Taking risks is scary, it’s a natural human reaction.
But when you break it down (and think about it) risk comes from a lack of control, the scary part being the unknown. Worse still, stress comes from not acting on something when you have the ability to.
So if I was to say to you there’s a potential opportunity in front of you, but you only have to take part when you’re in control, would you do it?
This is what I don’t get with many new traders outlook…
People often describe trading as a fight, a constant battle within the markets, and I can see where that comes from.
But if trading were a boxing match, it wouldn’t be any ordinary contest. The markets are far bigger than you. There are vast sums of people fighting against you, many of which are more intelligent, have better technology and possibly more experience within the markets.
Quite logically; on the face of it – neither you or I have much of a chance.
So, you have to ask yourself:
1) Why are there groups of ordinary people heavily supplementing their lives through trading?
2) How did a young lad with no qualifications, that once worked at McDonald’s, manage to make hundreds of thousands?
The answer is simple: PERCEPTION and persistence. Both parts are important.
However, perception is the big one. It’s plain to see from the points mentioned, there’s a lot against us. However, there is one huge difference between boxing and trading: and it changes everything. It’s what makes winning considerably easier.
The difference is of course; you can step into the ring at any moment, take a shot, and then step out. Now, if that’s not a monster advantage, I don’t know what is. Because it’s obvious, the only time you should step into the ring is when your opponent is on the back foot, weak, and ready for you to drop a hay-maker.
So with that in mind…
What’s Your Problem?
Not so easily answered in most cases, everybody’s unique. But if you are to succeed, you need to pinpoint your problem. Admit it and then overcome it.
Easier said than done, of course. In most cases, newbies aren’t selective enough for a few reasons…
In the modern world, everyone’s in a rush. But in the markets, if you’re not careful, you’ll get reprimanded for it. If you’re being impatient, over-trading and feeling as though you need to be involved all the time, I suggest you just stop it right now. This is of course the equivalent of stepping into the ring, flailing like a madman when your opponent isn’t even tired.
Sure, it may be the route that you found your way into pre-race trading, but much like impatience, it’s just not logical. There’s no advantage. You need to knock it on the head, and if you can’t, you may as well stop all together.
If you don’t have an edge or an advantage, i.e. a reason to be stepping into the ring, then your time’s better spent either watching the markets. Or swatting up on how they function to get a better understanding. Point blank: you need to identify points for exploitation.
Obvious maybe, but if you can’t control your own clicking, it needs addressing, much like a boxer: lose your cool, and you’ll end up on the canvas.
At this point, I could list several more, but you may have noticed the majority of them come from mentality-based issues. And of course your overall perception.
They’re not easily solved overnight, which is where the second part comes to play; persistence. You’ll need to routinely condition yourself, much like a boxer, into doing the right thing over and over. Only then will you be able to step into the ring with confidence at showtime.
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Great read Caan, the thing that I battled with most is hanging onto losing trades wishing they would come back to me. I do still do this if I have a strong opinion that the market is just going out a few ticks but found out that the scratch trade (blocking puches?) is the most important of all. Mastering the scratch made me profitable 🙂
Hi Adam, great way of linking it in with the article – couldn’t agree more. That old adage comes to mind; “a scratch trade is a winning trade”.
Caan, I agree, this is a great summary of what is required to make success of trading. It took me a while to discover that I needed to learn how to handle human emotion and go into trading almost cold robot like.
The turning point for me was when I almost blew the betting bank for the umteeth time, for me it was emotions that were getting in the way. It was almost a light bulb moment and I decided to be very honest with myself. I knew physically what to do, the mechanics of trading is easy, but I was impatient, somewhat greedy, no discipline taking wild risks …I was gambling leaving trades in too long etc etc .
I was to stop trying to be like you and the others who are very successful in this game. I was to develop my own trading style, something I was very comfortable with, I struggled and fought emotions and eventually figured “my way” to switch them off. ( Mark Douglas Trading in the Zone helped ) It is almost impossible to switch them off entirely but it does get easier to overide them, especially when you learn to identify trouble early…
My monthly profit graphs are now going up instead of down.
My message to others would be to find what works best for YOU. What makes you tick, what drives you, why are you doing this, do you enjoy it, what are you afraid of …We are all human machines with individual emotions, individually developed at an early age . What would make me fear would not be the same for you. So I would consider spending some time working out what makes you tick, your profits will rise dramatically…..sorry I got a bit deep there lol
Great message and exactly the way forward to succeed.
Thanks Jamie, without a doubt the way to look at things.
Reading your old blog posts you can tell you have been thru what the above post is describing. You have come out the other end.
I have just started recording my trading, and l would strongly recommend this for all newbies like myself. When you review each race it is amazing what you see that you didn’t see when you were trading. The moments of what the hell happened there, become now l see why that happened.
Great write-up, I’ve noticed the similarity between the two. Boxing is my favourite sport and wanting to be involved in the market at all times is my biggest problem. Connecting the two together has helped me understand my problem. Cheers.
Great article Caan I would like to add to this High Dopamine levels which spike in the afternoons may cause impulsive emotional actions, beware and do some research into how you can balance this out during your trading session through eating habits and exercise amongst other things.