Episode 299: Stop Obsessing About Time

by robbooker on October 20, 2014


It’s Episode 299 of The Traders Podcast, where your host Rob Booker brings you a solocast with the theme of time. Rob reads an incredible e-mail that he received from a son of one of the listeners to this podcast. Rob asks how a trader treats the passage of time. And he strongly counsels traders to stop obsessing about time. Make sure you give this one a listen!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Yves October 21, 2014 at 7:21 am

1) Michel, get better soon! Our thoughts are with you and your family!

2) Rob, people still listen to your podcasts. Ow yeah! They’re very helpful. Thanks Rob & Jason!


Brian F. October 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

It’s difficult as traders to ignore the time factor, because our “merchandise” (our trades) consist of a combination of position size and holding time, and most of our focus is on manipulating the two to make money.

In terms of career progression, I think I may have posted this before but getting rich slow might be quicker than attempting to get rich fast. When we size our positions down, a lot of the psychology obstacles in this sport disappear. You’ve all taken the riskiest trade in the world with no stops, you bought a lottery ticket for a dollar. Sizing the trade allowed you to do this, something that a lot of traders spend their whole lives trying to do in the markets, and failing. I think it comes down to proficiency and compounding. Trading small not only makes our trading decisions better, it reduces the two steps forward, one step back effect that most traders experience. If you trade small enough, it might be 3 forward, 1 back, or ten forward, 1 back.

Finally, I think the idea behind getting rich fast by trading bigger is wrongheaded. It’s a lot more precise to say you get rich fast at the end of a large series of trades from compounding a big account. Most of the gain in wealth is back loaded, it comes at the end of your journey. It feels like you are getting exactly nowhere at first. Which is more exciting, a million dollar account making $10k a week, or a $5000 account making $100 bucks? Actually, the $5000 account is doing twice as well, but $100 feels like no progress at all.

If the goal is to make $10k a month, a trader who trades small merely has to wait the requisite time to build up his account sufficiently to make $10k a month because of compounding. You can make $10k without taking on the risk of the guy who wants to make money fast, provided you are patient starting your business. However, the trader using a larger size might never get there, or may even get there slower because of the setbacks. He certainly is not going to trade as well, or sleep as well, or enjoy himself as much as you.

I think Rob’s advice is good, the road to quick bucks should initially feel like watching the grass grow.


Jimmy Jones October 22, 2014 at 1:49 am

Awesome podcast Rob.


Yves October 23, 2014 at 2:33 am

Hello Jason,

Is there any way to be able to see the comments people leave bel0w the podcasts?

It only says “3 comments… read them below or add one”, but there’s nothing there.

Thanks in advance!
Kind regards,


BrianF October 23, 2014 at 7:20 am

If you check off the “notify me of followup comments by email” it’s a halfway effective work around, but this really stifles any dialogue. It’s some annoying glitch.


Yves October 27, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Hi Brian,

I got a notification saying you replied, thanks for that. But I still can’t see what you wrote however. If you like you can send it by email to denief@gmail.com.

Thank you!


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