Look Inside Yourself

One trader wrote in that he was in a slump and wondered if he should switch markets or find another indicator.

Do you ever find that you also want to blame something outside yourself?

One of my favorites used to be blaming ‘the system’ – the system is rigged against me: the brokers are the only ones getting rich, robbing me on these bid/asked spreads, hunting all my stops, etc.

When you blame an external situation, you are giving up control, and instead letting yourself be controlled by outside events. This converts you from a proactive trader into a reactive trader. Or a winner into a whiner.

If you are reacting after the fact in the markets, you are then letting your emotions start to control you, instead of planning how you will react to any set of circumstances.

You know how letting emotions control you turns out in the markets. You go broke.

You must believe that you control your own destiny. If you are not getting the results you expect of yourself, look inside yourself.

Start analyzing your actions and behavior. Are you hanging on to losses too long? Are you cutting profits too soon? Are you having trouble pulling the trigger only to watch in frustration as your trade wins without you?

These and other frustrations should clue you in that you need to fix some element of your trading plan. Evaluate your present situation, and if it needs to change, take decisive action and change it.

Independent Trading: Pros & Cons

In fact, there’s probably no better time than the present to talk briefly about the pros and cons of being an “independent trader.”

As someone who has worked independently for most of my professional career, you can say I place a tremendous value on “doing my own thing.” As I’ve often said, at least for me it has been a combination of personal choice (what I want in both life and career) and also necessity (as I don’t play well with others). Indeed, there are some tremendous positives for trading independently. After all, I wouldn’t be doing this if there were not some significant advantages from doing so!

Here are a few things that first come to mind:

  • As an independent trader, I set my goals and I’m in charge of my own destiny. I don’t rely on any other person for how much money I make or how I make it. Other people’s opinions of me are irrelevant to my own destiny. At the end of the day, bottom line trading results (not office politics) are all that matters.

  • Most people in “normal jobs” don’t have the opportunity to set out on their own and do something they really want and love to do and also make plenty of money doing it.

  • I spend most of my time every day doing things I really like to do (trading, reading, researching, running screens & mentoring others). These are things I would do even if I were not paid to do them because it is what I like to do the most! Every day I plan my work on things I want to work on, not what others want me to work on. That level of professional autonomy is rare.

  • The sense of accomplishment when you achieve success in the markets independently is unparalleled. There’s nothing like finding and taking a good trade that produces lots of upside gain. This is especially true when that trade is unpopular and unforeseen by the herd.

  • Through my research I’ve been able to learn about many things, many industries, many countries, and many people. At this point, I can have a conversation with just about anyone no matter what they do for a living or where they live because I know something we can probably talk about based on what I’ve learned and know about others.

  • It is always interesting and I’m NEVER bored. It is so true there is no better drama on Earth than following and being a participant in the markets daily.

  • Trading independently offers level of personal freedom that isn’t present in most jobs. If I want a day off to play golf, help a friend, visit with family, I do it. I don’t have to ask anyone for permission! However, offering a paid members-only website places some severe limitations on that freedom!

  • So, now I’ve talked about the positives, what are the downsides to trading independently? (more…)

Whatever You Think … Think the Opposite

Don’t be negative about rejection. It happens.

Work for free, if necessary.

Good grades will not secure you an interesting life. Imagination will.

Go to work and do your learning in the school of life.

Start your own company, then you have control of your own destiny.

Form your own opinion.

Having the courage to stand up in the face of public opinion is what makes you a winner.

Have a goal.

How you present yourself is how others will value you.

If you want to be interesting, be interested.

When things go wrong it tempting to shift the blame. Don’t.

Knowledge makes us play safe. The secret is to stay childish.

When it’s right, it just clicks.

What Predictions Say About Us

An excerpt:

…predictions are a way of demonstrating knowledge. Of course, in most things, a successful demonstration involves being right. In golf, a good argument will suffice. Most compellingly, human beings are wired to predict. In ancient times predictions served as psychological counterweight to the extreme uncertainty of life. As we’ve gained more control over daily existence, predictions help encourage the illusion that we are in charge of our own destiny. The more that is unknown, the greater the urge to predict. As the recently departed futurist author Ray Bradbury once said, “Mysteries abound where most we seek for answers.”

If you can find yourself comfortable not trying to predict daily life (and trading) there is a nice reward for you.

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