“You can’t kid yourself in trading. You have to deal with who you really are, and take responsibility for all your shortcomings, which the markets have a way of revealing rather starkly. You have to confront all your fears and tame them. You have to check your ego at the door.

 You learn from each experience. There’s nothing in life that you can do that can guarantee that you’re not going to go through some pain. Trading is certainly not a singular pursuit in that regard. What I have learned is this: Patience and diligence are rewarded. Profits will eventually accrue if you do the right thing and stick with it. That’s the most important thing!


Two Thoughts For Traders

2-POINTS1.      It’s okay to be wrong as long as you aren’t very wrong for very long. The worst thing is to be stubborn and override your process because you are emotionally invested in what you believe.

2.      The expression “you’re only as good as your last trade” is incorrect. You are only as good as your process. One can get a trade right for the wrong reasons, and a trade wrong for the right reasons. It is crucial to distinguish the two for long-term success, and stick to your strategy.

1 Thing Critical To A Trader's Success

I think more than anything it has to be discipline. Because as important as finding a suitable methodology, developing a strategy, sound risk management, and position sizing is, it will be for nothing if you don’t have the discipline to consistently execute it and follow your rules.

Discipline is an integral part of all trading, whether systematic or discretionary, day trading or buy-and-hold, across all asset classes. I don’t believe you can be consistently successful without it.

Risk control based on risk per trade, risk control based on sector, risk control based on total portfolio.

You must know how much you can lose on a given trade, and the maximum loss to your entire portfolio at any one time. Only then can you take the necessary measures to manage these risks.

Almost equally important is correct trading psychology. Being able to accept trades that do not work. Staying focused and strong in the complete uncertainty of trading.

Because even the best trading system will have losing periods and this is when you need to remain discipline and continue executing your trades.

A trader must have many different ingredients to be successful in trading, but what is absolutely critical is that you must love the type of trading you do.

Many people think they have a passion for trading but the reality of trading; watching charts, managing risk all day, is not as exciting as many believe. If you are a day trader then you must actively enjoy this process.

If not, you must find another form of trading (or profession) that suits your style. That might be swing trading, automated trading, systems trading, whatever. But what you must have is passion!

The Right Side

A quote from one the best traders of our time, Jesse Livermore: “It takes a man a long time to learn all the lessons of all his mistakes. They say there are two sides to everything. But there is only one side to the stock market; and it is not the bull side or the bear side, but the right side. It took me longer to get that general principle fixed firmly in my mind than it did most of the more technical phases of the game of stock speculation.”

Being a bull or a bear alone is meaningless out of the crucial context of the current market conditions. All that really matters for the great game of speculation is being on the “right side”, knowing when the markets are in a bull or a bear trend and deploying your speculative capital accordingly.

Once again Livermore ties speculation back into the speculator’s own internal emotions. He points out that it makes no sense to be bullish or bearish as a rule, but to carefully watch the market conditions in order to be on “the right side” at any given moment. Most speculators are burdened with an innate emotional bias to be bullish that is dangerous and must be eradicated if they wish to succeed in speculation.

A speculator must not foolishly try to bend the markets to his will, but instead prudently bend his will to the markets! If a bull trend is evident, be long. If a bear trend dominates, be short. An elite speculator doesn’t care at all which way the markets are moving, he just wants to be “right” and recognize the trend early enough to prudently deploy his own capital and be blessed to harvest profitable trades.

Forget the endless bull and bear arguments and don’t let any other speculators try to pigeonhole you into one of the two warring camps. Instead of being a perma-bull or perma-bear, instead strive to listen to the rhythm of the markets and simply be “right” about what is coming to pass next and trade accordingly.

How Mistakes Can Become Baggage

Those of us who don’t learn from mistakes are destined to repeat them. Most traders are busy focusing on trying to understand what moves the market, but an equally beneficial endeavor is understanding what causes you to move.

This involves knowing the underlying, often subconscious to a degree,  reasons behind your entries and exit decisions. The inner market. Understanding the connection between your internal state and your behavior is a very effective way to get a handle on repeated mistakes.

In general, P&L is an expression of how well you control your actions, not how well you analyze charts, the market, economy etc. Or more accurately, how well you control your actions when facing the discomfort of uncertainty. 

Mistakes become emotional baggage when we choose not to learn from them. Not wanting those moments where we can see the truth about our own issues ensures they return again.

The secret of discipline

The secret of discipline

Discipline seems to be that elusive element in trading, the thing you just can’t seem to get no matter how hard you try. Its a willo-the-wisp that we’ve only heard rumours about. Do you jump from system to system, method to method, change your chart constantly and have a favourite indicator of the month? We roughly call this poor discipline.

However I’ve discovered that there is something more fundamental underneath this behavior, which is a lack of belief in the system you are using. You have no faith in it. If you did, all such behavior and “discipline problems” would vanish in a puff of smoke.
To prove the point, consider this: imagine if I gave you a magic box, and if you put a dollar in this magic box and pulled the lever it would always dispense one dollar fifty.
What would you do? Yes thats right, you would do it over and over and over wouldn’t you? Probably for hour upon hour you would do it.
Would you at any time become bored with this magic box and go in search of a better one? Would you try to improve it or invent your own? If you had absolute faith in the fact that the box will dispense the dollar fifty I say you would have no discipline issues what so ever. You’d sit there putting in dollars and cranking the handle like maniac.
The problem is that in trading the dispensing of the dollar fifty is not so obvious but blurred under a win / loss ratio and other complications, but quite honestly the process of trading is the same.
Hence I say that if you are still jumping from system to system and have poor discipline, try reframing it as having no faith or belief in the system you are using.

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