Friday, February 17, 2017

So You Want to be a Trader?

Unless commitment is made, there are only
promises and hopes... but no plans.
Peter Drucker
You have made a decision: you're going to become a trader, master the markets and take home huge profits. Each year thousands upon thousands of people make the same decision. Most often the reason is to relieve them of a boring, mundane job. If this is you, the bad news is that the vast majority of these would be traders fail. Why? They have made an apparent decision to trade but they have not made the more important decision to make the proper commitment. You have to incorporate trading into your life and do whatever it takes to hone your trading skills to the point where you can master the markets.
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back" - Goethe.
In his book, "The Mentally Tough Online Trader," Robert Koppel observes, "Top performing traders are committed to overcome any hardship or roadblock to achieve their goals." Besides capital you also must invest time and energy. It's impossible to digest all there is to know overnight. You just can't do it in an hour a week.

Learning about the markets and developing an intuitive feel requires time and practice. In some cases, it can take many years before you can trade the markets profitably. But to the trader who is fully committed, these are minor setbacks. Once you make the commitment to
master the markets, you'll do whatever it takes to attain success.

Trading is serious business. You cannot treat it like a hobby. If you do not have the proper commitment, you will approach trading lightly. You will begin to feel that you might as well have fun, trade on impulse, and seek out excitement. Why not visit a casino once in awhile to satisfy that need. A casual, uncommitted attitude will prevent you from excelling. In fact a casual, uncommitted attitude will eventually wipe out your account balance. I have personally witnessed the effect of non-commitment, far too many times in my career. Don't make this mistake! Trading the markets requires you to passionately commit to becoming the best trader you can be.

If you want to make huge profits, it's not enough to decide to become a winning trader. You must also make a strong commitment to do whatever it takes to achieve enduring financial success.
If you forget you have to struggle for improvement you go backward. - Geoffrey Hickson

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trading With Discipline

Planning is bringing the future into the
present so that you can do something
about it now.
Alan Lakein

In my decade and a half or so as a stock and commodities broker, I was exposed to many different trading styles as well as trader types. Some were very successful, some only slightly, most however, failed over time. Those that were very successful shared two common traits. First they had a trading plan, that was perhaps revised from time to time, but nevertheless followed religiously; and second they had untiring discipline.

Expert trader John Hayden author of "The 21 Irrefutable Truths of Trading" states: "Without discipline, you will be unable to master your ego, create empowering beliefs, have faith, and develop confidence in your abilities. The lack of discipline will prevent your skill as a trader from progressing."

Making an occasional winning trade, that ignores your trading plan, may provide short-term pleasure, but entering trades unsystematically can adversely influence your ability to maintain discipline over the long term. Why? When you stop following your plan, you are being rewarded for a lack of discipline. You may start believing that abandoning your plan is therefore not a big deal. Then, whether consciously or unconsciously, you'll begin to think: "I was rewarded once; maybe I will be rewarded again. I'll take a chance." Positive outcomes from undisciplined trading are most often short-lived, and the lack of discipline will ultimately produce trading losses.

Who cares if the win is from my plan or not? It's still a win, right! A win that results from following a trading plan reinforces discipline. A win that occurs by chance (deviating from your plan) will increase your bottom line temporarily, but may cause harm to your psyche and be responsible for future unexplained losses. It reinforces undisciplined trading.

Cultivating discipline is essential for consistent and profitable trading. Trading is a matter of getting the law of averages to work in your favor. You implement proven trading strategies, over and over, so that across a series of trades, the strategies work enough to produce an overall profit. You should trade consistently, following a specific trading plan on each and every trade. This will allow the law of averages to work in your favor. If you follow the plan sometimes and abandon it at other times, you throw off the probabilities, and you are likely to end up losing overall.