For nearly half a decade, I had a singular focus that dominated the majority of my life… this was to become a consistently profitable day trader. I had sold myself the dream of evolving into the type of trader that could consistently “milk the market” and one day compound my trading account into the millions. Though I did eventually find the consistency I was seeking, it came at a very steep cost; I no longer had a life outside of trading.
I had basically become a robot. A slave to the markets. The market dictated what time I woke up and went to bed. What I did while I was awake, who I spent time with, when and for how long. It even dictated what I ate on most days. All in the name of maintaining consistency in my trading returns. I had very clearly defined routines that my life had to adhere to. Pre market, mid market, post market, and each was a necessary part of my trading plan. A lot of good things came out of this rigid way of living. To name a few, I developed a meditation habit, started going to bed earlier and became consistent with my journaling.. things that have significantly improved my quality of life, but on the list of things that suffered the most during this period, relationships were at the very top. I no longer had enough time in the day to spend with people. Instead, any “free” time i had was spent in front of the computer screen logging more chart time.
As I write this, I am aware that there are people out there who maintain a healthy balance between the markets and other areas of their lives. It’s not impossible, but it is extremely difficulty to achieve and maintain over an extended period of time. If I couldn’t attain this mythical state of balance as a single man with no wife and kids, how on earth could I expect things to change for the better when I had more responsibilities on my plate? Something had to give.
Cue, the algos!
I had a computer science degree so the concept of creating algorithms to automate certain tasks wasn’t new to me. I’d been creating algorithms for years, at school and at my day job as a software engineer, but I’d never thought of myself as smart enough to create trading algorithms. Beating the market on a consistent basis is hard enough as it is, now we’re talking about creating a computer program that beats the market for you?? Sounded too good to be true. I had this limiting belief that only the billion dollar hedge funds and investments banks on wall-street, with teams of PhD’s cranking out code and all sorts of mathematical models in their sleep, were capable of achieving this. What chance did I have to compete in that arena? As I would later find out, the quant trading pie is definitely big enough for more than just wallstreet.
Because of the thousands of hours of screen time that I had logged, I had began identifying several anomalies in the markets that seemed to play out consistently over time. I began codifying these and putting them through rigorous cycles of backtesting and forward testing. The results were astonishing. After months of testing, tweaking and refining, I had before me, a goose that laid golden eggs (or so to speak).
The impact this had on my life was near instantaneous. As a west coast based trader, i had historically been forced to structure my life around east coast trading hours, so a typical weekday for me would usually start at 4am. I would run through my morning ritual for about an hour or so, then wrap up just in time to catch the east coast market open, where most of the best trading opportunities would appear. This obviously takes a toll on a person after while but was the necessary cost of admission for the game i had chosen to play. Not to mention as a point-and-click trader, the emotional roller coaster that can sometimes become the norm of your life, had begun chipping away at my mental health. The highs are high but when the lows come, they can get pretty low. What automation did was immediately give me back a piece of my life that I didn’t consciously realize had been sacrificed. By setting me on the path of optimization, the algos had given me a new game to play and in turn, gifted back to me precious time that has allowed me to live a more balanced life and scale the vision i have in a more sustainable way. Now with a team of talented engineers coming alongside me to execute on this vision, I’m excited for what the future has instore for Inyasha Capital, as we continue to explore the space where human creativity meets technology.
More to come as our journey unfolds!