Trading is toil, especially because it’s already hard work in the first place to find a model, a “setup”, a strategy that actually works, but then you must adapt it, which is the very hardest part. Once you have a “love” (something that makes your trading profitable), whether it is a strategy, model, parameter, or setup, it becomes very painful to watch your love fade and die.
I know we shouldn’t personalize trading, but the fact is we (or I) develop an emotional relationship to our precious tools — every time I come across something worthwhile, after much toil, I feel so glad. I feel a sense of work well done. It’s a very pleasant feeling. And I cannot refrain from emotional pain when a market relationship I was profitably trading becomes weaker and eventually non-existent.
To adapt, one must have the emotional strength to, after much toil, model a strategy, and say to yourself: “you may have no value in the future.”
Trading is strange, because it demands skills one would probably not wish to nurture if it wasn’t necessary.
If we don’t do the homework to know what we need to know we will fail due to ignorance. Understanding historical price action, reading books by and about the best traders, seminars, mentor-ships, and systems testing is all part of the homework we must do to get the needed knowledge.
While trading with a small account is a good place to start it is not a good place to stay. Traders must be adequately capitalized for meaningful trading. We must have an affordable broker that does not charge bloated commissions and gives great execution on orders. A trader must have a platform and charting service that is adequate for his trading style. Trading a small account with an expensive broker with poor execution is a path to eventual failure. (more…)
If you are trading just for the money you will quit before you are successful, Why? Anyone without a love for the game will quit during the long difficult learning process. After hundreds of hours of work and years of trading with nothing but a loss to show for all the effort anyone with common sense will think it is too hard and just quit. Those with a love and passion for trading will eventually succeed and usually make six figures or become a millionaire for their efforts. Those that do a cost benefit analysis in the first few years will generally quit due to the math.
A trader must have the skill to trade in three dimensions. The management of the mind, the method, and money management are all crucial for success. Traders must have the discipline and perseverance to trade robust systems through different market environments without giving up. They must have the ability to accept and deal with their thoughts and emotions as they arise during both winning and losing streaks. Risk must be managed on every single trade without the ego causing bets so big that they put your future trading at risk. The trader must also have the skill to not let fear take away the traders ability to pull the trigger on a good entry.
Be responsible for your own trading destiny. Analyze your trading behavior. Understand your own motivations. Traders come into Future trading with a view to making money. After awhile they find the trading process to be fascinating, entertaining and intellectually challenging. Pretty soon the motivation to make money becomes subordinated to the desire to have fun and meet the challenge. The more you trade to have fun and massage your ego, the more likely you are to lose. The kinds of trading behaviors that are the most entertaining are also the least effective. The more you can emphasize making money over having a good time, the more likely it is you will be successful.
Be wary of depending on others for your success. Most of the people you are likely to trust are probably not effective traders. For instance: brokers, gurus, advisors, system vendors, friends. There are exceptions, but not many. Depend on others only for clerical help or to support your own decision-making process.
Don’t blame others for your failures. This is an easy trap to fall into. No matter what happens, you put yourself into the situation. Therefore, you are responsible for the ultimate result. Until you accept responsibility for everything, you will not be able to change your incorrect behaviors.