Friday 13th, full moons, and trading heebee-jeebees

A respected professional trader makes a point of alerting people that trading is a hard way to make a living. I have no hesitation in agreeing with him. I will expand on this in a future post.

I am not especially superstitious. However, I have found that Fridays tend to be less than my best trading days. Whether it is because the week’s activities have worn me out, I do not know. Mindful of that, I have tended to try to step away from trading into the weekends. Other traders I know comment on how they have clear patterns of good/bad or better/worse trading on different days of the week or months.

So, the impact of calendar timing is not something that traders take trivially.

However, it is uncanny how things like special dates or lunar cycles factor into the psyche of what we do. Some people have cited moon phases as times for market reversals.

If you do not take it seriously, then read an analysis on trading moon phases by the respected Royal Bank of Scotland.

I focused on the full moon in a pleasant way, earlier in the week, because my second grader’s class has a regular full moon party at school, and on Monday evening we’d had that and a great story read by one of the grade teachers. No trading implications for me.

But, I felt trepidation as Friday approached. During Thursday, I got a message that my daughter’s class needed a parent teacher, and I volunteered. That would put back the start of my usual trading day. During Thursday night, I slept fitfully; not thinking about trading, but having my head filled with a lot of ideas about which I wanted to write. Then Friday came, and my stomach felt bad. Was that a psychosomatic reaction? I traded for the morning, then had lunch, then met a friend for tea and cake just before I picked up my kid. I never felt good during much of the day. The markets closed. The weekend would allow time to step back and think about lots of other things. I had a desire to go skiing: that would be a good diversion.

Recently, I started to look at college courses in psychology and counselling. Yesterday evening, I was at a cozy dinner hosted by a fellow parishioner. I sat next to her mother, who is in her 80s. We talked about several things, including that her father was a writer and now she is trying to write her memoirs. Her father had told her that writing was very difficult. I told her that I agreed with regard to writing, and the same can be said for trading. She asked me to explain what I did and how. “Do you get possession of the currencies?” she asked. I told her no. “But, if you bet and are right your account increases, and if you’re wrong, your account decreases?” She asked. She’s got it, I thought. Put in these terms, trading is simple enough. I joked that if I did the right course, perhaps all I would need to do is look in the mirror and talk to myself to deal with the many mind games that are going on.

Trading can be financially exacting. It can be physically demanding. It is certainly psychologically challenging.


About The Grasshopper

Professional international economist, recently retired from an international organization. I use blogging as a way of organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, and spent many years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for a few decades, and worked and travelled abroad extensively. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of girls. Also, married to an economist.
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