Some Rules for Living Applied to Trading

I ran across these rules for living, and thought they apply beautifully to the process of trading successfully.  They are as follows:

  1. Show up.
  2. Pay attention.
  3. Live your truth.
  4. Do your best.
  5. Don’t be attached to the outcome.

Show up.  Woody Allen has said 90% of the story is showing up.  And I think that can be true for trading.  Showing up means being prepared and ready before the market opens.  It means getting your entry and exit orders in the market in a timely fashion.  You’ve done your research, and you’re clear about your intentions.

Pay attention.    Watch the price action.  Be cognizant of what your chosen indicators are saying.  Know what news is breaking, and watch the market’s reaction to the news.  Be alert to twists and turns in market direction.  Don’t wander off mentally or physically.

Live your truth.  Your truth could be fundamental or technical or a combination of the two.  But if you don’t trade in accordance with your guidelines, you can get yourself on the wrong side of the situation and yourself.  Be who you say you are as a trader.  Are you honest, perceptive, courageous, steady, and disciplined?  Are you trading in the manner you have chosen or committed to trade.

Do your best.  Honestly, all you can do is your best.  But your best can get better as you practice and learn.  Learn from your mistakes, and forgive yourself past digressions.  Each day is a new day, and each day brings new opportunities.  It’s your job to capture what you can of the opportunities even as you rigorously protect your capital.

Don’t be attached to the outcome.  This is the hard part, and this is the essential part.  The results of any given trade or trading day are really not indicative of whether or not you will be profitable.  One trade or day is simply not the measure of success, and is really irrelevant.  If you’re showing up, and paying attention, and living your viable truth, and doing your best, you can accept whatever outcome develops.  Of course, if the outcome is disastrous over time, you need to go back to the drawing board and develop better methods.

Mastering the Trade, quotes by John F. Carter

masteringthetradeThe quotes below are provided by John F. Carter, master day trader; pulled directly from his new book Mastering the Trade.

I had just completed this book today evening and this is 2nd time read this book.

This may be the best quote of all:
“The financial markets are naturally set up to take advantage of and prey upon human nature. As a result, markets initiate major intraday and swing moves with as few traders participating as possible. A trader who does not understand how this works is destined to lose money”

“The financial markets are truly the most democratic places on earth. It doesn’t matter if a trader is male or female, white or black, American or Iraqi, Republican or Democrat. It’s all based on skill.”

“A trader, once in a position, can deceive himself or herself into believing anything that helps reinforce the notion that he or she is right”

“…professional traders understand this all too well, and they set up their trade parameters to take advantage of these situations, specifically preying on the traders who haven’t figured out why they lose”

“…markets don’t move because they want to. They move because they have to.”

“After all, the money doesn’t just disappear. It simply flows into another account – an account that utilizes setups that specifically take advantage of human nature.” (more…)

Getting Back Up

Sometimes in trading you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. It is the simple truth and anyone who has been involved in the game for longer than a cup of coffee will tell you the same. There will be times when you are caught with a blow up, caught in a squeeze or simply caught leaning in the wrong direction but over the years what I have learned is it is always about getting back into the ring for another round.

It’s important to have a routine for handling those times when not only your financial capital gets bitten but your emotional capital sinks as well.

1) Reposition:  Whether you are caught in a downturn or short squeeze, removing the position is often the best way to remain objective. So often when people start to see a position run against them they freeze up and start to rely on hope rather than remaining in control of the trade. When I see stocks breaking down or acting poorly, they are sold immediately and I am able to start fresh.

2) Check the Charts and your Bias:  I have written many times before that price action is never wrong. If you are caught on the wrong side of price action it is a must to re-evaluate the charts you are viewing and check any bias you may have. It is imperative to embrace the prevailing direction and avoid seeing what is not there. Having raised cash and avoiding any further significant draw, take a fresh look at the action and once again analyze your position accordingly.

3) Embrace the New Day:  Trading is unique in that each and every day presents a new opportunity. This must be embraced as it is one of the features that makes trading so great. Rather than dwelling on the past, embrace the future. Each and every day presents new opportunities but not unless you are looking for them.

4) Move Slow and Small:  Most people make the mistake in believing that restoring financial capital will improve emotional capital when I would argue it is actually the opposite. One can only trade at peak performance when his emotional tank is filled and confidence is high. Regardless of how long you have been trading there will be times when this tank takes a dip and before moving on to make any new financial progress, it is imperative to restore the emotional side first. The best way to do this is to move very slow and small. Rather than taking full positions, take quarters or even tenths. Paper trade if you need to and analyze results. As time goes on your emotional capital will be restored and you will soon have the confidence to re-enter the game at full speed.

If you trade, one thing is for sure, you will have good times and you will have bad times. The best way to handle the bad times is to know they will come and have a plan in place to follow so that you may bounce back quickly and put them in the past.

Emotion and Trading

While trading I watch my emotional state of mind more than the price action. This has helped me trade better

Here are some of the emotions I feel from time to time and what they mean to me in context of trading

1) hesitation to pull the tigger – something is not right – don’t take the bet

2) anger – start of revenge trading – stop ASAP

3) uncomfortable while watching or not watching the price – non aligned with the market, trading with too much size – reduce size or quit

4) ignoring the little voice and gut feeling – trust the inner voice and take action

5) trading on hope – quit asap

6) thinking after hours or during market hours of money you can make = greed, impatience to make money – focus on how much you can lose

7) stress = wrong side of the market

8) feeling joy = right side of the market

7 actions

Perception-Action7 actions I do :
1) Enter a trade that doesn’t take off – cut it. I don’t care if it takes off after that.
2) Get a gut feeling that I’m on the wrong side of the market – cut it and reverse.
3) Stopped out twice on the same pair – stay flat and don’t trade until tomorrow.
4) In a trade that’s running well – only look at it towards end of current session and make a decision to stay into the end of the next one or not. (more…)

The Artist and the Trader

Art is for the Artist. Words must be written, Songs must be sung. Visions must be seen. Not because they are valued; but because they are Ideas. The Artist understands that wealth, true wealth as opposed to simply being rich, stems from Ideas. Great Art is valued, if valued properly, because they express an Idea well. Not always because they express a grand idea.

There is the modern myth that the Artist must not be materialist or wealthy. Whereas the Trader, as an Artist, knows that all Artists are wealthy, but all are not rich. It would seem that a great Trader and the Artist share a similar soul.

For they both :

Take a loss. The modern myth largely stems from the Artist producing their best Ideas to bounce back from a loss. They both believe they can replace their losses with better Ideas.

Respect everyone. An Idea can come from anyone. Every trader has been on the wrong side of a trade against someone of much more limited means, brains and circumstances.

Generous souls. For if wealth comes from Ideas, Ideas can always flow. An Artist never will admit he is out of Ideas. Many only have one grand idea, but die thinking the next grand idea is around the corner.

There is never enough. If Ideas are wealth, Life is to be lived to its fullest. The trader that gives up simply to be rich and preserve their riches has given up on their Ideas. Like the Artist that has sold out, simply producing copies of his once great work. Their admitting that it was either great timing or luck; not skill and belief that their Ideas still matter.

Free souls. Comes from the empowerment of wealth coming from your thoughts.

Drawn to excess. Because Ideas are regenerative, its tempting to believe everything is. Like the young that are blind to time. Or the athlete that believes there is always another game, tomorrow.

Two Mistakes frequently made by Stock Traders

The first big mistake is the flawed logic of extrapolation. Many traders and investors assume that a trend will remain in force until an “event” comes along to change it. But market trends are not like billiard balls on a pool table. This false assumption will put you on the wrong side of the market more times than not, especially at major turning points.

The second big mistake is to suppose that news events drive market trends. In fact, the opposite is true: economic, political and social events lag market trends.


Trading is based on our hypothesis. In other words trading amounts to our educated guesses, which means the more you invest in your education, the more likely you are to find yourself on the right side of the trade. One of the most widely overlooked parts of trading education by traders is the study of past charts. I make personal videos, so that like a football team I can review my plays and create better strategies.

Your chart will tell you almost every thing you need to know to get on the right side of the trade. The one thing it doesn’t tell you is what is going on behind the scenes and it will even give you a hint to that most of the time. Your bullish/bearish ENGULFING patterns are evidence that there are some secrets that the market keeps to itself.

Mastering your candlestick psychology, your support/resistance, and your trendlines are things that you want to major on and learn well. You may not win every trade, but having a firm foundation on these simple techniques can greatly increase your odds of a successful trade. I think the more simple your charts, the better and easier it is for you to enter a good trade.

Sometimes you will have the perfect trade set up and all of your analysis will be right and you will find yourself on the wrong side of the trade. No big deal, it happens to all of us, review that trade and see if you can identify the error. When you have reviewed it, look for the next trading opportunity. There is NO PERFECT TRADING STRATEGY!!!!!!! This is only a guessing game for those of us who like to play the odds. The better your education, the better your odds will be against the house.


The hardest thing to master as a trader once you understand Market Rhythm is not the market, it is YOU. Emotional trading will break you fast.

Trading is not hard, it is mastering your emotions that is. Trading will teach you more about your human short coming than visiting a psychiatrist. As a trader, you must learn the discipline of waiting for proper market set-ups. That is hard!

Your EMOTIONS are screaming for you to jump in or you will miss out. NOT TRUE!! If you miss one trade set-up, the market is generous and will give you another. Learn to trade in harmony with your trend and with proper signals.

The emotions that are deadly to your trading success.

REVENGE, we all know it and have done it. It happens when you are tricked by the market and decide to take another trade before looking at the big picture, then BAM you are on the wrong side of the trade again. Pissed off and refusing to move while your money is going further down the drain. Scared to let go for fear that you are going to get tricked again.

PANIC, that is when you lack the confidence to enter or ride a profitable trade. This happens when you have taken some hits and now you lack the confidence to trade profitably.

IMPATIENCE, this happens when you can’t wait for a proper trade set-up and jump on a price hiccup/retracement, often finding yourself on the wrong side of the trade.

ANGER, you know that feeling that comes over you when you have taken a hit or two and you want to kill your computer. (more…)

6 Points For Traders

1.  Anything can happen in the market…and often does.6-steps

2.  There is ALWAYS someone on the other side of the trade…ALWAYS.

3.  Stock market rules are made to be broken…because there are none.  Only yours… that you never break-for buying or for selling.

4.  There may be more than one pattern at work at the same time-both diametrically opposed to one another. 

5.  If on the wrong side jump to the other.  The market is no place for marriage or inflated egos.

6.  Never listen to the herd.  Instead, follow your own analysis and the charts you use as the basis of this analysis.  This is just one of the many reasons I do not watch Blue Channels before, during, or after hours.

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