As I’m about to go on vacation I thought it’s a good idea to write down my thoughts about trading on vacation. Is it a good idea to do so, or just crazy?
I believe it depends. If you’re longer-term position trader and have a couple of positions open that are doing great and you don’t want to close them out now for example, I think there’s nothing wrong managing your position once a day while you’re on vacation. It won’t ruin your day and otherwise you’d probably sit there anyway and have a look at the markets once a day to see what would have happened if you didn’t close that trade. Which might cause you more stress thinking about the profits you missed out on.
On the other extreme you have traders sitting at the beach with their laptops somehow trying to day trade for hours each day because they might miss out on good trades otherwise. That I think is just crazy because then you’re not on vacation. You just work at the beach instead of working from your office. And while trading from the beach, making tons of money while you’re having a cocktail, is a common dream wannabe-traders have about trading, reality unfortunately looks different. At the beach you usually get bad internet connections, lots of distractions and the sun shining on your screen making it hard to see what exactly you’re trading. It’s a great idea, but it just doesn’t work that way, sorry. (Yes I tried this on my own.)
That means you’ll probably not trade too well at the beach. At the same time you can’t enjoy your vacation (hopefully you’re alone there and not ruining the vacation of your family and friends), you won’t relax and probably won’t make any money too. Bad choice.
Instead really take your time off. Don’t take a laptop with you. Just forget about trading for a couple of weeks. The markets will still be there when you come back! And when you do, you’ll be relaxed and full of energy, eager to trade again. Plus you might have tons of new ideas on how to improve your trading, having created some headspace during vacation. I really had some of the best insights into my trading while being far away from it. Not but actively thinking about trading but just by relaxing and allowing these insights to come to you. Clear mind means more creativity!
So what about me? I’m somewhere in between. I’ll have a small MacBook with me and will make sure I have internet access once a day to run my systems and update AlgoStrats:FX. Trading 100% systematic I don’t have to contemplate any trading decisions or worry about having made the wrong decisions. It doesn’t take me more than 10 minutes and being used to it, these 10 minutes don’t have any noteworthy influence on my vacation. Actually I set an alarm each day to make sure I don’t miss it, and once done I forget about it again.
But besides that I won’t look at the markets or actively think about anything related to trading. I won’t do any research, read any trading related books or read the news. I’ll just relax and create some headspace.