It was a 2 hours drive from my place to the meet-up. I was sick from all the traveling and had initially decided to remove myself from society in general for a few days.
1 hour before the meeting, I stood up anyway and scolded myself. “This is not how you show people respect for their time.”
By the time I arrived, it was late in the afternoon, and I was already tired from driving through the dusty roads of Metro Manila.
It was a Saturday.
I sat next to one of ZFT’s junior mentor. We joked about what he wore, and after apologizing for coming last, I settled down to eat the food the host prepared.
It was a beautiful home. Minimalist for quite a large family. There was enough greenery to satisfy the soul, and wooden furniture dominated the interiors.
“Boss,” he said. He turned his shoulder to face the guy beside me. Sitting to my left is Zeefreaks, wearing his usual nondescript clothing and sporting a new haircut. His mouth was still half-full of peanuts.
“I need your opinion on something.”
The guy speaking was Tor, a junior mentor.
“I’m up 350% this year. Should I reset or should I keep trading with this big capital?”
It was only mid-February but every trader in the room knows the market has been tremendously generous to her players. Congratulatory messages reigned the social media stratosphere. It was almost every day that a stock can hit 50% up, and the next day another 50% more.
Even before Tor asked, he already had his own answer. But still, he wanted to hear what Zee would say.
“Congratulations! But I think you should reset your port. Clean it. Return to baseline”, he said hastily, as if it had to be done now.
It was the weekend.
“Trust me. Your money has grown beyond what you can manage, so before you give it back to the market, and subconsciously return to the level you’re comfortable with, withdraw it now and lock in your profits for real.”
Tor hesitated. He still has a position at a stock that he believes would go long.
“Listen,” Zee continued, this time his voice stressing on his conviction. “I’ve made that mistake a lot of times before. Namimigay yung market ngayon– which is very rare! Kaya kunin nyo na.”
“Pero, Boss.”, Nina started. “Isn’t it always like this every first quarter of the year?”
I was sure that wasn’t right. I haven’t been trading long, but I have not seen a market like this before. I started trading on a January a few years back, and I remember the massacre that occurred on the stock market during that time.
“No,” he replied. “The last I have seen this was around 6 to 7 years ago.”
There was a collective gasp around the table.
“Milk it now and make sure you lock in your profits for this season.”
“Pero, boss, konti nalang… mag QYM na eh (quadruple your money)”
“Stop… See? That’s where it begins. This is Superman Syndrome. I’ve made this mistake three times before. One time, I turned my 16 million into 8.”
On March 19, 2018
The sky rained daggers. The weather in the PSE has not been good for the past few days. Breakouts would not follow through. ION was a terrible example.
A lot of those who tried to catch the fall, fell down with it. Another casualty, and another casualty, and there goes another one.
Social Media quiets down again.
The fast risers, tumbled down twice faster. Some of them returning to what they were a month ago.
A new season has begun.
Unlike most traders, I have not seen the light of day until years after I have started trading.
I heard that the majority of stories of those who jumped into trading had their first successive wins in the beginning, and that got them hooked.
I was tested the moment I planted a foot. I was punished for every wrong turn.
With this, I forever remained suspicious and respectful of the market. Not even the most skillful warrior can survive the wrath of the hurricane.
This is not where easy money can be made because from where I came from, and getting to where I am now, did not come easily to me at all.
Humor me for a moment and sit back in my bubble to observe.
Right in front of you is a hundred thousand of traders.
Join their group, read their discussions.
What if you can tell which part of the cycle we are in just by observing what they post about?
The night where everyone starts posting news sources from way back 2015, and no one is afraid, and everybody is winning—
You gotta be ready. It’s time to sell.
Whew! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you guys locked in those juicy profits from early this year! It’s only been 3 months into 2018 but it does feel like so much has already happened– I feel older already!
If you like this piece, do watch out for Part 2:
“Everybody’s losing (The Bear begins)”
Someday, you’ll find me…