Trading Is Easy

No it fucking isn’t.

This trade is a clusterfuck of emotions and bad decisions. See that big assed red candle on the left? After a crazy day yesterday with Cassava Sciences Inc increasing 20$ over the day, this morning there was a crazy drop BEFORE the markets even opened from a high of $48 down to $39 over the course of a 5 minute period. Here’s where the fuckery comes in.

I quickly analyzed the situation and decided that when the market opened we’d get a bounce back up, probably half way around $45. So I bought shares in a market when it might have been smarter to sell into the weakness. No, not your superhero buddy Zaal! No he BUYS into a selling market on a hunch.

Well this idiot was right. When the market opens (that first big green candle) it did start crawling back towards my target. I actually had a limit order in at $44.37 so that was going to be our OUT! Other than the little red Doji candle at 0935, it continued up as expected with steady volume. As it neared the top of the 0950 candle, it seemed the momentum was slowing. I started to get a bit nervous and thought how stupid it would be if I didn’t even try to take some profit now that I was in the green. I took two partials and sold 50 shares @ $43.16 and $43.21 with my average cost of $41.31.

“What does that mean for you, idiot?”. It means that I made some money. How much? On the first 50 shares, I made $92.50. Second 50 shares, $95. But I held the last 50 in the hopes it might get higher and it did with me finally selling my last 50 shares @ $44.37 for a final profit of $153. All of these numbers are documented on the image above if you want to click on it.

So I got triple my daily target by:

  1. Using my limited trading knowledge
  2. Knowing what happened in the market on the previous day
  3. Willing to risk some money to get more money.

If I’d not known any of those three things checked off above, I wouldn’t have taken the trade.

Straight talk here: when the stock was at it’s lowest, if I’d decided to close my position at max loss, I would have been out $600 but I didn’t because of the three items listed above.

So… intraday trading. Yeah, super easy. ūüėí

I Feel Gratitude

On my walk today, after a stop at Starbucks for my double stars incentive, I finally realized how lucky I am. It was a beautiful day, I’m on a walk in the middle of that day, delicious coffee in hand and I’m smiling.

And it hit me: I feel gratitude for what I’ve been given and the freedom to do what I want over the past 6 months. I don’t think I’ve ever uttered, or even thought, that phrase before.

Now don’t go crazy on me: I don’t feel gratitude towards some old person with a beard who resides in the clouds and determines if I’ve been naughty or nice and get to spend my after-life in heaven or hell. No, I think there’s something deeper at play and I just wanted to acknowledge it.

That is all.

Got Told I Seemed “Happier”

That was irritating. I was on a phone call with a family member and they mentioned how upbeat I seemed. I know I’m happier but to have it acknowledged by someone that was only talking to me on the phone was weird. Backhanded compliment, if you will.

It’s been six months since I had to deal with the problems of a boss who didn’t care, an institution that only acknowledged (or offered assistance) when we were in the news for something cool or won an award and the knowledge that things hadn’t changed in three years and probably wouldn’t for the foreseeable future.

There’s a number of things that proved to me that my job was killing me.

The first is a loss of 35 pounds. This one is easy to attribute to the additional exercise I’m getting with my long walks but might also include the sedentary life of an office worker and easy access to ‘snacks’ on the campus. I’m definitely eating better, and less, than I was when I was in the office. But there’s something else: stress. I used to have a midnight snack and I think it’s because I was being effected by stress. This one is difficult to put my finger on because it’s behavioral and I think when we’re looking at ourselves, it’s the behavioral things that are hard to verify.

Next on the list is my sleep schedule. I’ve always been a night owl, not liking to go to bed before midnight. Not a preference I just wouldn’t be tired enough to get into bed and not stare at the ceiling for an hour before drifting off to dream-land. These days I’m up at 0600 to prepare for the markets and then I’m up all day. I start nodding off at my desk around 2100 and finally surrender to the bed before 2330. This is new behavior for me and I’m enjoying it. I’ve got more to say about the ‘Early to bed, Early to Rise’ topic but I’ll tap it later.

I’m happier; I know that. My life is less complicated than it was and I’m the one responsible for that by making the decision to walk away. I need to make my wife happy, keep myself in decent shape and find myself something interesting to do with my days that will provide me with an income. That last one is a work in progress but I’m working on it.

Is this what happiness looks like?

Salient

 

Throughout my adult life, I’ve battled with sleeplessness. I won’t call it insomnia because I’ve never gone days on end without rest. If you see a post early morning (like this one), you can rest assured that I was just unable to decide if tiredness was on the horizon.

No, my M.O. is sitting in front of the computer until all hours because I know that if I try to lay my head on a pillow, I’m going to stare aimlessly¬†at the ceiling while my head grinds¬†with things I need to do, plans that need hatching, protocols that need following and contingencies that need development.

I’m a worrier; I’ve always been a worrier but it’s the worry that keeps me and those around me (relatively) safe most of the time. ¬†I think of scenarios that might not necessarily need thinking about. Seriously, why would I need to plan out my actions in the event the group I’m wandering around the woods with is attacked by a cougar? Like where the hell does this come from? For the record, it¬†is¬†a scenario I’ve thought about and have a plan for. How ridiculous is that?

This is something that developed in my early 20’s and has been around for some time. People that know me might extrapolate¬†about why it began¬†at that time but I won’t get into that now.

It wasn’t until recently when I was perusing some old episodes of Scrubs on Youtube that I found this song being used as a plot device. It describes one man’s inability to control the worry that pops into his head and how it’s causing him some grief and sleepless nights. Give it a watch/listen.

Yeah, salient.

There’s a bottle of Jack sitting on the shelf yonder that might solve the problem but only introduce¬†a¬†new one.

So I sit at my battle station, clicking away into the night, keying in words, phrases and the occasional sentence coherent enough to share, all the while wondering if my brain will release its grip on my body and give me some fucking rest even if it means waking up with a keyboard imprinted on my face.

Now… what’s on the agenda for tomorrow?

A Great Change

Since the election on the 5th of May, I have had the great fortune (/sarcasm) of reading comment after comment on social media of all types about how the new NDP government is going to run the province of Alberta into the ground, jibes at the average age of an MLA dropping by 15 years, and how Alberta has now turned into a union-loving, dope smoking, everyone gets welfare sort of province.

Now I won’t say that these comments are completely wrong; on the contrary. I’m pretty sure we’re in for a very bumpy ride over the next eighteen months. But it seems as those making the most noise are those that didn’t want the change that they’d been espousing over the past several years. I would suggest that perhaps winds of change that whipped through Alberta a few weeks ago were not simply an angry electorate.

No, I’d go so far in saying that what we’ve seen is not just a matter of the people screaming “Anyone but the fucking Tories!!!” because that’s not it. ¬†I believe the people are angry about how they’ve been treated for the past 20 years.

Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate Ralph and what he did for the province during the 90’s, and as Calgary’s mayor in the 80’s. He was a flawed leader but he¬†lead¬†and did not follow. ¬†He made up his mind and went with it basing his decisions on his party’s politics and what he thought was best for the province.

I can’t say that watching Steady Eddie, Ridiculous Redford and Pretentious Prentice gave me the same fundamental optimism that the decisions being made in Edmonton were good¬†for the province!¬†Maybe it’s politics in general these days but all I saw were politicians posturing, arguing (NOT debating), and getting their snouts deeply embedded in the trough.

If the Notley (how long until the right-leaning press starts calling her ‘Naughty Notley’) crew can’t figure out how to appease the population of Alberta, this could very well be a short-lived NDP government and I think that’s a shame. Though I don’t hold the same political beliefs as the New Democrats, I believe that they are going to attempt to do one thing and one thing only: do better than their predecessors.

Not a terribly difficult feat but due to the inexperience that we see in the new MLA lists, it will be¬†a challenge. Let’s hope they can rise to it and show the population of Alberta that they can do what we’ve asked of them.

To show us a different way of governing a province.

One Month Anniversary

I’ve worked at SAIT as a full employee (not contract wages) for the past month. In that time I’ve had opportunity to have one day in Edmonton, expenses and salary paid, for the ASTEK awards (second place ūüôĀ ), one flex day (which is a day off with pay) and one sick day, also paid.

Is this what the real world is like?¬† Full of perks and benefits that a lot of people don’t get to take advantage of?¬† I could probably get used to this.

Also, after going over the annual bank statements, it also appears that one of the more challenging times during the year was two weeks after the Xmas break where the income was almost non-existent due to the two-week hold back on reporting wages and actually getting paid for them. ¬† Not working for almost two weeks will do that to a person. ūüėČ

I don’t think I’ve ever had a job that paid me for time off nor have I ever been in a place where I wasn’t actually having to wait for pay for the work I’ve done.¬† At least two weeks, anyways.

It feels good and I really appreciate being able to experience this with Sly and take that “next adult step”.¬† I know it probably sounds odd but this isn’t something I ever really considered as important and,¬† until I’ve given it more thought,¬† it may turn out that it isn’t .¬† But I know that with Xmas holidays this year,¬† there will be no break in my pay;¬† I’ll still get the same amount, every two weeks as expected without pause.¬† So, in effect, I’m being paid while in Las Vegas.¬† I guess that means blowing a couple of bills in the slots or at the tables won’t make me feel as guilty.

Oh Happy Day! ūüôā

How do ‘Mental Health Days’ Reflect Your Satisfaction?

So here I am, sitting in one of a dozen local Starbucks (I really, really hate this place) hooked up to the Telus open wireless hot spot in this area (protected via SAIT VPN) and just had a very funny epiphany. ¬†Hopefully, you won’t think less of me after my confession, Gentle Reader.

You see, for a very long time I’ve compared myself to my ideal self. ¬†By that I mean the self I thought I was going mature into. ¬†You know, you go through your adolescence slowly building up an idea of what you would like the rest of your life to be like. ¬†In some cases, you’re correct, usually the easy stuff. ¬†Marriage, kids, house ownership. ¬†In most others, you’re grossly incorrect but be that as it may, you still have that picture in your head of where you wanted to be and what you wanted to be doing at particular phases in your life. And by ‘you’ I guess I really mean ‘me’.

For those of us that were much less ambitious in our youth, a lot of those things weren’t pursued. I didn’t think post-secondary education was important and took a major short cut. Though there was a close call, I didn’t consider marriage until well into my 20’s and only when I’d finally met my ‘match’.

So if I say that I haven’t been completely satisfied with my life, particularly my professional life, ¬†and some of the decisions I’ve made, I think that’d be a pretty good summation of where I was sitting… up till about six months ago.

You see it wasn’t until then that I started getting the opportunity to manage our team and aid in the direction we were moving. ¬†Though I’m still pretty green, I’m learning all the time about skills that I truly see as valuable. ¬†Yes, I’m getting to the point and it is this….

I haven’t had to take a single ‘sick’ or ‘mental health’ day in several months, probably stretching back to April or so. ¬†Like, at all. ¬†This is significant as it illustrates a willingness to overlook those shitty days where you wake up, you aren’t feeling 100% and really don’t want to go into work. ¬†I’m not positive on this, and I’m sure Sly will correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall that sort of time period without me needing to take a day off a month for decompression or real sickness.

The only way I can explain this is that I’m really finding a certain degree of satisfaction with my work and I really want to be there. ¬†I’m not at work today due to a Flexday need and I really wish I was. So much so that I’ve actually been logged into my computer at work, spending some time on a problem that has dogged me for a couple of days. ¬†Isn’t that weird?

Isn't that veird?
Isn’t that veird?

Yeah, it kinda is. But I’m going to accept this new position and do the very best I can to fulfill the requirements set out before me. Who knows? Maybe I’ve finally found what I was really meant to be and can banish all that adolescent ‘wishing’ to the past and continue, with open eyes and fewer¬†expectations, into the future.