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Adventures in Trading: Don't Believe Your Own Bull


Market always finds a way to punish hubris.


Greetings from New York, where I'm here to remind you that trading isn't a game of perfection. Instead, it's a game of gut-wrenching regret, where your fate is controlled by a cruel mistress who delights in ensuring that your pleasure is at least doubled by your agonized self-loathing.

Which is all just a way of saying I'm not delighted with how I played this one as a trade. Here's what I'm ruing, besides not becoming a full-time ninja, professional wrestler or stuntman:

  • Using her favorite tool, the Market played off my hubris by letting me out of the gates strong. I executed my final trade on last night's Fast Money and took some gains in Toyota (TM), Apple (AAPL) and Morgan Stanley (MS). They'd done nothing wrong -but, as they say, pigs get slaughtered. I wanted gains booked ahead of Geithner's luau.

  • All of them started working lower almost immediately but, for those of you still haunted by the shooting of Bambi's mom, this is the point in the column where you may wish to avert your gaze.

  • Emboldened by my otherworldly instinct and touch, I noted stocks were generally trading well and took off over half my rather large position in the UltraShort ETF, the SDS for a slight gain just over $74. In further celebration of my cunning, I left on half my Toyota, half my Apple and one-third of my Morgan Stanley.

  • ,jk guyuio,l≤µ∆¢ªmjkjuik,, That's what it looks like when a trader smashes his head on his keyboard 3 times. I'll be honest - I'd have expected more letters.

  • Unbelievably, I had a meeting for today I couldn't get out of. This would have worried me, had Mistress Market not seduced me into believing my own bull. "I work too hard at this trading thing," I thought. "Maybe I should lighten my work load to 30 minutes a day." Suffice it to say, returning from the meeting wasn't the best I've ever felt looking at a quote screen.

  • For what it's worth, and it should be worth nothing given my German jazz-band touch today, there are things trading fairly well today. Since I'm valorous, yet not discreet, I've added some Research in Motion (RIMM) to my portfolio and added a drib of Apple back to my sheets. I briefly considered a Mosaic (MOS) long - then pulled up a 5-day chart and resumed the "head on the keyboard" thing.

How do we close? I have no idea - but I'd say "500 points higher" is a long shot. I'm playing it small, remorsefully, and going to spend the next few hours trying to figure out exactly what the government just did.

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Positions in Ultrashort ETF, RIMM

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