The interviewee for this podcast, Jeff White, will be speaking this week at the Dallas Traders Expo. See you there!
Tim: Hello, everybody, and thanks for joining me for our trader talk podcast this week. The Dallas Traders Expo is this week. I’ll be there moderating a few panels, including the Live Trading Challenge, and also interviewing the people in the video studio. What’s different this year is the video studio is out in the exhibit hall so you’ll be able to see us do that.
One of the people I’m going to be interviewing there and also has a workshop, he is a speaker there, is Jeff White. He is on Skype with me today. He is from TheStockBandit.com. Jeff is a full-time trader. He’s got a great blog there on his website. If you’ve never read it, you should definitely subscribe. He’s got some great stuff.
But I wanted to get Jeff on the phone today and talk to him about what he is talking about at the expo and then just a little bit about his trading these days too. So first of all, Jeff, thanks for joining me on Skype today.
Jeff: Hey, Tim, good talking to you as always and I’m definitely looking forward to being at The Dallas Expo these next few days, I guess.
Tim: Yeah, absolutely. So let’s talk about what you’re teaching at this show. I know you’ve got a workshop there in addition to the interviews you’re doing with me, but what’s your workshop about?
Jeff: Right. So I’ve got a workshop Thursday morning. I believe it’s also going to be webcasted. So those who may not be able to attend live can attend virtually. But the name of the workshop is called "Unique Traits of High Performance Traders." And so the premise is really that among the best traders out there, regardless of the timeframe they might be operating on, regardless of what market they may be involved in or what strategies they use, things that transcend all of those minute details of their actual approach, they still employ a number of traits. So I’m going to be discussing several of those and just kind of talk to people to where I’m explaining things that I think are qualities that must be included in your approach as a trader regardless of what the details are for the market or your exact strategy.
Tim: Mm-hmm, I like that. And one of the things people may not know about you is that you were on the golf team in college and you’re going to draw a lot of comparisons between golf and trading. Can you talk about that a little?
Jeff: Sure, yeah. I took off real seriously starting in the eighth grade and did okay in high school and got to play in college on a scholarship and then actually turned professional and tried the mini tours for three years after college, which is a tough way to make a living. Let me just clarify that. But it was a great way to start a marriage. My wife caddied for me. We had a great time.
But there are so many comparisons between the game of golf and trading, and you can probably apply that to a few different sports in terms of the way that you’ve got to have the right mental approach. Now, you’ve got to work hard and you’ve got have a strategy that you’re going to employ in your own trading. But mentally, it’s always difficult. Kind of like on the golf course. You might have a good day on the golf course. You can always look back and see a shot or two or three here or there that you still could have done better, and it’s easy to kind of beat yourself up for that.
The same is true in the market. You hardly ever buy the low; and if you did, you’re not going to sell the top. But at the same time, it’s this constant effort to stay in the present tense, to learn what you can from the past, and try and apply that going forward, but always stay in the present tense. Take one good trade at a time to where you’re not really skewing your mindset right now based on your last trade, whether it was a winner or a loser. You don’t walk on sunshine when you book a profit. You don’t wallow in the pit of despair when you book a loser. It’s about playing this numbers game as a trader and knowing that you’re kind of compartmentalizing each trade that you’re putting on in such a way that not only are you helping to minimize the risk to your capital but also to your confidence.
Tim: I love that idea. We always hear of course that don’t get down on your losers and just move on to the next thing. But you t hear all the time as well, don’t celebrate your winners like you’ve just won the World Series too or just beat Tiger on the links. I could see comparisons there with golf. You make a bad shot. You don’t want that shot to affect your next shot the same way with trading.
Jeff: Right, absolutely. One of the biggest challenges in trading is staying in the present tense, and I think that you see a lot of athletes do that. Like right now, the NBA conference finals are taking place. I’m a big Oklahoma City Thunders fan so I’m pulling for them, but you see a great player go to the free throw line, and generally they’re going to follow the same routine, and I think that’s their way of putting themselves in their comfort zone. They’re going to maybe bounce a ball the same number of times. They look at the hoop before they shoot it a certain period of time, and then they release it and they let it go.
And I think you’ve got to kind of take a similar approach in your trading. You’re finding the best trades you can. You’re being selective and you’re being methodical and disciplined, but at the same time, once you’ve put it on, you’ve got to let it go and let it run its course.