The Traders Journal

How Life Hacking Applies To Us As Individual Investors


Images (2)Life hacking was a term first tossed around by computer programmers in the ‘80s as the label they used trying to get things done better and faster.  These days, it has a wider definition incorporating improved productivity and personal enrichment.  Wikipedia defines it this way:  “Life hacking refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skills or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem of a person in a clever or non-obvious way.”

I began asking myself how we as traders can embrace elements of life hacking.  The challenge is not a small one.  We individual investors can now trade almost anything we can imagine 24/7.  The markets by their very nature are dynamic and fluid, and we have ever more powerful technical tools and superfast computers at our disposal to analyze a steady stream of real-time news and data.  Amidst this tornado of technology and avalanche of analysis, a new breed of investor has evolved.  This new generation of self-tracking, self-aware and self-adjusting traders has found its edge. 

I’ll label it “investor hacking”.  The individual investor becomes the center of everything.  Individual traders achieve equilibrium and indeed happiness (at the risk of sounding trite) by leveraging and utilizing only those tools that they feel comfortable using and intuitively understand.  Trading only those markets and timeframes that are most appropriate for their lifestyles and that allow them to remain grounded.  Employing an organizational analysis that accommodates their level of discipline and available commitment.  In essence, weaving these all together into a comfortable vest they can wear each day and that allows them to bring calm to the chaos of investing. 

I maintain that bad habits and poor discipline are the result of choosing inappropriate tools, timeframes, markets and organization.  The reality is that improved productivity flows out of personal enrichment.  Investor hacking is all about understanding your skill set and leveraging your talents to achieve personal equilibrium, happiness and profits in that order.  Your personal traders journal can become your best friend and help you find your most comfortable vest.  It will be worth the effort.

Trade well; trade with discipline!
-- Gatis Roze


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Gatis Roze
About the authors: , CMT, holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a past president of the Technical Securities Analysts Association (TSAA). He is also the co-author of Tensile Trading: The 10 Essential Stages of Stock Market Mastery (Wiley, 2016). A full-time investor for over 25 years, Gatis has taught sold-out investment courses throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond since 2000. Learn More

Grayson Roze
is the author of Trading for Dummies (Wiley, 2017) and Tensile Trading: The 10 Essential Stages of Stock Market Mastery (Wiley, 2016). He has worked in the financial services industry for since 2012, and now serves as the Business Manager for the company. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College. Learn More
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