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Yoda Quote #9 “Use Your Feelings”

This is a continuation of the Trading Words of Wisdom By Yoda, for Quote #10 click here.

9. “Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him you will.” Revenge Of The Sith

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I know what you might be thinking, “but Master Yoda, we were told never to let our emotions control our trading!” And it’s true, you shouldn’t. We are told over and over again, DO NOT let your emotions control your trading; however, there’s an important difference between emotions and feelings.

*There is a lot of scientific controversy around this topic. If you would like to learn more, you can look up the science behind neuroplasticity and emotions/feelings. For this article, we are stating that there is a difference between emotion and feeling.

Emotions are universal feelings like happy, sad, anger, or frustration, and happen on the physical level (your heart rate increases or fist tightens). Feelings are a reaction or association in your brain to your emotions, and you can learn to master them. Think about the moment when your emotions are triggered. There’s a small gap of time before they translate into actions, within that gap you have the opportunity to discipline your feelings–in turn, directing your actions. Practice training your brain to recognize certain emotional triggers so you have command over what you’re feeling (Master Yoda wasn’t so crazy after all!). Now, when you find yourself in emotional or high-risk situations you can trust what you are feeling, consequently acting instead of reacting.

Happy Trading, and May The Force Be With You!

For Quote #8 click here

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Trading Words of Wisdom By Yoda

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing some quotes by one of the wisest creatures of all-time: Master Yoda. Yoda_SWSB

His words might have been intended to restore peace to the galaxy, but if you follow his council you will also find the force in your trading. So keep an eye out for the top ten trading words of wisdom from the Emperor’s ‘little green friend.’

Trading Words of Wisdom #10: “That is why you fail.” The Empire Strikes Back

No matter the situation, Yoda will tell it to you straight…in his backwards speech sort of way. Anyways, when Luke utters the words, ‘I don’t believe it,’ after Master Yoda raises his X-wing from the swamp, Yoda replies with these poignant words of wisdom: “That is why you fail.”

We are often told that the sky’s the limit, but really it should be your mind that is the limit. When you decide for yourself that you’re going to do something, you’ve overcome the hardest part. Believing, or trusting, in yourself is the first step to learning how to trade successfully. We’re confident in all of our traders ability to overcome any challenges they’re currently facing, and we’re here to help you! You can do hard things!

Happy Trading, and May The Force Be With You!

For Quote #9 click here

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Orlando, Florida Summit Highlights

The Apiary Fund would like to thank everybody for making the Orlando, Florida Summit a success last week! As always, we really enjoy the opportunity we have to meet our traders in person and watch them develop throughout the week. Besides enjoying the sunny Florida weather, here are a couple of highlights from the week.

The Shark Tank

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Our own little version of the popular TV show, Shark Tank, is quickly becoming one of our favorite events at the summit. First, we have all of the traders break off into groups of four. Then, they work together in their groups to form a trading strategy which they will use for the next couple of hours. Finally, the top four teams will then go on to present their trading plan to the ‘sharks:’ Shawn, Nate, Todd, and Jeff. Each shark will choose a strategy to trade over the next hour, revealing which shark, or trading strategy, will rise victorious. It was close, but Shawn squeaked by with a win by a couple pips.

The $1,000 Accounts

Traders knew heading into the summit that they would be given $1,000 (of real money) to trade with during week; we were pleased to see most traders turning out a profit. However, we were all in for a surprise when Shawn let them keep the account until the end of the month! Everybody seemed excited to be able to go home and continue strengthening the skills they learned the past week.

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The Apiary Orlando, Florida Summit Traders

We really appreciate everybody who was able to make it to this summit. These events help teach us just as much as they teach you, and most of the time it’s because we are lucky to have such great traders. If you weren’t able to make it to the Orlando, Florida Summit, we hope that we’ll be able to meet, and trade, with you at the next one!

Happy Trading!

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Positions, Risk, and Buffets

You don’t want to have too many active positions open; it’s like eating too much food at your favorite buffet. Buffets can be good. Buffets can be very good. However, you almost always–or at least I do–walk (if you still can) away from a buffet in pain–sometimes in a great deal of pain. I like the illusion that I have control over myself around food, but that disappears as soon as I see a soft serve ice cream machine paired with caramel and hot fudge pumps. There’s this mode that I enter when I’m in a buffet. I become this mindless food eating machine that inhales plate after plate of mediocre greasy food just because I can. Forget the fact that I’ve been working on not eating carbs for the past three weeks, I’m have four or five rolls with honey butter.

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Did you know that Apiary limits the number of open or pending trades you can have? This isn’t an all-you-can-position buffet, and for good reason! Apiary limits the number of open trades or pending orders in an account for risk management purposes. Mainly because during extreme market conditions, slippage is of serious concern; a lack of liquidity on either the buy or sell side means orders may not be filled before slipping far beyond any stops. By limiting the number of pending or open positions, Apiary can better manage risk across the entire portfolio. Mitigating risk is beneficial for us as a company, and for you as a client.

In addition to Apiary’s risk management model, limiting the number of open positions is a good practice at the personal level. One argument for multiple positions is the benefit of diversification.  However, after about 8-12 open positions, the benefit can become incrementally smaller and can actually turn negative.  For example, a trader actively managing 100 open positions is far less effective than a person managing 10. In fact, this is one of the ideas that helped found Apiary! It’s far better to have a group of ten traders individually managing ten positions than to have one person managing 100. In the end, the same number of active positions are being managed, but with far less risk.

Happy Trading!

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An Early Exit Strategy

It’s February, and that means it’s about the time you’re wishing winter would finally end! We just got a fresh new heap of snow on our lawn, and walking outside I couldn’t resist one teensy tiny snowball at my sister. Big mistake. You should not start a snowball fight, one that you intended to win at least, without first either

  1. building a snow fort
  2. planning an escape strategy

-or-

    3. making sure the most direct path indoors is clear*

It’s snowball prep 101 to have an exit strategy, especially if you’re going to be outnumbered. Even Buddy the Elf, with his north pole experience and skill, only engaged in a snowball fight without adequate protection after being ambushed by a set of amateurs.**

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With that being said, you wouldn’t enter any situation without a good exit strategy (can you sense where I’m going here?). Coerced into lunch with your mom’s book club? Set your dentist appointment for a half hour later. Blind date later tonight? Your best friend is scheduled to call at 9:00. We may make light of these situations, but when you find yourself in them you’ll have wished you made a plan.

On a more serious note, the consequences of not having an exit strategy can be more severe when you’re trading. It always pays off to take the time to know your exit strategy; Benjamin Franklin knew his stuff when he said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Set up your exit strategy early, and then enjoy the snowball fight…or, er…trade 😉

Happy Trading!

*I feel like I have the responsibility to mention that this is the coward’s path, and is not recommended if you wish you escape, albeit with a few battle scars, with dignity.

**Honestly, why would you throw a snowball at somebody who is clearly skilled in all aspects of winter.

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Apiary Fund Resolutions

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It’s the beginning of a new year, and this means overflowing rec center parking lots as gym memberships increase along with work hours, dieting, and library cards as everybody desperately tries to hold onto their New Year Resolutions. It’s also a nice high volatile time for the stock market (even though this year had sort of a rough start, thanks Janet). Did your New Year resolutions include anything about helping you improve your trading? If so, we want to hear them!

Here’s what some of us around the office are working on:

Shawn Lucas– Lose weight and grow out my beard!

Dakota Andrews– Pass beeline to funding

Jacob Johnson– Develop a consistent trading strategy I have confidence in, get married and treat my wife like a queen, be profitable every month, and earn enough money to build a shipping container in the woods

Vilas Yang– Trade better by improving trading set ups (working with others), once I get this down the rest is going to be good!

Brian Lloyd– Double my trading account and profitability, and help others achieve their goals

Ron Evans– Become better at long term trading

Allisa Daybell– Spend as much time with my family as possible, and get three consecutive months of profit

Paul Allen– Become funded with Apiary by June 1st

As you can see, there’s so many goals we’re working together here at the hive! I hoped you noticed that most of the goals about trading were pretty specific–that’s one of the first steps to effective goal setting. Please share with us what resolutions you’ll be working on this year, and if there’s anything we can do to help!

Happy Trading!

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Warning: This Post May Cause…

Disneyland Prop 65 WarningCAUTION

We all know everything in California is known to cause cancer, right? How could you miss it when there are warning signs posted on your grocery bags, in your hotel room, a restaurant, and even as you enter the Disneyland Resort. If simply entering the state is known to ‘cause cancer and birth defects,’ then why do 38.8 million people live there?

And we all know trading forex is dangerous. The warning that a bunch of power hungry wall street suits are scrambling around just to steal your money. You might as well be gambling, right? Then why are millions of trading transactions taking place every day?

Trading Forex is about as dangerous as going to California for vacation. Sure,  California has the potential to be harmful…if you go around licking signposts, eating wrappers, and sunbathing without sunscreen. Trading Forex might not be as relaxing as a nice trip to California, but it’s not a dangerous slot machine either. As long as you follow some common trading sense rules, you’ll avoid the substantial losses that instill hefty doses of fear in each of us.

Take time to learn how to trade safely, and you don’t need to fear the market. The Apiary Fund teaches and funds traders in the currency market, so you’re covered as you start the learning curve that comes with a new skill. Learn more at apiaryfund.com

Happy Trading!

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Delusions Every Trader Faces

Usually when we think of delusions we imagine mental disorders: someone struggling with schizophrenia or hypochondria. We may even imagine somebody we know–somebody who is high-strung with anxiety and convinced the world is out to get them. There are some pretty bizarre delusions out there:

  • Ever feel like you’re life is a movie? For people suffering from the Truman Show Delusion, they’re literally convinced that their life is a reality show they can’t escape from. This article on Buzzfeed reports that a man actually sued HBO for putting him on a secret reality show.
  • As if living your life in a reality tv show wasn’t bad enough, imagine your life was a video game! Want to score points to win? Steal cars, avoid police, and receive your instructions through your gaming headphones. Even if you’re arrested, it’s just another level to the game. (Source)
  • Do you know someone who lives their life in denial–to the point that they don’t even think they exist? A rare condition known as ‘Walking Corpse Syndrome’ is a delusion where the individual is convinced that they’re already dead or don’t exist. Some even claim to be able to smell their own rotting flesh.

I think most of us suffer from multiple delusions (hopefully not that serious, though). A delusion is a belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational. I’d like to think that I’m connected with reality and don’t belong in an asylum (my family might tell you differently, especially when I’m even remotely lacking sleep), but as I’ve grown older I’ve been able to look back and recognize the delusions I used to live by. Most traders experience delusions as well.

Traders, both new and old, often experience delusions in the currency market. Some common ones we might face:

  • “If I just keep trading, I can make a little more money.” That’s a scary delusion. You can be following the charts all day making trades, but it’s not about how many it’s about how well. The quality of your trades is much more important than the quantity.
  • “I can make some quick, easy cash in Forex.” The economy is not a magic box where you put a little money in and get a lot of money out. Trading requires discipline and strategy–not luck.
  • “It’s going to come back soon…”  This delusion can bring you down. Fast. When you hit your stop loss, it’s time to get out. Trying to hang on to a losing trade is like trying to hang onto a hangnail–it’s a lot less painful to just cut it off.

We’re all at least a little guilty of these delusions, but a diagnostic is the first step to a cure. Review some of your past trades, and identify any delusions that affected the outcome. Then, find a way to overcome them; you can share it with a friend or mentor, keep a reminder next to your computer, or even watch a cheesy motivational trading video. Whatever you need to do, don’t let yourself be the reason you don’t succeed.
Happy Trading!

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Why The Little Guys Can Still Win In The Currency Market

Bigger is better, right? Well, traditionally, yes. However, sometimes a new way or an original idea is just downright better than conventional methods. Take, for example, a fight between the big guy and the little guy. What advantages does each one have, and who will win?

Big Guy Little Guy
Muscle Mass Not muscle bound
Powerful hits Fast, successive strikes
More damage per connection Better angle for body striking
Better long range Better short range

 

Take a look at this epic fight from Sherlock Holmes 2:

Even though he’s up against a larger opponent, Sherlock effectively uses his speed and strategy to make quick work of that guy! I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of team Sherlock. Ever.

Now parallel this to The Apiary Fund. We’re definitely a smaller company made up of the little guys. Most of our traders don’t have years of schooling and finance degrees under our belts; however, we aren’t hung up in corporations, worried about whether or not the new kid in the next cubicle is out trading us, or whether or not we’ll still have our jobs at the end of the month. We don’t have to move massive amount of money bulk: our smaller individual portfolio’s can quickly jump into the perfect set up for a quick jab at the market. You’re free from corporate stress while still enjoying the benefits of having a company back you up! You guys bring us the ‘Little Guy’ advantages, and together we create the ‘Big Guy’ perks (for example, everyone coming together and shorting the euro at the Manhattan Beach Summit).

Also, please note Sherlock’s line, “This mustn’t register on an emotional level,” and then how he mapped out his strategy and followed throuh. Remind you of something you’ve been told a hundred times?? 😉

Happy Trading!

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How Running Has Helped Me Become a Better Trader

Ever been stuck in the slumps? Yeah, me too.

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For the past couple of months I’ve felt like the man in this picture. When I ran, I was just going through the motions-just trying to finish my work out. Sure, there were some good days here and there, but I knew that I wasn’t reaching my potential as a runner. I also wasn’t feeling the happiness and energy I usually felt after a good run. I approached my coach, and he gave me some steps to help me out of this rut I’d gotten myself into. However, I realized that these steps wouldn’t just help me in my running; they could help me with my profession, my social life, and (of course) my trading.

  1. Set my sights higher than just the next race

I know you’ve all probably heard more than your fair share of motivational speeches centered on goal setting, but honestly there is something about a goal that just helps you focus on improvement. When I stopped and focused on what I was going to accomplish the racing season, I saw each race as a step to reaching my personal record. When trading, you have to look further down the road than your next trade.   What do you want to accomplish today?  This week?  This month? You have to set your sights higher than a single trade and discover what you can do to accomplish your personal best.

  1. Stop running so much

What? To improve running you need to stop running? To a degree, yes. Running daily is very important, but I always reserve one day of the week to resting and recovery. Without this break, I would end up running less during the week because my legs would become overworked. Sometimes, you need a little break from trading. Don’t spend all day with your eyes glued to the candles on your screen-go for a run or something 😉

  1. Track your mileage

I always track my mileage – along with how much sleep I get, and the food I eat. This not only helps me feel good throughout the season, but I can look back and see when I was struggling or doing good. By tracking my progress this way I can see what made me sick or tired and what made me feel good and energized. Track your trades. Notice what setups work for you, and what triggers an unwanted emotional response. Besides, whether your profitable or not, it always feels good to look back and see the progress you’re making.

  1. Mix it up

Contrary to what some may imagine of a typical cross country runner, I actually lift a lot weights. My core and upper body strength is just as important as having strong legs when I run. Sometimes, at the end of a race, if your legs feel like they don’t have the energy you can pump your arms, and ,crazily enough, your legs will follow! When you’re trading you need to be prepared for different market events. Learn to trade in long summer doldrums, as well as high votility markets.

  1. Change your attitude

One of my pet peeves is when I go to a race, and hear runners complain that they have to run. Don’t you run because you like it? If you don’t like it, then why are you here running?! I like feeling strong, the runner’s high, and swelling accomplishment that fills you up and makes you feel like floating. What do you like about trading? If you can’t answer this question, then you need to find out why you’re trading. Identifying why you’re trading will help get you through the slumps.

I hope if you’re feeling a little bit stuck in a rut in your trading, that you can try these out. Make trading enjoyable again, and go make some pips.

Happy Trading!

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