It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post and I apologize for that. There are a couple of reasons for that and I’m hoping that I can use this platform as a sort of cathartic way to process some psychological issues I’ve encountered this week, and in addition, you can get a glimpse into the real life of a trader. We put up many posts and videos about how and what to trade, but rarely address how our own minds and psyches can undermine our confidence and judgement, which can sometimes lead to serious mistakes and losses.
So, let’s start with why you rarely hear from me; there are two reasons. The first reason is a question I ask myself often “is anyone out there listening or or this just a big waste of time?”. Yes, there it is, I finally said it. We started this website last year in March as I was certain there would be a strong interest in people wanting to hear a more honest take on markets. I had followed Trader Scott’s work for years and no one nailed markets like he did. Very few people in December 2015, into all of the confusion in gold back then, put their asses on the line and stepped up and said it was time to buy gold into that major low. And for years he has reiterated that the stock market is in a major bull market, there is no stock market bubble, and there is almost a zero percent chance of a crash anytime soon, which he still believes is the situation. To this day, he works harder at this business than anyone I know.
But few seem to care about how we approach things at this website professionally, rationally, and without hyperbole. We have found that the majority of the population is addicted to fear and drama and would much rather frequent websites calling for crashes and economic slaughter or stating things like “bitcoin is going to zero” which was uttered by a very popular and highly respected man who owns a gold website. After he made that statement, by the way, which was in September, Bitcoin quadrupled to almost $20,000 and is trading at $11,000 as I write this. But people flock to his website to get the real scoop.
So you see, I guess I get disheartened knowing the amount of work that Scott puts in every day and just a handful of folks seem to listen or care. It’s been a bitter pill to swallow. All I can say is that I was terribly wrong about thinking the public wanted real information. So why would I want to beat a dead horse and waste my time talking when I could be studying charts and being productive? Of course, I have the angel on my other shoulder urging me to remember that the people who do use this website as it should be used, just may greatly appreciate this post – so here you go guys, you know who you are. Okay, so on to reason #2.
The second reason you rarely hear from me is because I have been just really busy trading. And when I’m not trading, I spend time learning more and researching stocks. The end of the day often leaves me with nothing left to contribute, but I had such an interesting week filled with mistakes due to getting off-course, so I feel that you may be able to benefit from my experience and hopefully lessen the damage for yourself and your account should you ever find yourself in a weakened psychological state. Mental toughness is huge in trading and is a very under-valued and under-recognized ingredient to finding success in this business.
So my week started well. I was very happy with my gains. I tend to trade small and build brick by brick as Trader Scott has always encouraged me to do. Having a game plan and a good work ethic, I am more of a blue collar trader who goes into work every day and just puts my nose to the grindstone and with very little at risk, I try and pull what I can out of the market. The market is not a casino and gambling holds no interest to me so I’m a rather unglamourous trader who tends not to have huge wins, but on the flip side, I don’t have huge losses either. I just plug away every day and build. Slow and steady wins the race. Aesop knew this when he gave us the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare.
My week took a turn because, although my mind has been really focused lately and I’ve been feeling very stable about my method and approach, I allowed myself to get off-focus. That never works well.
So the lesson I want you to learn is “do not let anything get you off your solid pathway….ever”. This is one of the main reasons I withhold my means of a livelihood from most people I meet; I don’t want a bunch of ideas and opinions clouding my head space. I’ve learned over the years that it negatively affects me so I try and steer clear of conversations about markets and trading with anyone other than Scott. He knows the angst that comes with trading because he’s been through it, and as many of our subscribers will tell you, he’s extremely encouraging in a very realistic way and he goes above and beyond to help us all learn. When I recounted my problems and told him how crappy my trading had been, I was looking for comfort, but I got “I’m disappointed that you did not value my view of your progress”. Well geez, that was even worse than losing money. Those words pierced through me like a red hot poker. OUCH! I had gotten off the path that was producing steady and stable results which had made my mentor proud. So after I cursed my decisions, and myself, and worked out to the point of exhaustion and yes, I even cried a bit, I screwed my head back on and started preparing my game plan for Monday.
I pondered what went wrong and I know the answer because I’ve been down this road before which really shocks me because I usually learn lessons well. What went wrong is that I started chasing money instead of focusing on the trade. I’ve found that money isn’t much of a motivation for me but winning is, and if you focus on only the winning trade set ups, obviously the money comes. It’s just psychology and it plays a huge factor in performance. For me, I’ve learned that I win when I exercise patience and wait for good trade set ups and I lose when I chase money. I work better with more smaller wins than with one huge win and many small losses. It’s just a ‘head’ thing. So take the time to figure out your own psychology and what feels best for you and your trading style.
This business is not an easy one, which is most probably why we have not grown into a more popular website. We refuse to do all the scam marketing, which basically requires lying to people and dangling carrots, promising a guaranteed simple method to turn you into a millionaire in 3 years or less. In fact, yes you could become a millionaire in a few short years, but it won’t be the method that gets you there. It will be you who gets you there. It will be how you deal with your own psychology, which will drive your decisions about when to enter and exit a trade.
Below you’ll find some words of wisdom from trader and fund manager Edward Thorp:
“Too many people make the mistake of chasing money first.
Especially in trading, where you hear wonderful success stories about people who started small and became multimillionaires in a short period of time, it can be enticing to “chase the money.” But the most successful people in trading (and in any other endeavor), are those who find something they truly love doing, something they have a passion for. It’s this passion and the joy of doing it that keeps them going no matter what challenges may arise. And in a capitalistic society, it’s this passion that tends to become a magnet for extraordinary wealth.”
And from Colm O’Shea, a global macro trader:
“You can’t trade because you think it is a way to make a lot of money. That won’t cut it. No one who trades for the money is going to be any good. If successful traders were only motivated by the money, they would just stop after five years and enjoy the material things. They don’t. They continue well beyond any financial need. They can be somewhat obsessive. Trading is simply what they do.”