Business people joining hands

How To Navigate the Advisor-Client-Partner Relationship

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, the success of any endeavor often hinges on the strength of the relationships between advisors, clients, and partners. Whether you’re a seasoned consultant guiding businesses through complex challenges or a non-profit leader collaborating with donors and stakeholders, fostering robust and effective partnerships is paramount.

Strong advisor-client-partner relationships are the bedrock upon which trust, understanding, and ultimately, positive outcomes are built. When all parties are aligned and working in harmony, the synergy created can be truly transformative. Effective collaboration breeds increased trust, better decision-making, and long-term success that benefits everyone involved.

This comprehensive guide aims to equip you with the knowledge and strategies necessary to navigate the intricate dynamics of the advisor-client-partner relationship. We’ll delve into the nuances of each role, explore techniques for establishing a solid foundation, and uncover communication strategies that foster productive collaboration.

Throughout our journey, we’ll touch upon the importance of building trust and rapport, setting clear expectations, and aligning goals and objectives. You’ll gain insights into active listening, providing constructive feedback, and resolving conflicts through negotiation – all essential components of a healthy working relationship.

Close-up image of business colleagues explaining the strategy on the foreground

Ultimately, our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and confidence to maintain and strengthen these vital alliances over time. We’ll discuss strategies for continuous improvement, celebrating milestones, and nurturing long-term partnerships that stand the test of time.

So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey that will transform the way you approach advisor-client-partner relationships. The road ahead may have its twists and turns, but with the right mindset and tools, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate it with grace and success.

Understanding the Roles and Responsibilities

At the heart of any successful advisor-client-partner dynamic lies a clear understanding of each party’s roles and responsibilities. It’s a delicate dance, where every player must execute their part with precision and grace to achieve harmony.

The Advisor’s Role

As the trusted guide, the advisor’s role is multifaceted yet crucial. You’re the subject matter expert, tasked with providing insightful guidance and advice tailored to your client’s unique needs. Acting as a strategic partner, your primary responsibility is to serve your client’s best interests, steering them towards informed decisions that align with their goals.

Professionalism and adherence to ethical standards are non-negotiable. You’re the beacon of integrity, upholding the highest moral and professional conduct at all times. Your clients place their trust in you, and it’s your duty to honor that sacred bond.

The Client’s Role

On the other side of the equation, the client’s role is equally pivotal. Clear and open communication is the cornerstone of a productive relationship. As the client, it’s your responsibility to articulate your goals, expectations, and concerns with transparency and honesty.

Embracing a collaborative mindset is key. Be receptive to the advisor’s guidance and feedback, and actively participate in the process. After all, this journey is a partnership, and your engagement is essential for achieving the desired outcomes.

The Partner’s Role

In many cases, a third party – a partner – plays a crucial role in facilitating the advisor-client triad. This partner’s primary function is to bridge the gap between the two, ensuring seamless collaboration and communication.

Whether it’s providing additional resources, offering specialized expertise, or simply acting as a neutral facilitator, the partner’s role is to support and enhance the advisor-client dynamic. Their objective is to ensure alignment with the shared goals and objectives, fostering an environment conducive to success.

By understanding and respecting these distinct yet interconnected roles, we lay the foundation for a harmonious and productive relationship. It’s a delicate balance, where each party’s contributions are equally valued and essential for achieving the desired outcomes.

Group of business people in a circle looking down

Establishing a Strong Foundation

With a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities at play, we can now turn our attention to establishing a robust foundation for the advisor-client-partner relationship. This bedrock will serve as the launchpad for a successful and enduring collaboration.

Building Trust and Rapport

Trust is the currency that fuels any meaningful partnership. Without it, even the most well-intentioned efforts may falter. As an advisor, cultivating trust and rapport with your clients is paramount. Engage in open and honest communication, actively listening to their concerns and addressing them with empathy and transparency.

Demonstrate your expertise and credibility through your actions and results. Share relevant case studies, success stories, and industry insights that showcase your knowledge and capabilities. Remember, trust is earned, not given – so be prepared to put in the work.

Setting Clear Expectations

Ambiguity is the enemy of progress. To avoid misunderstandings and frustrations down the line, it’s crucial to set clear expectations from the outset. Define the roles, responsibilities, and boundaries for each party involved, leaving no room for assumptions or misinterpretations.

Establish realistic timelines and milestones, and agree on the communication channels and protocols that work best for everyone. This level of clarity not only fosters accountability but also ensures that everyone is working towards a shared vision.

Aligning Goals and Objectives

While each party may have their own motivations and desired outcomes, it’s essential to identify and align these goals and objectives. Take the time to understand each stakeholder’s perspectives, priorities, and potential areas of conflict or misalignment.

Through open dialogue and collaboration, develop a shared vision and plan of action that harmonizes these diverse objectives. This alignment not only streamlines the process but also cultivates a sense of ownership and commitment from all parties involved.

By laying this strong foundation of trust, clear expectations, and aligned goals, you’re setting the stage for a productive and rewarding partnership. It’s the bedrock upon which lasting success can be built, one brick at a time.

Effective Communication Strategies

With a solid foundation in place, the next step in nurturing a thriving advisor-client-partner relationship is mastering the art of effective communication. This multifaceted skill set is the lifeblood that keeps the partnership flowing smoothly and productively.

Active Listening and Feedback

Communication is a two-way street, and active listening is the key to unlocking its full potential. As an advisor, it’s crucial to hone your ability to truly hear and understand your clients’ perspectives, concerns, and aspirations. Employ techniques like maintaining eye contact, asking clarifying questions, and summarizing their points to ensure you’ve grasped the essence of their message.

On the flip side, providing constructive feedback is equally important. Offer insights and critiques in a respectful and solution-oriented manner, always framing them as opportunities for growth and improvement. Encourage open dialogue and collaboration, fostering an environment where all parties feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas.

Conflict Resolution and Negotiation

Disagreements and conflicts are inevitable in any partnership, but how you handle them can make or break the relationship. Identify potential areas of conflict early on and address them proactively. Develop strategies for resolving disagreements through open communication, compromise, and finding common ground.

Negotiation skills are invaluable in this context. Understand the art of give-and-take, and strive to reach mutually beneficial solutions that leave all parties feeling heard and respected. Remember, a win-win outcome is always preferable to a zero-sum game.

Leveraging Technology and Tools

In our digital age, technology can be a powerful ally in facilitating effective communication and collaboration. Embrace tools like project management platforms, secure communication channels, and data analytics to streamline processes and make informed decisions.

Leverage these tools to enhance transparency, accountability, and real-time information sharing. However, strike a balance – technology should complement, not replace, the human element of your partnerships.

By mastering these communication strategies, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the complexities of advisor-client-partner relationships with finesse and grace. Clear, open, and respectful dialogue paves the way for trust, understanding, and ultimately, success for all involved.

young multi ethnic business people group walking standing and top view

Maintaining and Strengthening the Relationship

Establishing a strong foundation and effective communication strategies are crucial, but the journey doesn’t end there. Maintaining and strengthening the advisor-client-partner trio is an ongoing process that requires dedication, adaptability, and a genuine commitment to growth.

Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

Stagnation is the enemy of progress. Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement by regularly reviewing and adjusting your approach. Seek feedback from all parties involved, and use that valuable input to identify areas for enhancement. Don’t be afraid to pivot and adapt your strategies as circumstances evolve – flexibility is key.

Staying ahead of the curve is also essential. Anticipate changes in the industry, market trends, and client needs, and proactively adapt your services and offerings accordingly. This agility not only demonstrates your commitment to excellence but also fosters trust and confidence in your partnership.

Celebrating Successes and Milestones

While the journey itself is rewarding, it’s equally important to pause and celebrate the successes and milestones along the way. Recognize and acknowledge the achievements of all parties involved, fostering a positive and supportive environment that breeds motivation and momentum.

These celebrations need not be grandiose affairs – a simple acknowledgment, a heartfelt thank-you, or a small token of appreciation can go a long way in reinforcing the value of your partnership and the hard work that has been put in.

Nurturing Long-Term Partnerships

Ultimately, the goal is to cultivate long-term, sustainable partnerships that stand the test of time. Develop strategies for maintaining strong relationships beyond the immediate project or engagement. Identify opportunities for future collaboration, and actively seek ways to add value and support your clients’ and partners’ evolving needs.

Build a network of trusted advisors, clients, and partners – a community of like-minded individuals who share your values and commitment to excellence. This network not only provides a valuable resource for referrals and support but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose.

By embracing continuous improvement, celebrating successes, and nurturing long-term partnerships, you’ll be well on your way to building an advisor-client-partner team that transcends mere transactions and becomes true partnerships – ones built on trust, mutual respect, and a shared vision for success.

Friendly young people working as a business team

Conclusion

As we reach the end of our journey through the intricate landscape of advisor-client-partner relationships, it’s important to reflect on the key lessons and takeaways that have emerged. This exploration has been a testament to the power of collaboration, communication, and a shared commitment to excellence.

Throughout this comprehensive guide, we’ve delved into the nuances of each party’s roles and responsibilities, emphasizing the importance of establishing a strong foundation built on trust, clear expectations, and aligned goals. We’ve explored effective communication strategies, from active listening and constructive feedback to conflict resolution and leveraging technology as a facilitator.

But our journey doesn’t end here. Maintaining and strengthening these vital relationships is an ongoing process that demands continuous improvement, adaptation, and a willingness to celebrate successes along the way. By nurturing long-term partnerships and cultivating a network of trusted advisors, clients, and collaborators, we can create a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond any single engagement.

In a world where change is the only constant, the ability to navigate the complexities of advisor-client-partner relationships with grace and agility is more valuable than ever before. Embrace the lessons learned here, and let them serve as a compass, guiding you through the twists and turns that lie ahead.

Remember, true success is not a destination but a journey – one that requires constant learning, growth, and a genuine commitment to excellence. Approach each partnership with an open mind, a willingness to adapt, and a deep respect for the unique perspectives and contributions of all involved.

As you embark on your next adventure, carry with you the knowledge that strong advisor-client-partner relationships are not merely transactional – they are transformative. They have the power to shape lives, drive positive change, and leave an indelible mark on the world around us. Embrace this responsibility with humility and passion, and watch as your partnerships blossom into something truly extraordinary.


Peyton is a business consultantSEO, and brand journalist. He works with non-profits, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and writers who need to improve their brand positioning and get massive traffic. Focus industries include Medicine, SaaS, eCommerce, BlockChain, Manufacturing, & Education. Peyton also volunteers for noble causes.

woman smiling and thriving at table with other business people at a big event

11 Tips for Introverts to Thrive at Big Events

As an introvert, big events and conferences can sometimes feel overwhelming. The crowds, constant socializing, and high-energy environments may leave you feeling drained. But fear not! With some preparation and self-care strategies, you can navigate these situations with confidence and make the most of the experience. If you’re an introvert, get ready to thrive at your next big event.

1. Set Reasonable Expectations

The first step is to set realistic expectations for yourself. I have an extroverted friend who is always “on”. His motto is that he’s down for whatever. As an introvert, I have the opposite motto! However, I’m always going to be me. Don’t force yourself to be “on” and socializing constantly. It’s perfectly okay, and even necessary, to plan for downtimes where you can recharge your batteries. Embrace your introverted nature and give yourself permission to take breaks.

2. Prepare Conversation Starters

One of the biggest challenges for introverts at events can be starting conversations with strangers. To make this easier, have some opening lines or questions ready to go. Simple things like “What brings you to this event?” or “How did you get involved in this industry?” can be great icebreakers. You can also ask people about their work, interests, or thoughts on the event itself.

3. Schedule Breaks

Intentionally build breaks into your schedule to give yourself time to be alone and re-energize. Use these breaks to check in with yourself, practice some deep breathing exercises, or simply sit quietly and reset. Don’t feel guilty about taking this time for yourself – it will help you show up more present and engaged when you do interact with others.

person attending big event meeting or lecture

4. Identify Quieter Spaces

Before the event, scout out potential quieter spaces where you can escape the crowds when needed. This could be a corner of the venue, an outdoor area, or even your hotel room. Having these oases identified in advance will make it easier to retreat and reset when you start to feel overstimulated.

5. Leverage Your Listening Skills

As an introvert, one of your strengths is likely your ability to truly listen and observe. Lean into this skill by letting others do more of the talking while you listen attentively and ask follow-up questions to keep the conversation going. In fact, learn to be a master at asking great open-ended and thoughtful questions. People often appreciate a good listener and conversation starter.

Push yourself to be a part of the event. Be present and talk to as many people as possible because you may never see them again.

6. Connect One-on-One

While group settings can be draining, you may find it easier and more enjoyable to connect with people one-on-one. Seek out opportunities for focused conversations, whether it’s suggesting meeting up for coffee or a meal, or simply finding a quieter corner to chat.

7. Leverage Conference Technology (Apps)

If your conference uses an app like Whova to organize an event, use it! After signing up for a conference, I started reaching out to people a month in advance. I scanned their profile and sent a brief, custom message to them. These are people I hoped to bump into. (There were too many interesting people at the last event so I only sent a few messages.)

I tried to find these participants at the event, but I also oranized a lunch meetup in the app. To be honest, there might be a day or two where you eat entirely alone—and be perfectly happy doing so. However, you’re putting yourself out there so if you proactively invite 20 people (the people you noted earlier) and only get 1 RSVP, that’s a huge win. You get to connect with someone with mutual interests.

whova app image Whova App Arlie Peyton number one on Leaderboard

8. Recharging for Multi-Day Events

If the event spans multiple days, it’s even more crucial to have strategies in place for recharging your energy. Again, you’re there for a reason so push yourself to be a part of the event. Be present and talk to as many people as possible because you may never see them again. But I get it, that’s not the introvert’s way. So in addition to scheduling breaks, try incorporating some of these energy management techniques:

Energy Management Techniques

  • Practice deep breathing exercises to calm your mind and body
  • Take a few minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness
  • Go for short walks outside to get some fresh air and movement

Creating Downtime

  • Build buffers into your schedule so you’re not rushing from one thing to the next
  • Identify quiet spaces at the venue or your hotel where you can retreat
  • Be careful not to over-commit your time and leave room for rest

big conference event presentation

9. Professional Ways to Meet People

While the idea of networking can feel daunting, there are friendly and professional ways for introverts to meet new people:

Opening Lines

  • A simple “Hello, I don’t think we’ve met before…” can open the door to conversation
  • Compliment a speaker on something specific, like “I really enjoyed your presentation on…”
  • Compliment an attendee on something specific, like “I was really impressed by the question you asked during the Q&A. It made me think about [x] in a new way.”
  • Ask a post-talk question like “I really enjoyed that last speaker’s presentation on [topic]. What did you think of their key points?”

Making Connections

  • Ask about their role, company, or how they got involved in this industry
  • Look for common interests or connections you can bond over
  • Don’t be afraid to exchange contact information to follow up after the event

A little side note for this tip is that if your event has an app, use it to connect with people before the event. It’s easy for introverts to break the ice behind the screen. It’s practice for face-to-face meetings and gets you familiar with people so your approach to them at the event isn’t entirely cold.

10. Be Authentic

At the end of the day, you’ll get the most out of the event by being true to yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or force excessive extraversion. Lean into your strengths as an introvert – listening deeply, engaging in meaningful conversations, and being thoughtful and observant.

11. Have an Exit Strategy

Finally, give yourself permission to leave when you need to. Set a reasonable time for yourself to depart the event, and don’t be afraid to excuse yourself once you’ve reached your socializing limit for the day. Recharge, reflect on what you’ve learned, and get ready to return refreshed.

Remember, as an introvert, big events may require some extra effort and self-care. But by setting reasonable expectations, taking breaks, and leveraging your natural strengths, you can make meaningful connections and come away energized rather than depleted. Embrace your introverted self – you have so much to offer!


Peyton is a business consultantSEO, and brand journalist. He works with non-profits, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and writers who need to improve their brand positioning and get massive traffic. Focus industries include Medicine, SaaS, eCommerce, BlockChain, Manufacturing, & Education. Peyton also volunteers for noble causes.

APANO is an organization that focuses on social equity and justice for historically marginalized people. Visit Apano.org to learn more about their remarkable work in Portland, Oregon.

Excited bearded man in plaid shirt looking at money banknotes

I Took A Couple Years Off Of Work To Swing Trade. Here’s What Happened.

This is what I thought it would feel like swing trading:

 

This is what it often really felt like:

 

[A Quick Note: I am not a licensed broker or investor. This is not advice. Stock investing is a risk: you can lose your money. Please consult a licensed stock advisor before investing.]

Is it possible to make a living swing trading?

Yes, you can. The question to add is What is a good living in your book?

If your answer is $1,500-$6,000 a month part-time, then yes. It’s possible. However, it’s all dependent on a few major requirements:

  • You have capital to work with. Ideally, you should open a broker account with at least $50,000 — $150,000 in my opinion [1]. You have to buy a lot of shares to make any real money. Losing some of this initial capital is the price of learning, so keep that in mind!
  • You have patience to learn the craft. Learning the technical side of trading can take ten weeks or ten years. It all depends on your aptitude, attitude, and discipline to master the skills.
  • You have to be level-headed: that is, you’re not easily swayed by emotion. Technical trading is about spotting patterns and taking action. You can’t be influenced by the news or make emotional buys/sells. And, you must be able to mentally handle inevitable losing streaks and financial losses.
  • You have the access to technology. Many stock screeners are free, but some advanced ones you pay for really make a difference. All you need is a computer, software, and the internet to do this work.

There are a few more things you’ll need in your investment quiver, but these are the basics. Below is my experience with trading.

Context

I got into stock trading because I took a year off from teaching college and high school business courses. It was like early retirement for me. I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted. I didn’t know if I was ever going back to education. Being frugal, I still wanted to dabble with money-making opportunities at my disposal.

Swing trading was one option, so I tried it.

As a business teacher, I already knew a lot about trading and personal finance. But that didn’t matter much because you could teach a ten-year old how to trade.

It was really the technical aspects that I had to learn. (In trading analysis, there is the fundamental side and the technical side. View this 2m video of you are not familiar with the difference.) I took a short course on charting, read a couple swing trading books, and then I was off to the races.

I predominantly did swing trading, not day trading. I’ve done some day trading (buy and sell in a day). However, my biggest wins have been from swing trading. I’d buy and sell a stock after holding on to it for a few days or weeks.

I got scared a few times and a little fundamentalist theory influenced my buying. In the beginning, part of my criteria was that I’d buy “long swing” (I don’t know if this is a term) stocks that were severely undervalued from a fundamentalist’s point of view. That way if I was wrong about the stock, I could hang on to it for a few months and at least break even.

This was a terrible strategy. Technical traders should never look at the longer term horizon. In fact, the company could go bankrupt in the few months and it wouldn’t matter. As long as you time your entry and exit points correctly, you’ll make money.

This was an aspect I didn’t like about technical analysis, but enjoyed about fundamental analysis. With fundamental companies, I could talk about them to other people and (maybe) predict their future growth. It was exciting to read about these companies in the news and keep up with their innovations.

With technical trading, all the knowledge you learn about a company was meaningless outside of swing trading. Patterns come and go, like companies come and go. I felt like I was filling my head with random data that wouldn’t matter a few days later.

Early Swing Trading Efforts

At first, I did extremely well. It was late 2014 and the market was robust. As mentioned, I traded a lot of obscure stocks. I also traded a few popular stocks and made thousands on them. They include NFLX (Netflix), AMZN (Amazon), ATVI, (Activision Blizzard), and MU (Micron Technology).

I mainly worked with technology and pharmaceutical stocks. Having a narrow industry focus was a crucial lesson I learned early on.

I made a mistake of listening to the Motley Fool guys (I had a one-year subscription to their basic stock advisory service). My mistake: they are not short-hold swing traders. They are interested in growth stocks you hang on to for months or years. They suggested you buy at least 10 stocks, possibly 20.

For any new trader, I wouldn’t buy more than five different stocks at a time. In fact, three is just fine unless you have lots of time and money to work with. The reason is that you’re trying to know these stocks inside and out. It’s hard to process the reams of data on just one company. Now think about doing that with several stocks (long or short-term).

Swing traders are looking for a pattern, but a lot of criteria is put into the mix. We can talk about trade volume, standard patterns (like “cup and handle”), and stock price — but that’s for another time. Basically, you have to decide which of these patterns make the most sense for the company at hand, plus the patterns of your previous wins.

Trading is like playing a game of chess with a giant countdown timer right in front of you the whole time. It can be very stressful as you process data and make your move in real-time.

The goal is to get into a trade at the right time (at the very start of its up-trending) and get out at the right time (at the very start of its down-trending). Your profit is the difference.

So if I came in at $100 and exited at $105, I would net $5. Now multiply that by the amount of shares you bought. Say it was 100 shares — you just walked with $500. (If I exited at $95, I would lose $500!) A kid could do this.

There is a broad continuum of where the trade lands and you get better at timing as you gain experience.

If you “short sell” a company, it’s basically the same strategy in theory. Short selling is like betting against a company: you predict their stock will decline and when they do, you recoup the difference. Short-selling and options were too technical and risky for me, so I usually steered clear of those kinds of trades. As I mentioned, I’m not a pro at trading by any means.

Good Data, Not More Data

What I learned quickly is that it’s not the amount of data you collect on a company or trade. What matters is the quality of data. You can spend days or hours just on one trade, but it makes better sense to act on a solid trading strategy augmented by high-quality data.

I lost a lot of money because I was comparing dozens of patterns for one stock in one time period. It made my head explode. Eventually, I came to my senses and focused on just a few patterns and a few companies. I set up watch lists and alert systems. I even had my trading day all planned out.

In the end, I only traded 2–4 hours a day maximum. I did this just a few days a week. I think I did alright for myself considering I was working on so many other things in my life (micro-businesses, hobbies, travel, writing, etc). In total, I traded about 15 hours a week.

I was thinking about substitute teaching at a local college or high school, but the simple math stopped me. Subs make $155-$180 a day. I was making that and more before 11 am. Ultimately, when I got consistent at this subbing just seemed like a waste of time. Some days I made more in three days than a full-time teacher would make in a whole month!

Bad Trading Moments

I’ll never forget late August 2015. I lost over ten thousand dollars in a single day and it was unnerving. The whole financial world felt the shockwaves of this day as a massive sell-off commenced. But in a few months, things bounced back. I recouped most of the money.

Another time I’ll never forget is when VRX (Valeant Pharmaceuticals) dropped 40% in one day. It’s been puttering along ever since. I was slow to liquidate the stock I bought at $250 and that’s now worth $13 today. I lost thousands and it was painful to see the drama all around this unfold. It was like watching a home burn down. They are going to rebuild it, but it will never be the same or as great as it was. (Note to self: set a Stop Loss trigger price.)

 

Just recently, I was watching a diabetes medical device. This one was made in my home town and it had lots of promise (DXCM, DexCom). I bought DXCM stock right before it got FDA approval. I felt great about the buy. Then a day later Abbott Laboratories releases a similar glucose-monitoring product and DXCM tanked. And that’s part of swing trading. You can’t know everything and you’re destined to lose trades.

Less Trading

A few years into swing trading, and I can say I learned a lot. I’ve made more than I’ve lost. I’m up about 16% ROI year to date. I’ve had way better years, but that’s decent.

You can look at my 16% ROI and think, wow that’s great. But it’s not that great really. There are dozens of non-swing trade systems that completely blew my results away. Many are incredibly passive (that is, low maintenance).

Also, my ROI percentage for one year doesn’t make as much sense as my average weekly income. It was a goal to average at least $300 a day trading 3 days of the week. If I was on target, that became a decent monthly income you could live on in most places. I look at it more like that.

More importantly, I now have an odd skill set that produces results, most the time. In fact, I recently bought two Apple laptops and paid cash from two short trades I made. I hate debt and credit cards, so it was empowering to do this.

Was It All Luck Or Skill?

Deep down I think that even though I spent hundreds of hours learning to swing trade, my success was partly due to two things beyond me:

  • The bull market cycle.
  • Beginner’s luck.

I got into trading during an economic cycle that has been one of the longest bull markets in history. (BTW, it’s likely to end soon.) Granted you can make money swing trading in any kind of market, the bull was on my side for sure.

As far as beginner’s luck, I had it. I placed small investments and kept adding to what worked. Some trades would only be $1,000 worth of shares. I was experimenting with scientifically-informed decisions.

Sometimes I got lucky when I double-downed on a stock, and I can’t always say it was because I knew what I was doing. I think a lot of confirmation bias comes with winning trades.

I’ve always been a fundamentalist at heart. I’ve idolized Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger in the past. I see their trading style as 70% Value Investing and 30% Growth Investing (though that ratio is highly debatable). These billionaire investors are in it for the long hall, decades even. There is something to be said about their phenomenal success.

Then there is the analysis from one of the most celebrated investment books of all time: A Random Walk Down Wall StreetIn it, the economist Burton Malkiel talks about scientifically testing the efficacy of technical trading:

Put another way, if I never did any swing trading and invested all my money into a handful of diverse Vanguard or Dimensional funds, I would have gotten 8%-14% ROI from sitting on my butt!
No learning, no headaches, no problem.

 

Plus, you have to factor in all the mental anguish some trades has caused me. I had many sleepless nights. This wasn’t because of the massive eye strain staring at screens did to me (though I did wear special eye glasses for this). Losing trades really took a toll on me. Sometimes I couldn’t be level-headed. I didn’t want to jump off a ledge, but there is a lot of anxiety that comes with swing and day trading. The financial crisis of 2008 caused 5,000 suicides. Many of those people were traders.

These days, I trade less to keep my sanity. Trading doesn’t improve the world much or add value to something great: it only adds to your bottom line.

Life is more than padding your wallet.

If your personal life is starting to look like a crazy candle-stick stock chart that swings from one end to the other, what kind of life have you created? It’s just not worth it in the end.

ABC: Always Be Capitalizing

I believe what Robert Kiyosaki believes. You should always be investing, whether you’re an employee or a business owner. However, you have to invest the way that makes sense to you. It doesn’t have to be the center of your world or cause you massive mood swings.

If you have the capital and you’re interested in picking your own stocks, you could start with only investing 5%–10% of your funds. With the rest, have it professionally managed by people with Ph.D’s in economics and advanced degrees in asset management.

Teams of people who do this for a living with decades of experience are smarter than just you at this game. Let them worry about the details. Have them set up an ideal portfolio for your situation. You’ll sleep fine at night.

So what should you do with your time instead of mastering swing trading?

Find what you really want to do with your life that adds value to the world, and get to work!


[This article was originally featured in The Ascent, a top publication in Medium.]

NOTES

  • Investment Ideas — I got some good info and stock ideas from what they were doing at TraderHR.
  • Broker Accounts — I recommend MerrillEdge or Schwab’s High-Yield Investor Checking account. BofA’s MerrillEdge will give you lots of free trades (no fees) if you open an account with over $50,000. You can start a Schwab account for as little as $1,000. It conveniently connects a broker account to a checking and savings account. Plus, all ATM banking fees are reimbursed.
  • Schwab Advice — The quarterly print magazine Schwab mails to you is worth its weight in gold. I’d seriously pay for it, but it’s free with your account. It has great articles for long-term investors of every stripe. Contact me directly if you want a referral to a great advisor I trust.