Thursday, May 24, 2018

Baptism of Fire



There was this certain gentleman who messaged me one sunny afternoon. Let's call him John. 



The man started investing in the second half of 2009 when the stock market was starting to recover. It was the best time to invest. John was a fundamentalist and a farmer by profession and understood the concept of the seasons. He was taught that farming and investing are very much alike - That just like farming, it takes time before you can reap your harvest. It was the best time to buy long-term investments.



 Several years later, he was able to grow his investments from 6 to 8 figures. Now that's a lot of zeroes! But as he continued with his story, John said he was lost on his investments and needed help. He explained that in the past 5 years, his investments stopped growing and even eroded chunks of his profits. 

All these years he was loyal to his stocks, which has now become a big fund, and was rewarded handsomely. But this time, his loyalty was being tested.

John confessed to lightening his positions in the first quarter of 2018 to buy his new set of "investment winners." A few months later, he found himself in a slump - His fund almost halved.

"-40% na ako sir. Ano gagawin ko sir Zee?"

It was his first time to experience such a terrible thing in such a short amount of time. And to make matters worse, he took a substantial loan to add to the losing position. What happened? What was the cause?

As I started to probe, It seemed that John discovered Facebook Trading Groups like how Magellan "discovered" the Philippines.

And the rest was history.


This was the exact moment John knew, he f****d up.

He thought he was a fundamentalist. But he wasn't. He thought he was because he got lucky. He was a speculator but didn't realize it. Because a true fundamentalist wouldn't be fazed by bear markets.


------------------------------

Many traders who start out are like John. I was also like John. A few jackpot trades and we think we can trade for a living - until the season for bears come.





For those of you who seek the truth, here it is:

The market rewards us for the discipline in our trading system, not the loyalty to our stocks.

If you consider trading for a living, then you should ask yourself during a bear market when things are in chaos and the atmosphere is filled with fear. Not during times when the fields are green. If you can confidently tell yourself that you'll be alright with utmost certainty, then 

You 

Are 

Ready.

This is the ultimate "litmust" test. This is every full-time trader's Baptism of Fire.

 Because if you have the ability and the belief that you can build even in the harshest environments, then you will definitely thrive when the good times come.




------------------------------

It's a bear market. Are you ready to go full time?






Friday, March 30, 2018

Poker Night




In my several years of mentoring and observing traders, let me tell you two "secret recipes" to becoming successful in this field...
The first one is your immediate peer group - it is not enough that you trust and are good friends with your peers in this field. Without proper goals and direction, wala ring aabutin yung support group mo. You'll all just be there pag nag iyakan na kayo sa group stock nyo.

So find peers who have the same mission as you to become better traders. Wag ka humanap ng taong mag eencourage sayo to HODL your losing positions. Instead, humanap ka ng mga taong papagalitan ka pag hindi ka nagcut. True friends will tell you the truth even if it hurts.

Now, this still isn't enough. You need to build deep relationships. The kind where you can share your deepest secrets and be vulnerable to. Because let's be honest here, nobody wants to be in a company kung saan nagagamitan lang kayo for your own selfish reasons - trust me, this isn't sustainable. Been there, done that. Nobody wants to be a springboard. So choose your peers carefully and be in it for the long haul.

I've seen too many batches and support groups fade slowly because they didn't build deep relationships. So make an effort to meet up every now and then even in your busy schedule. Don't limit yourselves in FB messenger, Skype and Discord. Invite mo din sa Vikings or Kpub minsan.

Friendly Tip: Wag na wag mo yayain sa Starbucks yan, highly likely iiwas yan. "PAWER!"

The second is the hours you put into mastering your craft.
A week ago we had our coffee session after our RAK. There were at least 12 ZFT traders in the room, 4 different batches were present. I asked for a show of hands - who in room was able to catch the recent bounce plays? (MRC, NOW, PXP)

Only three raised their hands. Out of everyone, just 3. Not even half. How can this be? Everyone had the same training drilled into them. So I asked another question - how long have you been trading using the system? Some answered a year, and some answered a few months. And the 3 who were able to catch the bounce? 3 years. 2 were from the Zodiac batch Henry Tan and Palzer Co Gozon. 1 was from the Pilot Program of Project Seed, Park Kim Chee.

Let me shed to you a dose of reality in the ZFT universe.
Once a ZFT student finishes our program, they don't automatically become trading machines that make tons of money. In fact, the majority will most likely end up negative in their overall performance. And this is because they go through a tedious process of finding their niche, their edge, their unique identities in the market.

Trading is just like any other craft. Even if I put all my effort into studying all the principles and theories of body-building in a week, that won't automatically give me a sculpted body. And even if I apply all the things I've learned within that week, that STILL won't give me that ideal sculpted body.

So here's one thing I'd like you all to understand. You want to be great in this field?

PUT.
IN.
THE.
HOURS.


If there's such a thing as a shortcut, this is the shortcut.
So please, #TrustTheProcess

----------------------

Side-note : I guess we should make this a regular thing. Poker and Board Game night. Good game gentlemen.