Just Plain Good Advice

Michael Storm — Follow Michael on Twitter

Hello fellow traders. What an interesting last few days I have had! Life is a learning experience isn’t it?  Well, I have learned some things and also have confirmed many things I already knew and just thought I would share this with you.  The key I think here is redundancy and backup plans.

Are you prepared for a computer crash? They happen at the most annoying times.  So, point number one, make sure you have a backup computer and ALL of your trading software and programs are on Both computers.  Do you have a backup email address, in case one goes down?  How about your brokers trading desk phone number stored on your cell phone? (in case internet goes down)… I live pretty deep in the woods in Central Connecticut. and maybe 2-3 times per year my internet goes down due to a tree falling on the lines.  I am convinced I need a mobile plan like Verizon to back up my notebook should I lose my internet service. And will be getting this before winter sets in. The list goes on… One great thing that has saved my hide a few times is a large, powerful uninteruptable power supply.  Everything goes into it. It has surge protection and when power is lost, gives me a full 15 minutes to shut down my trades.  Was only around a hundred dollars and well worth it.  Here is one I did not think I would need, but am working on it now: a master list of all passwords, account numbers, phone numbers, etc… written down on PAPER. Not buried in the computer.  How about your families photo’s? I just lost mine in a bad crash and now have to pay an expert to go in there and find them and save them for me. Funny thing is I just started uploading them on shutterfly last week but got distracted and never finished. Don’t let this happen to you!

I think what I am trying to say here is to be prepared.  We all drive cars and have extra keys, spare tires, jacks, roadside service plans. Some of us have jumper cables and fluids and maybe even some tools in a portion of our trunks.  Think of some scenarios that could happen, and take preventative measures to cure the possibilities BEFORE they happen.

And lastly…. How much real estate do you have?  I mention this to a lot of folks. You would be amazed at how cheap it is to buy a used multiple monitor video card(s), sometimes for just a hundred or so on ebay. It is a 5 min install (seriously) and one can obtain several used monitors as well (make sure they all match, at least the screen sizes). This way you can string say, 3-6 monitors along your desk and view an awful lot of charts. This helps me tremendously. This is a great part of my edge, in seeing the market at a moments glance. Truly, once you do this, you will never go back.  So, my advice to all is to make a checklist of your strengths and weaknesses in these areas, make a “wish-list” in order of importance and work on becoming more secure in the weeks ahead. And lastly…(no, this time really)… Make a list of your strengths and weakness as a trader. Write down your number one fault or trading sin and work on JUST THAT ONE for however long it takes, till you eradicate it.  Once it is out of your life forever, move your number 2 fault up to the number one position and work on it.  Remember to Reward yourself for a job well done.  Till next time, Happy trading to all.

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