I related this to the class I did tonight on PIN ACTION, I'm repeating it here since this is where I planned on talking about it since I got SSOOOOOOOO many warm wishes and heartfelt emails wishing me well whilst I was away and not blogging. It's appreciated and feels good when one is sent good tidings.
As many of you know, I was in a pretty bad car accident in March of this year. When it first happened I really just thought I'd bounce back immediately. I'm a big tough dude and I don't like to know my own mortality. I grew up a fighter on many levels and in some ways part of my successes in life are due to the fighter in me and that I pride myself in never giving up.
Unfortunately I didn't bounce back immediately, and in fact still have some issues related to the accident. I won't bore you all with the details, but suffice to say that having a headache for 6 months straight isn't fun. I've never liked taking medication either and they never seem to agree with me, so that's been horrid. Anyone who's had a head trauma knows how putrid it is and feeling like I'm a smart guy it has been hard to adjust to not remembering just about anything half the time.
The irony is, of course, that my stock market abilities haven't been impacted, I guess I'm like Rain Man, or a stock whisperer or something like that. Let's hope it stays that way.
But, I do need to relate this piece of it as I think its very valuable for both you all and myself. One of the things that I feel that I offer to clients, and to anyone who takes any classes or reads my blog here even, is the opportunity to learn from my mistakes so that you many times don't have to make them yourself. And, many mistakes I've made I have learned to make the adequate adjustments to limit my downside when wrong, or when a trade goes awry.
One of the Top 5 rules I give people and I relate in my Psychology of Trading classes and DVDs is that when you are "not yourself" you shouldn't trade, period. Your girlfriend dumps you (happens all the time to me, though I don't get past 1st dates you guys all know!), your dog dies, you have swine flu, or are just down because of whatever reason. Or, if you get in a bad car accident and all your doctors beseech you not to trade!
Yes, that's where I come in and will relate my journey. I traded after the accident, a day or two after literally. Even though I was told by something like the 8 doctors I now have not to. Why? Well, I'm Waxie, of course, and being Waxie means I am immortal, I am legend...right? I can do ANYTHING!!! Right?
Perhaps, but probably not, at least not practically speaking,and not with a bad brain injury. And, the thing is, its not like my picks or ideas were off, they were pretty dead on, but my implication was dead WRONG and it cost me.
Now, the thing is, I've had a helluva run the last year or so (or 12 years or so if you want to get literal on me!) trading the market. I have made a horrid market look like it was/is my concubine. I made millions. I also had the audacity to think that all the doctors, and all my family and friends were wrong, and I was right and I didn't need to heed anyone else's advice...including following my own rules.
So, I had a horrible time and the thing is, and I know from talking to enough of you newbies over the last dozen years that many will relate, when you make that mistake and you aren't "yourself" (who was I? I don't remember, I have no memory, hehe, sort of!) you then have the tendency to compound the mistake you made in the first place and make it worse, even much worse.
Now, to preface this post, it's not like I cremated myself. Not at all, but I should have known better. And, see, thats the thing. I DO know better when I am feeling well. I can't know better when I am not and went through a week or two when I couldn't remember where I lived basically. This was a very valuable and very expensive lesson and one I will not do again, trust me.
I've been through a couple of near death experiences since I started this trading stuff. In 2001 I nearly died and I flatlined, literally. I was dead. Thing is, making money is great, we all want to do it, no one would read me if they didn't think I could help them make Ka-chingos, but the cliche is really true - if you don't have your health, you really have nothing at all. I ended up taking a lot of time off, went away for a few weeks to CA to relax and work out and do physical therapy. In many ways I feel a ton better, and in some I feel frustrated I am not making the progress I'd like to. I'm told I will be fine, so I take it on faith that that is the case, and I will be. I always fight and I always come back, even if it takes a bit longer then I'd like at times.
What's the point of this? Well, I wanted to get that off my chest, I want to thank those of you who took the time to send me those many email well wishes and I want to tell you that trading, like life, isn't about perfection, its about learning from your mistakes, not compounding them and remembering always whats important in your life. My girls mean everything to me, trading means something to me but not much ultimately if I don't have my health and if I don't listen to anyone else who knows better then me.
By the way, since that couple weeks rough patch I've made a pretty sick recovery that's very SWEET, and while I have some regrets that I even had to make that recovery, the only thing I can do and the only thing I have control over are what I do moving forward. Looking back only helps if we use the look back to learn and use that knowledge in the present moment(s). If not, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over, and over, and over again. That is the definition of insanity, making the same mistakes and expecting different results. If you do the same things, you will reap the same things.
I will be posting here, though I'm taking my time so if I don't post for a day or two, or a few, don't fret, I always am around and you can always shoot me an email, I answer them all as long as they are not nasty. Life's too short, this I am well aware of and I plan on sticking around for quite a while no matter what my brain feels like. And, no matter what my trading day looks like. It is only money after all. Trust me when I say this, if I could pay everything I have to feel really better then I have the last few months, I'd sign on the dotted line in a heartbeat.
Everything is relative, and I'm grateful it wasn't worse and that my daughter is perfectly fine.
I ain't immortal, I'm just a Waxie and just a dude who can trade pretty darn good, except when I'm not myself. I needed some lovin' more then I needed a few extra dollars.
Peace to all and to all a good night, hope this wasn't too sappy, I think this is all part of the journey and if it prevents one of you from trading when you shouldn't be for whatever reason, then that's all that matters.
Night all and remember one thing and one thing only - RULE, cause that's the only way to live -----
Michael "Waxie" Parness
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