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#007 Fireside Fridays - Playing The Afterwork Game, The Power Of Visualization & Exploring Yucatán

The Trading Journal

The stories I'll share in this and the upcoming newsletters pick up where my book, School Dropout, Chimney Sweep, Investment Banker:The Art of Pursuing Goals That Seem Unattainable at First Glance, ends. It's the epilogue that didn't get printed but happened in the chapters of real life.

A couple of seconds passed and like magic, my trading account was credited with $1,000. I looked at the screen in awe. This very moment is still one of the most remarkable ones in my life. It marked the beginning of my transition from being a consumer to being an investor.

Don't get me wrong, it takes way more than a brokerage account and $1,000 to call yourself an investor, but it was the first step for me. Instead of using debt to finance stuff I don't need and can't afford, like the brand-new Chevrolet Malibu I bought when I was 23 years old, this time was different. I used other people's money to make money, or at least I tried.

To make this work, I vowed to myself to put my emotions aside and play strictly by the trading rules I have learned over the last few weeks. The first thing I needed was a trading diary. This was a non-negotiable. To be successful in trading, I needed to bring my ideas and reasoning to paper.


Imagine you placed five trades; with three of them, you have lost money, and with two of them, you have made a stellar profit. Well, you want to know for sure why you lost money on the trades which didn't work, but more importantly, you want to know why your other two trades were successful. Otherwise, it's like throwing money on the line and hoping for something good to happen.

You can't get better if you don't measure your outcome and reflect on your reasoning as well as your actions.

To build my trading journal, I chose a plain Excel sheet as I was sitting at my computer when I was trading anyway. For every trade, I would record the following:

  • Date & Time when I placed my trade,

  • The underlying I was opening a position in, for example, this could be an index, stock, commodity, etc.,

  • The reason why I was opening the trade, also called the trading signal, usually a specific chart formation,

  • The price level at which I was opening my position, let's say a stock price of $100,

  • The direction of my trade, which means I either go long aka buying the stock or go short aka selling the stock, as well as...

  • My exit level, that's the price level at which I would close my position aka sell the stock. For example, I bought the stock at $100 and my exit level is $109 on the upside and $97 on the downside, creating a 1:3 payoff ratio.

This is absolutely crucial when it comes to trading; you need to have a set in stone plan when to cut your losses and when to take your profits and execute them no matter what.

On top of that, I would make three screenshots per trade.

  1. The trading signal aka the chart formation to understand my reasoning why I entered the trade.

  2. One immediately after I placed my trade as proof of which price level and under which conditions I actually got in, and

  3. The last one right after I closed my trade to document my result.

I know it's a nitty-gritty process, but for me, it's the only way it works; otherwise, I would get lost in emotions and biases, and you probably would too...

You are curious what happened so far?

1. Level Up Your Career Game: Playing The Afterwork Game

Are you a high achiever?

Then chances are good that you've figured out how to go the extra mile at work. However, hard work only gets you so far. The real magic happens at after-work events.


Think about it: if you're working in a high-pressure, high-stakes environment, hard work is a prerequisite. Hard work is the basic expectation that your team and your boss have. Going the extra mile helps you stand out from the crowd, but to truly advance and especially to advance quickly you need two things:

1. People must like you.

This requires that people know you, and not just in the sense of "Oh yeah, that's the guy who prepares the presentations for us," but rather, "Hey, that's John, the guy we went out with the other night."

2. You need someone to vouch for you behind closed doors.

Nobody likes to vouch for someone they don't like. Even if you do great work, there are probably more than enough coworkers who do the same. The decisive factor is whether you're the first person that comes to mind when they think of someone from the team they'd enjoy spending time with.

After-work events are also a great opportunity to interact with upper management in a relaxed conversation.

Pro Tip: Management tends to leave relatively early, so it's best to seize the opportunity when someone from your team, whom you're close with, is talking with the management, just join the conversation.

Action step: Don't miss out on after-work events. Treat them like client meetings and make sure to make the best out of them.

PS: don't forget to have fun and enjoy the evening!

2. Retire Early: The Power Of Visualization

Have you ever heard of the concept of visualization?

For many years, I had no idea about it, however, I practiced it subconsciously.

When I started studying for my bachelor's degree in Finance and Management, the amount of learning material totally overwhelmed me. The mere thought of studying for three consecutive years and writing an exam every one to two months was intimidating. Up to that point, the longest education program I'd ever done was my chimney sweep master's program, which took me 12 months. However, I was so grateful to have the opportunity to take on this challenge that I gave it my all.

I studied several hours a day, and sometimes my mind wandered into daydreams. I pictured myself attending the commencement ceremony after successfully finishing my program. I stood there wearing my robe and cap, walking towards the stage to receive the bachelor's degree I had worked so hard for over the last few years. The images were so vivid I could clearly see the rich colors of the robes, it was almost like a movie. I envisioned the moment when I received my degree and finally threw my cap in the air to celebrate the achievement countless times.

A few years later, I actually finished my degree and was even chosen to give the commencement speech. I spoke in front of 400+ people, and it was an incredible feeling. Afterwards, my fellow students and I took a photo on the stage as we were throwing our caps.

What happened next blew my mind.

A few days later, as I looked at the photo, it resembled precisely the daydreams I've had years earlier. It captured the exact moment I had dreamed of for the last three years.

That's the power of visualization.

Pro Tip: Set aside 10-15 minutes a day to sit down and visualize your goals. If you can believe it, you can achieve it.

Trust me - it happened to me multiple times.

3. Travel The World: Exploring Yucatán by Colectivo

Angelika and I are in love with Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. We got engaged in Tulum and visited Yucatán multiple times since. While most travelers go for rented cars or guided tours to explore the area, there’s a local mode of transport that offers an authentic taste of life in the region – the colectivo.

What are Colectivos?

Colectivos are shared vans or minibuses that transport locals and the occasional adventurous travellers from town to town. Most of them are white with a simple sign on the windshield indicating the destination. They provide a window into the daily routines of locals and offer an affordable way of transportation.

How to Catch a Colectivo?

Colectivos don’t run on a fixed schedule like buses. Instead, they depart once they're full, ensuring an efficient trip. In popular areas like Playa del Carmen or Tulum, you’ll find designated colectivo stops. However, in more remote locations, it’s as easy as flagging one down on the roadside.

The Benefits

- Cost-Effective: Traveling by colectivo is wallet-friendly. With fares significantly cheaper than taxis or rental cars, you can save money for day-trips or delicious food and by cheaper I mean like a few cents for a ride.

- Flexibility: Without fixed timetables, you can explore at your own pace. Want to stay a bit longer at a cenote or at the beach bar? Simply catch the next colectivo passing by.

Tips for a Smooth Ride

- Carry Small Change: Fares are paid in cash, and drivers appreciate exact or small change.

- Travel Light: Space is limited, especially during peak hours. A backpack or small day-bag is ideal.

- Safety: Like with all modes of transport, keep an eye on your belongings. Colectivos are generally safe, but it’s always wise to be cautious.

At the end of the day, travelling is all about these everyday moments, the casual conversations, and the unexpected stops along the way. So next time you find yourself in Yucatán give the colectivo a try and let the journey unfold.

Adventure Awaits,

Kevin Schwarzinger

Founder, ChimneyCapital

Author, World Explorer & Solopreneur

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