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Thomas Bulkowski’s successful investment activities allowed him to retire at age 36. He is an internationally known author and trader with 30+ years of stock market experience and widely regarded as a leading expert on chart patterns. He may be reached at

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Chart Patterns: After the Buy
Getting Started in Chart Patterns, Second Edition book.
Trading Basics: Evolution of a Trader book.
Fundamental Analysis and Position Trading: Evolution of a Trader book.
Swing and Day Trading: Evolution of a Trader book.
Visual Guide to Chart Patterns book.
Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns 2nd Edition book.

Bulkowski's Trading Commitment

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Candles Chart
Small Patterns
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 06/18/2018
24,987 -103.01 -0.4%
11,050 -24.14 -0.2%
681 2.25 0.3%
7,747 0.65 0.0%
2,774 -5.91 -0.2%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 06/14/2018
25,750 or 24,500 by 07/01/2018
11,350 or 10,600 by 07/01/2018
695 or 645 by 07/01/2018
8,000 or 7,500 by 07/01/2018
2,850 or 2,700 by 07/01/2018

Written by and copyright © 2005-2018 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information.


Trading Commitment: Basket Case Bob

Bob began life in a large family whose parents taught him that hard work led to success. He applied himself and was accepted to Harvard. While studying to become a lawyer, he paid for his living expenses by working as a salesman, and he married his childhood sweetheart who pushed out three kids along the way.

Life was picture-perfect until he became bored as a lawyer and began looking at the stock market. He did not devote the time, energy, and resources to make trading successful, but he was used to making a commitment to succeed. He redoubled his efforts.

After two years of studying and researching, he had developed a system with rules he could obey, and his trading turned profitable. However, as his trading commitment grew, his home life suffered. His wife could not understand the time required to develop the system and resented having to set an appointment to see him. His kids always found dad buried behind the glow of a computer screen. Even during his free time, his mind was on the markets instead of his wife and children. He stopped exercising and his diet suffered when fast food became not a treat but a ritual.

He quit his job to work full time on trading. Without a business plan to chart his way to success and without enough money to properly capitalize his new endeavor, the lifestyle to which his family had become accustomed suffered. His wife got a job as a nurse to help provide for the missing income, but the strain on their relationship grew. She demanded more attention.

Trading Commitment: Trading Balance

The work ethic instilled by his parents said that to make twice as much as he did as a lawyer, he would have to work twice as hard. But he failed to recognize the toll it would take on himself and his family. The solution to his problem was not to work harder, but to balance his commitment to trading, his own health, and the health of his family.

To achieve that balance, his wife and children needed to understand the rigors a startup business required in time, money, and emotional support. They needed to not only understand but approve of the undertaking, otherwise the stress induced in themselves and in him would tear the family apart.


Test Yourself

Take this test to see if your life needs rebalancing.

  1. Do you devote enough time to your trading -- not too little nor too much to achieve the kind of success you desire?
  2. Do you get enough restful sleep?
  3. Can you leave your trading life in the office and not take it home with you?
  4. Does your family life suffer because you are not devoting enough time to them?
  5. Does your family approve of the commitment you have made to your trading?
  6. Are you eating properly?
  7. Are you exercising frequently?
  8. Have you found healthy ways to cope with stress?

You should have answered "Yes" to all questions except #4. Give yourself one point for each correct answer. The higher the score, the more balanced you are. To put it another way, a low score means you're unbalanced.

If you keep the components of nutrition, stress management, exercise, and rest in balance with your commitment to trading, you will be happier, healthier, and perhaps more profitable.

-- Thomas Bulkowski


See Also

Written by and copyright © 2005-2018 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. If guns are outlawed, how will we shoot liberals?