me to trade. The U.S. markets open at 10:30 p.m. in Tokyo.
So, unless I want to stay up all night, I’m only there for the first hour or so of trading.
Another reason — and this is important — is because…
… well, read to the end. It’s the answer to the last student question.
Let’s get right to it…
Questions from Students
This first question actually made me laugh. What makes me laugh? Here ya go…
“Tim, sometimes you come across as an expert with the insatiable curiosity of a child. (That’s a compliment.) Do you consciously take an ‘always a beginner’s mind’ approach to trading, the markets, and life?”
Yes. I’m a little child.
Maturity-wise, muscle-wise, a lot of different ways. I’m endlessly fascinated by how the world works. I’m fascinated by how you can learn anything on the internet. And how seldom people utilize the internet for education.
I try to share what I’ve learned over the years. I definitely say things a little too excitedly. And sometimes it scares people.
But it’s because I’ve seen what education can do. I’ve seen what it’s done for me and my family. I’ve seen what it’s done for my top students and their families. So, I want other people to experience it.
It’s also good for someone to be real in this industry that’s full of fakes. They have their little scripted answers. They can’t say real crap. So, it’s my duty to show I’m real. I like to differentiate myself.
A lot of the fakes post profit screenshots. That seems to be the thing these days.
But they don’t show exact entry or exit. They don’t show how much money they risked or how big the position size was. They never swear, they’re always polite, and I think they’re scams.
So yeah, sometimes I’m like a kid. But I’m real. I enjoy life. Like the fun I recently had eating super-hot food…
I want you to enjoy life, too.
“What’s a good balance between perfecting a setup you know works well versus testing new setups?”
I don’t know the exact balance. I would definitely try a bunch of different patterns. You know, this isn’t rocket science. There’s not more than a dozen key patterns. But try a bunch. Try them all.
Learn all the potential patterns. Then test them out to find what you’re best at. You’ll probably find two or three that you’re good at. But it’ll take some time. You’ll have to tinker — you need a lot of data.
If you don’t know what pattern you’re good at, you have to try a bunch of different patterns. And just because you want to try doesn’t mean the market will give you these patterns. So, you have to give yourself six months or a year.
If you try these dozen patterns over the course of a year, you can build a good data set. Then you’ll see. You’ll say “Oh, I’m better at short selling,” or “I’m better at dip buying.”
You’ll find what you’re most comfortable with, too.
It might even take longer than a year.
But if you work at it, you can learn everything you need to know in one, two … maybe even three or four years. It blows my mind how little time people are willing to invest in their future. This is your life. This is your livelihood. You want to try to scam a few hours off your future?
Another thing — the exact time and balance are different for everyone. If someone focuses, they might learn something in 15 hours. It could take another person 50 hours.
So, you might have a pattern really working and you want to try a new one. You don’t forget the old one. You keep looking for it. When it’s not there, you go study the new one. Then you test.
People try to make this so complicated. Focus on simple. It’s not rocket science, but you can’t be lazy.
Sometimes the Best Trade Is No Trade
“What’s the most powerful lesson you want to share from a recent trade?”
I haven’t traded much in the last two weeks. Not because I’m not looking. Because I don’t see anything that fits my patterns to a T. I was liking dip buys of morning panics on recent runners. I was liking first green days on former runners.
Those patterns aren’t really happening right now.
People often forget that sometimes the best trade is no trade. We have no hot sector. There are a lot of short squeezes. Some people are making money, like Tim Grittani who cleaned up last month. But he likes short squeezes.
I’m not particularly good at choppy stocks and short squeezes. So, my best lesson and my best trade are to recognize that NOT trading is a potential trade. That sounds counterintuitive, and it is.
But if you give your brain the option of no trade, then you don’t try to force something that’s not there. You trade the opportunity in exchange for predictability.
When it’s tough, a lot of people get confused. Especially newbies. Those of us who’ve been doing this long enough modulate. You start to see there are times to push it and times to pull back.
I don’t see anything truly great. I’m still tinkering. It’s not like I’m not doing research, creating a watchlist, and watching the market. It’s not like I close my laptop every day and walk away. I’m looking for trades.
I know people don’t like it when I don’t trade. I’m not going to pick a trade for the sake of trading. Just because I have money in an account and I have a weapon where I can quickly buy or short at any time…
We all have this opportunity … but what’s predictable?
Stick with predictable setups. That’s how you can build your account over time.
Sometimes you don’t need to trade for a day. Maybe you don’t need to trade for a week. I would rather you under-trade than over-trade.
See how it feels to not trade. You might be scared. It’s like a smoker trying not to smoke for a week. Trading from Japan has been sparse but has given me time to think broadly about the markets.
But once you get out of it … it’s pretty nice.
Then you only want to get back into trading when there’s a good setup. Which is how it should be. I consider myself a retired trader. I only come out of retirement when there’s a trade I can’t refuse because it fits my patterns perfectly.
That’s what I want to teach you and all my students. Be a retired trader with the option to come back only when it makes more sense to trade than not.
There you have it. Be safe. Protect, protect, protect. Be willing to sit back and not trade.
What should you do when you’re not trading?
It’s one of the great things about being a trader. It’s not like a regular job. When there’s no perfect opportunity, you wait. Spend the time studying.
Remember: to get — and enjoy — this freedom, you’ll have to study harder than you ever thought.
— Tim Sykes
Editor, Penny Stock Millionaires