lightning strikes and computer equipmentWord of caution to traders regarding lightning strikes and computer equipment.  Surge protectors and even the APS devices do not protect against direct lightning hits.

Lightning Strikes and Computer Equipment for Traders

On Monday, June 1st, while I was in a mentoring session, my office and home was hit by lightning.  It struck the cable transformer, ran down the cable line, and proceeded down the line to my home and office.  I have everything on high quality surge protectors but it did not matter.  As it was a direct hit, the cable modems were fried; the router was fried; the power supply, motherboard, and video graphics card were fried; my mom’s television and the underground dog fence were toasted.  The air conditioning compressor in my office blew up, as well.  Somehow my monitors survived…….I don’t know how but they did.

The probabilities of this occurring are low.  In fact, ask most computer technicians and they would tell you that you are safe with the surge protectors.  In reality, it did occur and the surge protectors, well they tried but they just couldn’t handle the direct hit. — but it did.  I have laughed at my mother before because she goes around and unplugs everything during a storm.  Now she can laugh at me.  I thought we had come a long way in preventing this kind of damage, which is why I invest in high quality surge protectors.  But, as the saying goes, “Mom knows best” and I should have listened to her experience.

Thankfully, I have always anticipated a major mishap with my computer and had multiple backups of everything and different locations.  This meant that I could still “go to work”, albeit inside my home instead of my office.  I could not operate at full speed but I could still operate.

Now, due to my lack of listening skills, I suffered a very painful experience.  Even though I had backups, had everything going through a surge protector, and did what I thought was right — in reality, it is my fault because she tried to tell me but I refused to listen.  Now, I hear the message loud and clear.  Unplug everything when a storm comes.  Yes, I will now be running around unplugging my electronics, just like my mother.  How cute is that?

This concept of “not listening” is not new to the trading world.  In fact, I deal with traders everyday that refuse to listen.  There must be an easier way, there has to be a shortcut, they want to trade earlier than they should, they think they are so smart and this will be easy, and the list goes on and on.  But, in reality, just like I needed a lesson in listening, so do they.  Inevitably, for these traders, the market will teach them the same lessons that I teach.  The only difference — the market is like a drill sergeant that inflicts pain like you have never known before.  You will be left not knowing if you will survive, if you can go on, or if it is even possible to take another trade.  And, some will not continue — they will give up trading because the pain is just too great.  Others will continue but they will learn to listen.