Trading stopped for me yesterday (22nd December) and will not recommence till the first Tuesday in the new year. Yes, markets are open during this period, but with many professional and institutional participants on holidays, volumes will be lighter and any opportunity will be lower probability. I prefer to take a break rather than push my luck.

Breaks from the market offer two options:

  1. Take a complete break away from trading to relax, recharge and refresh yourself – body, mind and soul!

  2. Take the opportunity to work on improving your trading in any of the key areas – knowledge, skill and attitude.

Or of course any combination of the two.

Option 1 is a valid choice. If you're tired and fatigued or if you've neglected your family or friends then take this opportunity to restore the balance in your life.

But if you're not satisfied with your trading, and you're not overly fatigued, you'll want to spend some time on option 2.

For me, I've allocated Christmas Day as a day free from all thoughts of trading. And January 1st & 2nd as days for… well… let's just call it recovery. But every other day I've allocated a block of up to two hours for trading review, study and practice.

Don't just make this up as you go. Plan ahead to ensure you make the most effective use of your time.

Double click the following image to open a study planner template in your browser (or right click here and save a copy of this PDF template). Print it out, get a pen, and spend an hour planning how you can best use your time over the next week and a half.

Enter your goals and tasks on page one, for each of the key areas of Knowledge, Skill or Attitude. And then reference them from the calendar on page two. For example, I would enter a reference of "S21" meaning that on this day I would work on Skill, Goal 2, Task 1).

Don't waste this learning opportunity.

Happy planning,

Lance Beggs

2014 Update:

Obviously the 2011 / 2012 calendar above is of no use in future years. The following webpage will allow you to quickly and easily create and print an up to date calendar, for whatever time period you wish.

There are many other alternate sites as well, if you don't like this one. Simply google "online calendar creator".


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