In Episode 12 of the Optimus Futures Podcast, Matt Zimberg, discusses the topic of time management and how to spend your time as a trader.

Humans are creatures of habit that tend to fall into routines. Whether good or bad, we tend to get stuck in our daily habits, many of which are extremely time-consuming. In the following podcast, Matt provides a few tips and tricks that traders can apply to their daily routines in order to spend their time more efficiently and maximize productivity when it comes to trading.

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There is a substantial risk of loss in futures trading. Past performance is not indicative of futures results.

Episode Transcript

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Welcome to the Optimus Futures Podcast. A place to learn from an industry insider with over 20 years of experience in commodity futures and options. Gain insight to the newest technology, platforms risk management, trading philosophy and advice about the current state of the futures and options markets. For futures trading platforms, deep discount trading commissions, overnight margins and instructional videos. Feel free to visit our website at


Please remember that this matter should be viewed as a solicitation to trade trading futures and options involve substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Optimus Futures LLC is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse any trading system, methodologies, newsletter or similar service. We urge you to conduct your own due diligence.


Hi guys this is Matt Z from Optimus Futures. Today I want to talk about time management and part of Time management is how you spend your time in researching. So we have abundance of information on the Internet. There are tons of books out there. And what I want to talk about is gaining access to people and material and content that would allow you to develop as a trader. I don’t believe that everything that you will read out there will help you. So you need to be very, very selective about what you are actually exposed to. If you’re exposed to practical and pragmatical material. It will definitely or I should say in my opinion it will bring you closer to your goal.


If you read material that is more hypothetical in nature more research base based on assumptions or things of that nature then I would say that you will probably not get to your goal of thinking like a trader. So let’s talk about this for a minute, let’s talk about how do you find the content out there that is relevant? How do you find and distinguish between people who have some sort of I would say an angle that would help you in trading? So the only examples that I can use is things that I do and hopefully you’ll find them useful and you’re going to apply it in your pursuit of looking for material and when you’re doing research and which is part of time management as a trader. So one of the things that I love to read is from people who actually have skin in the game and so I look for people out there who are actual traders, actual portfolio managers and they have some sort of an idea or an angle that I didn’t think about before. What of the recent books that I read was from an author that his name is Ray Dalio and he wrote the book principles and it’s really a set of values that applies in personal life and work ethic in building a large corporation that he built, Bridgewater I believe there are 150 billion dollars under management.


They talk about automation they talk about how they the people they talk about how they make decisions and it’s a very interesting approach to actual money management and risk. And I found it to be very, very useful in terms of how he makes decisions. And again you have a person here is actually a portfolio manager who manages capital and I believe it would help you substantially in terms of how you think of managing your capital. There are other authors there are other authors that are not necessarily are in the futures business, but they’re in the trading business or build successful businesses. And one of those people for example that I love to read is a blog by Howard Lindzon. He’s the founder of StockTwits which is interesting. I think it’s an organization that’s more successful than Twitter itself, but it’s built on the Twitter API. Basically it’s a social network of traders in stocks, forex, futures and he has a blog about you know about investing and trading. And the interesting part is that he actually is a very good listener. I think what makes him a good investor is that he listens to other ideas. He attends places he flies he meets with people. But again you know he’s not a futures trader but essentially the decision making that he does is based on all the information that people give him and to people like him when I started reading him which is the interesting part about smart people and intelligent people and humble people share their information. They refer you to other sources of information. So they’re not trying to be your guru they actually want you to learn from others as well.


So he in his blog here referred me to some, but not me personally but his readers too, Fred Wilson and Fred Wilson is in the venture capital business and I found his blog to be very interesting especially the articles that talk about risk because think about a venture capitalist venture capitalist is somebody that people come to him with ideas all the time. They’re looking for ideas but everybody says hey give me a million dollars. My idea is great but he can’t he can give everybody money asks him right. There’s a way that he evaluates things that are not known to him he cannot know every technology out there every company every gadget and every person. And nevertheless he runs a very successful venture capital and what I find similar between people who manage venture capital and traders is that they deal with a lot of uncertainty. So this is a person that’s been around they think in the venture capital business something like 30 years and now he deals with a lot of unknown variables which were traders actually deal with as well. So unknown variables risk and so forth. So there’s a certain way you think about it and he conveys it and he shares it. So those kind of people can help you as well. There are people that are also academic now I don’t have a problem with academics. I do have a problem with academics that never traded. I have a problem with researchers that never traded and do I essentially do I think they have valid points about trading? Sure they do. You know after all, trading, everybody can have an opinion.


But I think that people have actually traded will add a sense of something that I use a lot as practicality, being practical and pragmatical. So one of those guys is for example Nassim Taleb who wrote the book Black Swan, but he also talks about concepts of randomness and trading or having skin in the game. And those are very interesting concepts. Also he’s talking about how people have actually skin in the game might have a very different opinion than others or how the concept of randomness is judged from a trading perspective versus somebody on the street. And once you’re exposed to those ideas you really start thinking very, very differently. Let me give you an example of where you might start thinking differently when it comes to risk. After reading those people so or think about trading you know in a different way after reading those people’s articles.


I mean a lot of traders say you know I want to make 200 dollars a day or 50 dollars a day or 500 dollars a day based on my capital. But traders who have been in the game for a long time are investors don’t have this mentality because this is, as one of my smart colleagues said, this is more of an “employee mentality”. This is like you want a cash flow. You know you want to be rewarded for your efforts. But those who are in the business of risk don’t think like that. They don’t say things like I want to have two hundred dollars a day or 50 dollars a day. They understand that there is a certain level of uncertainty that there will be months they’ll lose, there’s certain months they’ll win, there will be years that they win, there will be years that they lose and hopefully they’ll get to their goal and hopefully they’ll have hopefully again, you know above average return if they apply their method right, apply risk right and so forth.


So as you expose yourself more and more and more to people that actually have skin in the game who are writing about things that are related to risk taking. And again it does not necessarily have to be from trading. I love to read from all aspects of life. I read trading books, I read marketing books, I read sales books and sometimes I read human psychology books. Every single one of them gives me an angle of how I take those things that are relevant to trading and I translate it or think or apply them in the way that I think they would be relevant and in the trading world. Besides that you have to think about the time that you have in terms of abundance. So for example it takes me to get sometimes anywhere from 20 minutes 30 minutes to work and I spend it in my car.


So one of the things that I’ve done I’ve got this application an app called Audible and basically it has audible books. Now I just buy one every single time and I listen to it. I read at home and I love to listen to it in the car. But before I come to work now I have more exposure. Now I have now dedicated another 20 minutes 30 minutes to actually listening to somebody who shares his story. And there’s thousands of books on this application, you know chose the one that is appropriate for you. So again you know get exposed to people that have skin in the game.


That’s the number one advice that I can give you. There’s so much material out there on the Internet there’s thousands of sites and sometimes it’s very, very hard to filter out what you should read and what you shouldn’t read. But I think as you get if you become a little bit more selective about the people that you choose how to read you will see, you will start thinking not thinking but you’ll start, the world looking for you start noticing, that the people that regardless of what they do in life the successful people the traders or people who run large organizations or hedge funds or anything of the sort they have a similar way of evaluating risk and this is you you’ll pick up on those trades and those traits and hopefully you start thinking along the way as well.


I think it takes anywhere between you know probably three months to six months of you know where you’ll see a slight change in your frame of mind because I know people personally that are always on the Net are always looking at every article they’re looking at indicators they’re looking at. Everybody who proposes a solution. But I don’t think you should listen to everyone to read everything you should be extremely selective with your time. If you have an hour to read a day or two hours make sure that it actually is going to contribute and make you a better decision maker. So time management in terms of your research is one of the most important thing that you’ll do as a trader.


Let’s talk for a minute about all the things that you’re exposed to and how to be selective and a little bit snobbish with your time when it comes to reading other people’s content. So let’s talk for a minute but you have others so you have things like social media like Twitter. You have blogs, forums, there’s audio books and then there’s things that you come randomly on the Internet. So what you have to do is basically think objectively, how you have been exposed to material right now or the content I should say. So if you come to the Internet and you start punching in things and you find things randomly because of Google search I would say that’s really not the best method to do it but you still may come across very good material. But the key is really to write to yourself where is your biggest exposure in terms of content. Are you getting it from a forum? Are you getting it from blogs? Are you getting it from just randomly looking for things on the Internet? And kind of set criteria for yourself. How will you use your time going forward and reading this content?


So for example if you think there are people out there that have good blogs organized those blogs you see and enable the notifications on those blogs. If you are on forums then make sure you follow the people that are of interest to you, eliminate the ones who don’t get into threads where the people just go on and on and on about things that are completely irrelevant and don’t help you. If you still read traditional books allocates time and decide how many books you want to read per week, per month, and also be selective about what you read. I know that people have might have other interests outside of training. I’m not saying that everything that you do in terms of your time should be related to that but if you read books make sure that you have, if it’s, 20 hours a week or 10 hours a week or whatever the case is make sure that those hours are dedicated to reading books of people we actually have skin in the game and again if you didn’t read Ray Dalio it will be principles that will be a really good start, really excellent book. So I hope that you’re seeing here that what I’m trying to do is basically allocate those specific time slots for you so you decide where you want to get your exposure. Who you want to get your exposure from and then there is something that I call a reflection time. When I read about something that makes me think while I read. I actually stop and I think well how can I apply this in my own training if I can. So you should obviously do the same. Do not just go on and reading, you know to catch up with more content. Rather have a pause and say you know what. This is an interesting concept. Could I utilize it in my own trading? Could I make this more practical in my own training and could I apply it? You will find that some things you can apply and some things you can’t and then you just go on and you will decide how what is right and what is wrong for you. But as you will come a better decision maker, as you will read more content that is relevant to trading and less content that is promissory meaning that not content that promises to make you a great person and a great trader because every single person out there that has skin in the game actually has been successful.


We’ll approach it with a sense and a dose of reality that is very healthy. And he will tell you the challenges that are out there. This is where you always distinguish between the people that sell your dreams versus the people to tell it like it is. People will say it like it is always have a sense of harsh reality that you might encounter. And the difficulty and the challenges in implementing it. And this is what you’re looking for in every single content that you read. You want to look for the challenges that people are talking about. That is the most important thing in my opinion at least in deciding if the material is practical or not.


That was my last point. And guys I hope you enjoyed this podcast. I wish I had time to do this more frequently and I will definitely do my best but I hope you’ll really enjoyed this one, so until next time. All the best and best of luck in trading. Thank you.


Thank you for listening to the optimist futures podcast. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Sound Cloud and Google Play. You can also find us on YouTube Facebook Twitter and Google Plus all under the username Optimus features if you have any questions feel free to send us an email to support our Optimus futures dot com or give us a call directly at 561-367-86864. Toll free at 1-800-771-6748. Once again thank you for listening to the Optimus Futures Podcast.


Please remember that this matter should be viewed as a solicitation to trade trading futures and options involve substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Optimus Futures LLC is not affiliated with nor does it endorse any trading system methodologies newsletter or similar service. We urge you to conduct your own due diligence.




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