Trade The Journey

Trade The Journey

Lessons

Top of the Afternoon.

At first, I hesitated to write my usual Sunday post, thinking I could delay the post until tomorrow. I opened my laptop to check my e-mail and immediately entered Grammarly into the web address box. I begin typing soon after.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

Our life encompasses many habits, most small and unnoticeable. Once a habit is ingrained in our behavior, it takes effort to undo. Before completing this post, I began reading a new book on Trader Psychology by Dr. Brett Steenbarger called Enhancing Trader Performance.

So far, the book has been refreshing and has taken a completely different view of the neurotic and worrisome trader. Although the mass media promotes the relaxed and calm trader’s success, Dr. Steenbarger says that’s not the trader who achieves mastery.

The obsessive trader reaches the mastery level because they are genuinely interested in improving for personal reasons. They want to better their best.

The trader who achieves mastery is the trader who multiplies their screen time by reviewing and visualizing traders. The emotion, although not entirely beneficial, helps fuel the need to master the next trade. There is a need to perfect their trading.

I am excited to see where this book finishes. I have often questioned my need to spend vast amounts of time studying and reviewing market action. At first, I found the markets fun and exciting, delivering a stream of consistent stimulation. And then, I begin to learn of the deeper meanings of price movement and the psychology behind price.

Suddenly, trading became more than becoming rich quickly or finding another profession to experiment with. Instead, I developed a real interest in becoming knowledgeable in the esoteric matters of the market.

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how this would all play out. I thought after a year of learning and no earning, I’d find something new to do. But each day, I kept coming back for more.

The one aspect of trading that use to bother me, in the beginning, was the small nuances of trading. I’d lose a lot of money paper trader one day after another. For hours, I’d sit glued to the screen, trying to decipher the meaning behind each bar. The losses would mount, so I forced myself to focus on the trend.

The losses would continue until luck took pity on me, and I’d make a few profitable trades. After a year, I found forecasting the next price bar to be an exercise in futility. I found the same to be true of predicting the next trends starting or ending points.

Many nights, I would feel that trading was a waste of time, but I’d still come back the next day ready to trade. And then, I begin to understand that trading was something I could do and enjoyed doing.

Once I accepted this, I found it okay to emerge myself in trading because I enjoy the process entirely. Research, creative problem solving, and psychology are activities that I enjoy completing and studying.

Soon my habits began to change. Trading is much more than sitting in front of a screen and making a decision. Trading is also a by-product of what you do away from the screen.

A healthy and active lifestyle isn’t necessary, but it certainly helps. Every habit you have either gives you an edge or a potential obstacle to overcome in order to successfully trading.

Before long, something began to click, and I remember spotting a move before it started. I went long and made close to $1000 in paper money with one trade. Shortly after, I brought stock in the overnight market, and the result was the same though not nearly as much.

This isn’t me announcing to the world that I’m a Master Trader and can predict price movement. I want to think I’m merely proclaiming that trading can’t be reduced to one thing; its a series of habits developed that increase your chances of success.

I can’t remember the specific price pattern that spurred this understanding. I can only remember visualizing what the price movement was likely to do based on the previous bars’ sentiment. That was the difference.

I wasn’t focused just on price or the pattern exclusively. It was a totality of the vision that allowed me to see what wasn’t there. What I’m hoping to get across is that trading is a series of habits and disciplines.

Developing the habits of reviewing your trades, visualizing price movement, and learning continuously can add years of additional experience to your trading. I can remember Mark Douglass saying that “Trading is the ultimate vehicle for self-improvement.”

Now, I understanding the meaning of that statement.


This week In Review:

This past week I saw how the Coronavirus has affected both my spending and outlook for the future. I find myself more guarded in my purchasing. No one knows how this will turn out.

Best to keep a few dollars of disposable income for emergencies. With all the turmoil in the country, it seems like we are in a perpetual state of emergency.

This past week deserves the grade of a “B” for continued thriftiness.

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