Patience is a virtue, and no place does this truism hold more water than the stock market. When a trader allows doubt, a facet of fear, to inform his trading decision, he sets himself up for failure. The market does not care about the wants of an individual trader, whereas when making a turn across oncoming traffic, a mistake may result only in an oncoming driver slamming on his or her brakes in order to avoid an accident. The market will not extend such a courtesy. It will run over anyone and anything between it and where it is going without as much as an afterthought. It is the responsibility, not of the market to go where the trader wants it to go, but for the trader to determine the most likely course of the market and plan accordingly. Patience, achieved by a trader monitoring his internal dialogue, makes it possible.
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Marty has scored enormous percentage gains in every year since he turned full time trader in 1979, but he has done so without ever losing more than 3 percent of his equity on a month-end to month-end basis. In the US Investing Championships held by Stanford University Professor Norm Zadeh, his performance was nothing short of astounding. In nine of the ten four-month championships he entered, he made more money than all the other traders combined. His average return in these nine contests was 210 percent – non annualized! In his single entry in a one-year contest, he scored a 781 percent return.
“I turned from a loser to a winner when I was able to separate my ego needs from making money. When I was able to accept being wrong. Before that, admitting I was wrong was more upsetting than losing the money.”
”When I became a winner I went from ‘I figured it out, therefore it can’t be wrong’ to ‘I figured it out, but if I’m wrong, I’m getting the hell out, because I want to save my money and go on to the next trade.”
”By living the philosophy that my winners are always in front of me, it is not so painful to take a loss. If I make a mistake, so what! “
”Before taking a position always know the amount you are willing to lose.”
”The most important thing is money management, money management, money management. Anybody who is successful will tell you the same thing.”
”I always take my losses quickly. That is probably the key to my success.”
”The best advice I can give to the ordinary guy trying to become a better trader is Learn to take losses. The most important thing in making money is not letting your losses get out of hand.
In Jack Schwager’s New Market Wizards, William Eckhardt said that one mistake traders make is putting too much importance on any single trade. His suggestion was to remember that any one trade is just a small part of the bigger picture and needs to be treated dispassionately. When the individual trade becomes too important, we tend to do things to make the trade work, for example we take profits too quickly or we let losses go in hopes of a return to profitability.
Trading is being young, imperfect, and human – not old, exacting, and scientific. It is not a set of techniques, but a commitment. You are to be an information processor. Not a swami. Not a guru. An information processor.
Participating in the markets can only develop your trading skills. You need to become a part of the markets, to know the state of the markets at any given time, and most importantly, to know yourself. You need to be patient, confident, and mentally tough.
Good traders offer no excuses, make no complaints. They live willingly with the vagaries of life and the markets.
In the early stages of your trading career, pay attention not only to whether you should buy or sell but also to how you have executed your trading ideas. You will learn more from your trades this way.
Never assume that the unreasonable or the unexpected cannot happen. It can. It does. It will.
Remember, you can learn a lot about trading from your mistakes. When you make a mistake – and you will – do not dwell on the negatives. Learn from the mistake and keep going.
Never forget that markets are made up of people. Think constantly about what others are doing, what they might do in the current circumstances, or what they might do when those circumstances change. Remember that, whenever you buy and hope to sell higher, the person you sell to will have to see the same opportunity at that higher price to be induced to buy.
Traders who lose follow one of several typical patterns. Some repeatedly suffer individual large losses that wipe out earlier gains or greatly increase a small loss. Others experience brief periods during which their trading wheels fall off: they lose discipline and control and make a series of bad trades as a result.
Wise traders make many small trades, remain involved, and constantly maintain and sharpen their feel for he market. For all of their work, they hope to receive some profit, even if it is small in terms of dollars. In addition, continual participation allows them to sense and recognize the few real opportunities when they arise. These generate large rewards that make the effort of trading truly worthwhile.
At the end of the chapter he lists specific observations that have a high enough probability of reoccurring he considers them rules:
- If you find yourself holding a winning position, adding up your profits, and confidently projecting larger gains on the horizon, you are probably better off exiting the trade. The odds are that the trade has run its course.
- When entering a trade with a market order and your fill is clearly better than expected, odds are it will end up being a losing trade. Good fill, bad trade. Get out!
- If all your ‘trading buddies’ agree with your expectations regarding the next big move, it probably will not work out. If everyone’s conviction level is as strong as the consensus, do the opposite.
When you are developing your trading skills and trading mindset have fun at it, and treat it like a game. Develop a stress free environment where practicing and learning are fun. This is where “Paper Trading” can help you. “Paper Trading” is a great way to practice your trading in a stress free environment where you can have fun while learning and improving. When you ready to trade with real money, trade to win! Be relaxed yet focused. Don’t get too serious or you will lose your edge and become uptight and stressed. Instead flow with the markets but make no mistake about it, you are there to win! The Navy Seals have a great saying, “It Pays To Be A Winner!”, and “Second Place Is First Loser!”, and this is true for trading as well.
Always wait for the setup: no setup – no trade. Agree. If your strategy doesn’t provide you a good risk/reward trade to make, then your job is to be patient until it does. Ironically, this often requires you to sit out some very good moves in the market and be inactive at the very same times you want to be aggressive.
- The best trades work almost right away. Agree, but with one important caveat – this rule greatly depends upon your strategy. Some strategies will require greater patience than others. If trading short-term, this rule is almost always correct, but if your time frames are longer, then you also have time on your side which requires more patience but that patience can pay off if your analysis is correct.
- Never take a big loss. If it doesn’t ‘feel’ right. Remove it! Disagree. Sometimes you have to take a big loss to prevent the risk of an even greater loss. Refusing to take a big loss when a mistake has been made can be very costly. I also disagree with the view that “If it doesn’t feel right, remove it.” Actually, some of the best trades you will ever make in your career are those trades that feel wrong and about as far from “right” as you can make it. Don’t believe me? Think over the last month or so about the trades you missed because they didn’t feel right but your strategy told you to hold or buy them anyway! It is also interesting to me that this rule says to trade by feel and at the same time advises in another rule not to trade by emotion. You can’t do one without the other!
- Always perfect your craft and sharpen your skills – good traders are constantly learning. Agree. No matter how skilled, intelligent, and successful you have been, there is always room for improvement. Moreover, because of the ever-growing changing nature of the market, what you do now to trade successfully won’t always work in every situation and the next market environment. Only experience and constant dedication to your job will provide you with the weapons for enduring market success.
- Be patient with winning trades – impatient with trades that fight back. Agree. Another good ways of saying – let your winners run and cut your losers short. The truth is that most individual traders and investors do the exact opposite – they sell winners too quickly and they hold losers far too long letting trades that went awry become long-term “trapped” investments. (more…)
“Intuition although seemingly spontaneous, apparently emotional, stems from a form of “information” that has become built-in from past experience. Discipline means choosing what to do unencumbered by the fear of making a mistake. Confidence means trusting our intuition that what we “see” is what we “know.” There’s no escaping to the external, to the objective, and no standing on the shaky ground of emotions. So the question becomes, How do we create within ourselves the heroic condition of confidence wherein risk is not danger but life?
Make all your mistakes early in life. He says the more tough lessons you learn early on, the fewer errors you make later. A common mistake of all young investors is to be too trusting with brokers, analysts, and newsletters who are trying to sell you bad stocks.
Always make your living doing something you enjoy. This way, you devote your full intensity to it which is required for success over the long-term.
Be intellectually competitive. This involves doing constant research on subjects that make you money. The trick, he says, in plowing through such data is to be able to sense a major change coming in a situation before anyone else.
Make good decisions even with incomplete information. In the real world, he argues, investors never have all the data they need before they put their money at risk. You will never have all the information you need. What matters is what you do with the information you have. Do your homework and focus on the facts that matter most in any investing situation.
Always trust your intuition. For him, intuition is more than just a hunch. He says intuition resembles a hidden supercomputer in the mind that you’re not even aware is there. It can help you do the right thing at the right time if you give it a chance. In fact, over time your own trading experience will help develop your intuition so that major pitfalls can be avoided.
Don’t make small investments. You only have so much time and energy so when you put your money in play. So, if you’re going to put money at risk, make sure the reward is high enough to justify it.
1. Make all your mistakes early in life: The more tough lessons you learn early on, the fewer (bigger) errors you make later. A common mistake of all young investors is to be too trusting with brokers, analysts, and newsletters who are trying to sell you something.
2. Always make your living doing something you enjoy: Devote your full intensity for success over the long-term.
3. Be intellectually competitive: Do constant research on subjects that make you money. Plow through the data so as to be able to sense a major change coming in the macro situation.
4. Make good decisions even with incomplete information: Investors never have all the data they need before they put their money at risk. Investing is all about decision-making with imperfect information. You will never have all the info you need. What matters is what you do with the information you have. Do your homework and focus on the facts that matter most in any investing situation.
5. Always trust your intuition: Intuition is more than just a hunch — it resembles a hidden supercomputer in the mind that you’re not even aware is there. It can help you do the right thing at the right time if you give it a chance. Over time, your own trading experience will help develop your intuition so that major pitfalls can be avoided.
6. Don’t make small investments: You only have so much time and energy so when you put your money in play. So, if you’re going to put money at risk, make sure the reward is high enough to justify it.
1. “Accept everything just the way it is.”
= accept the market reality in front of you.
2. “Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.”
= don’t trade for pleasure
3. “Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.”
= don’t jump or out of trade on shallow half-baked impulsive feelings.
4. “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.”
= don’t take your trading skills too seriously, take the ability of market to surprise seriously.
5. “Be detached from desire your whole life long.”
= make money, but don’t let money make you.
6. “Do not regret what you have done.”
= smile at your mistake, laugh off your profit.
7. “Never be jealous.”
= what you’ve got is good and enough and incomparable
8. “Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.”
= a loss is never final. it either stays back as lesson or returns as profit.
9. “Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself or others.”
= accept the reality, keep the power with yourself by not complaining.
10. “In all things have no preferences.”
= don’t measure your profit or loss, just measure them by the lesson or experience.
11. “Do not act following customary beliefs.”
= dare to think!
12. “Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.”
= a handful of tools are enough if you are willing to submit.
13. “Do not fear death.”
= do not fear unforeseen loss.
14. “Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.”
= don’t trade under pressure to accumulate profit. if you remain alive, markets will always be there. just keep learning the game.
15. “Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.”
= respect luck, acknowledge god’s blessing, but don’t drag them in the market.