Barred from Trading at Work: A curse or a gift?

Well, they've done it. The IT guys at my day job have blocked access to streaming market data. I can't trade at lunch anymore or even doodle on charts! Yet, this event merely pushes my agenda forward as I've never intended to trade actively at work (i.e. no intention of getting myself fired). Although I have honestly been pushing my luck these weeks. For the longest time, I've traded stocks, options, and even dabbled in futures (not while at work!). On a whim in September 2009, I decided to try out the foreign exchange markets with a demo account just to see what the fuzz is about. Since then I have not looked back... Nah! But no, trading stocks still remain my main staple. I am just curious about forex and it never hurts to broaden my understanding of the capital market. I must admit though, forex suits my trading style. I fully intend to incorporate it in my portfolio in the long run. So what is my plan about forex trading? What do I want to achieve with my obsessive paper trading lately? My paper trading objectives:

  1. Identify my trading weaknesses
  2. Identify my strengths
  3. Experiment with various trading signals and strategies
  4. Get a feel of trading the forex market
  5. Understand the dynamics between currencies

I'd be a fool to claim that I have achieved my objectives. Trading is a never-ending learning process. This is nothing but the first stage in my forex trading sojourn. The next stage now, as I have intended from the beginning, is to automate some trading processes from what I've learned. Such that I can remain active in the markets even when I am not around. Not for more profits, but to reduce risks. This need became blatantly obvious to me as some of my positions were left running through Asia and early Europe. Profits were sometimes turned into losses. If only my stops were moved. Fortunately, the vigorous paper trading in the past few months does have its advantage. It has given me ideas for 3 new trading systems. I have disclosed one concept with my post on FTC setup. As I was saying, being blocked from trading at work merely pushes my agenda forward. I haven't touched a single line of code for 5 months. Now I have no choice but to work on developing some semi-automated trading systems to continue my forex paper trading. My ultimate goal is to let myself do the high-level decision making, such as which pair to trade, which side of the position, and when. Then let loose a simple algorithmic trading system to take care of the timing for entries and exits, and some basic risk management. My forex trading life continues.