So you’re in the trade of your life, you’re feel the ecstatic rush of excitement as your unrealized P/L skyrockets to astronomical levels, but then….out of nowhere…something worse than all the scariest horror movies put together…you get some variation of the following screens:
OR just plain… (not a broken link, this is really an image of a black screen)
You’re now sitting there deer in the headlights. What do you do? Throw the computer out the window? Cry for mommy?
No of course not. I’ve been in this horror scenario before and it didn’t work out too well. I was trading on a shitty laptop that wasn’t mine’s on Motel 6 WiFi (yeah I’m totally asking for it here). Long story short, I was in a trade in the morning I believe it was CBIS during the weed hype back in 2014. Was up about $6,000 on the trade and because I had everything on full screen and “on top”, I didn’t see the automatic restart countdown in the System Tray and my computer rebooted without me seeing it coming and when it booted back up it took 15+ minutes to “configure”. By the time, I was able to relaunch my platform I went from being +$6,000 unrealized to -$600. The worst ways to take a loss in a trade is when the loss had nothing to do with your trading ability at all. But the lesson here is to DISABLE AUTOMATIC WINDOWS UPDATE upon using ANY new computer. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Here are other things you can do to prevent this from happening and also a sequence of events you should run through such that you’ll never be a complete sitting duck.
1) Buy a Back Up Battery/Power Supply
Don’t let that power outage ruin your trade! Invest in a back up battery or power supply that will at least give you sufficient time to close out your positions (the one I use gives me around 15 minutes or so). It should cost you no more than $100-$200, it’s well worth the money believe me.
2) Have a Second Computer Handy
That spare old laptop that’s been useless and collecting dust for the past 5 years can be pressed in active duty again and save you from unnecessary losses here. Install your platform and have it within reach of your desk so you can fire it off at any moment to prevent any disasters.
3) Have your Phone Handy
Don’t have a second computer? If your platform has an app, you can use your phone to load your platform there and close your positions as well. You phone also works well as a back up internet source if your provider permits tethering. Look up that information, it will save you.
4) Back up ISP
If you do not have tethering capabilities, paying for a back up internet service can be an option for you. It will only be a few bucks a month and since you only need it in times of emergency you don’t need to opt for the high end crazy fiber optic option that will cost you an arm and a leg. You just need something that works. If you’re too cheap to do this, I hope you live next to a Starbucks or something so you can run there in your PJs to sell your position (I’m not kidding I actually did this before, didn’t even have time to brush my teeth either).
5) Call Your Broker and Tell Them to Get You the F*** Out!
Everyone knows that a broker-assisted trade costs extra fees, but this is truly the all else fails, last resort option. This is literally, if your 2nd computer also takes a dump on you, after your Backup Battery failed on you, your phone has no data left, or if you’re, for whatever reason, just stuck in the middle of the forest without a map. I was too stupid to think of this when i was stuck in that little pickle I was in with that automatic update situation. Have your broker on your phone as Speed Dial option #1 (Sorry Mom) so you can just reach them with a simple press of a button and tell them to save your ass. They get paid extra commission and you save yourself from a potential needless blow up, everyone’s happy.
Oh and if you live in a hilly area like me where you constantly get “less bars in more areas” (thanks AT&Turd), invest 10 bucks a month in a land line.
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Affiliate Disclosure: I know what you're thinking. Madaz, ya sneaky bastard, trying to sneak in some affiliate links. Any compensation I may receive from this will pay for big macs on days where the market isn't feeling so charitable. For a more complete version of this mumbo jumbo, please click here.