MLR - 2011, a most challenging year indeed

Published : July 20 2011 at 10:17 ET

Among the trend followers interviewed in Jack Schwager's books and Trend Following by Michael Covel, most year-to-date (YTD) performance figures are now in the red, with several now in double-digit losses territory:

It is during such challenging times that some investors may start to throw in the towel. But new trends often begin when least expected. Thus, we always keep our eye focused on the markets for any new opportunities that may emerge on the long or the short side.

On a sidenote, when asked in a recent webinar if we ever take vacations, the answer is yes and no. The last vacation I had was in 1990 as this was the last year I took my eye off the markets for any appreciable length of time as I was still in my learning phase, and Gil would probably say something similar, give or take a couple years. The last vacation Bill O'Neil took was in 1982, according to his son Scott, and Bill ended up leaving the mountain cabin a couple days earlier as he was bored and needed to get back to the market. But back in those days, there was no internet or mobile technology to keep a close eye on things.

Unless you are travelling to a third world country, broadband wifi is available in most cities, and with the iphone and ipad, one can stay in close contact with the markets even when on travel. So in a more traditional sense, the last vacation I took was in Bulgaria last weekend. I find that travel is a great way to allow the creativity to flow, especially when thinking of new stock market research projects, or about the fundamental situation that continues to unfold. But other outside activities such as sports or composing and performing music are also part of the balanced lifestyle that works for me. This is all to say that each trader, if they have not already, should find what works for them between recreation and work, then do what they can to achieve this balance, even though with life's viscissitudes, it may not always be easy.

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