What to do when life gets in your way of trading?

Sometimes, things in life will get in the way of your trading. From down with a cold to your internet service provider acting up, there are times when your are not able to trade in your ideal zone. What do you do in these disadvantaged circumstances? Do you take some NyQuil or whip out your Blackberry, and then continue trading? This decision certainly depends on the severity of your handicap and your trading responsibility. If you have a massive open position with no stop, you'd better suck it up and do something about it quick. For amateurs such as myself with nobody to answer to but my own account, I would scale out of my positions and then stop trading to focus on fixing my obstacle. I am faced with this question recently and here's what I'm doing about it. I have been practicing paper trading forex for the past few months working out some trading signals and strategies before going live. During this time, I have become very fond of the 3-hour chart. My strategy essentially boils down to making high-level decisions on the weekly and daily charts, then executing my trades on the 3-hour and 1-hour charts. I've written specifically about my basic setup and how I scale into a trade on the 3-hour timeframe. This latter technique, along with managing my stops, are the basis of my risk management. So imagine the disruption to my perfect world when I was barred from trading at my day job last month. The first step I took is to adapt my trading strategy. I tried trading a longer timeframe so that I don't have to move my orders every few hours. But the inability to limit my risks is really getting to me. That was the best part of my trading system and now I can't use it anymore. This is one big hole into my trading strategy. So rather than continue on trading with a handicap, I've decided to cast my trading aside to focus on remedying this problem as soon as possible. Here are my 2 reasons for it.

  1. There are always opportunities in the market.
  2. There is no handicap system in trading.

Since my best trading system is effectively broken at this point, I cannot perform as well as I should. Rather than compete with the rest of the world in a handicapped state, it's better for me to ease back on trading to put my effort to fixing my shortcomings. The longer I delay, the more my demo account would be unnecessary exposed. In fact, continuing to trade full force with a handicap would just be reckless and arrogant. I am just scrapping by when I'm well. I can't imagine how deep my drawdown would be if I trade without my best technique. Here is my trading plan for the next few weeks. I will trade another strategy using a longer timeframe. I will limit my risks and focus by holding at most 2 positions at a time with maximum of 0.2% of account at risk for each. The majority (about 70%) of my usual trading time will be spent on learning MQL 4 and developing automated risk management systems. That's the story of my problem and solution. What do you do when life gets in your way of trading?