FEBRUARY 18 2022 / SUZANNE NOUKAHOUA
Or: “Sectoral Rotation… Market Sentiment… oh, wait, did I leave Xavier in the park?!”
Too many balls in the air, can never be a life motto for a single working mother. All the balls must be in the air, or suddenly you’ll wake up to a disorganized home, laundry covering the floors, hungry kids, an extra tire around your waist, and no money to pay your bills.
So, the statement that someone can have too many balls in the air assumes that there are aspects of their life they can just ‘let go of’. That sounds nice, but it’s not very realistic.
However, balancing it all does mean I have to be willing to let myself be imperfect and not beat myself up about it. Most nights we have a salad with our dinner, and some nights I praise the Pizza Gods of Mount Olympus my kids still think I’m SuperHeroMom when I order out.
A perfect example of this imperfect version of adulting is that trading can be entirely unforgiving if you aren’t paying attention constantly. I don’t mean every second, but I mean to have the mental energy and time capacity to be charting, checking the indicators, understanding sectoral rotation, and market sentiment on a daily basis; while trying to keep an eye on positions during the trading day when possible.
Towards the end of 2021 I was killing it with diagonal spreads, all my short positions were regularly expiring worthless and my long positions were moving so deep in the money I was able to roll them from .70 or .75 Deltas back up to the .55 Delta and split my contracts. Through 2021 I went from having 20 SPY leaps to almost 250 without adding a dime to my account, just by selling strangles or calls, and by consistently rolling my positions back to the .55 Delta.
However, as we all know January markets came along, and though my positions were valued at well over 6 figures, just a few days of sick kids, having a very full work schedule, and teaching I just didn’t have the mental or physical energy to manage my positions. And sadly, by the time I was finally crawling back from the exhaustion my positions had lost about 5 figures of value.
It was disappointing, but I have to be forgiving with myself. Beating myself up for being a good mom, and a good employee can not be reasons I hate myself for not also being the perfect trader. Yes, I want to build generational wealth for my family, and yes I want to make sure I have enough to retire with peace of mind as my children grow up; but at what expense?
The facts are, I didn’t decide to be a widow at 38 with a 6-month-old baby while on my maternity leave, and I didn’t decide to live through a pandemic. But whatever I did or did not decide is irrelevant, my first priority has to be being the best mother to Soraya and Xavier, and sometimes that means sacrificing a bike ride to make sure we’re financially secure. Sometimes that means I won’t hit the perfect entry or exit on a trade because Soraya or Xavier is in need of some extra tender loving care.
Either way, I have to choose to balance being a mother, a career woman, building a business, caring for my students, my personal health and faith, and being a good a trader. Each trader has their own set of priorities, and sadly for many traders making money becomes the only God in their life, but that’s not what I want to teach my kids or my colleagues and it’s certainly not the quality of life I want for myself.
So the market might create volatility for me, but I have to choose acceptance, forgiveness, balance, and joy so that I don’t fail at the most important aspects of my life to make a few extra dollars for my burial.
Enjoy the journey!