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Rande Howell's Material Psychology (www.tradersstateofmind.com)

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Trading Apprentice
Chihuahua, Mexico
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Trader and Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: TF
Posts: 32 since Dec 2011
Thanks: 25 given, 28 received

rahulgopi View Post
As an engineer designing and developing network security products for the enterprise, containing risk was my day time job. I used to make the outcome certain by mitigating risk. As you can see I had a big problem adapting to thinking in probabilities and embrace risk. Also, as part of growing up I view and value money in certain way, triggering scarcity thinking. I was profitable even before working with Rande, but my profits where miniscule. I had super tight risk and exited the trade before it started to run, to protect the little profit. All these trades, if I had stick to the profit target as per the strategy / plan, could have been big winners, but I never let them run.

I realized that there was no point in trading like this and I have to fix the issue. I worked with Adrienne T (NLP), Richard McCall (Author of The Way of the Warrior Trader) in the past apart from Hypnosis professional and others. After reading Rande, I realized, I was not addressing the root of the problem, my beliefs. I knew about this before from Mark Douglas ( Trading in the Zone ) but there was no clear path to work with. Rande's program gave me the structure to tackle this issue. I am still working with Rande as this is a long (months) program, not a weekend seminar. Rightfully so, it is our emotional system and belief we are dealing with.

Regarding performance, I have improved a lot. Please note, I have a fantastic, proven strategy for trading which I have been using for over 4 years. I worked with the wonderful traders at Zunaa.com and poured my heart into their program to learn what they teach. I still make mistakes but I am able to stick to the trading plan most of the time. It is a work in progress !!.

Please note, you should trust your system and is statistically proven to produce profit over a number of trades. The win rate for the strategies I use are high, though RR was low due to my execution.

Where am I with program ? I am able to remain very calm while trading and other life situations ( I have two young kids at home ). Deep Belly Breathing is becoming a habit now and I am able to view trading stress as psychological discomfort and not a biological threat, so that the fight / flight response is not triggered. I am practicing mindfulness, where critical thoughts are brought to foreground and analyzed to identify the belief system. Please note, unlike ZEN / Vipasana meditation where thoughts are ignored and pushed to nothingness (i was doing this ) here thoughts and fears are brought to the light of awareness and examined. I have reduced my mindless wanderings quite a bit. As I mentioned before, growing up , culturally and from life circumstances , I inherited certain beliefs that are not apt for trading. IF you have read Mark Douglas, he talks about releasing energy from one belief and creating a new one with higher energy. Beliefs cannot be deleted but energy can be drained from them. When you are mindless, you dont have beliefs, BUT they have you.

Jorge, trading thus far has been a fantastic journey for me on personal development side. I came face to face with my own daemons and addressed a lot of them. Leaving a high paying job to become a full time trader was the first step for me to step out of my comfort zone and face the fears. Did it grind me to my core ? absolutely yes . Was it worth it ? absolutely yes . You are on right path with understanding the self and addressing the issues to be a better human being and a better trader.

Please note, these are my personal experience / opinions, and not a recommendation of any sort. Programs like this depends greatly on ones personality and view of life. I have friends who thought ZEN was a waste of their time for trading success and doing quite well (as per them ).

Here is a piece of text I extracted from web to help me understand and improve probability thinking. Usually I stick them on the wall or make small recordings and listen to them often.

To be a great trader, you have to have what we call ‘a lot of heart’, which is the ability to not only understand what the right entry or exit is, but to be able to follow through with it. Which seems like a very trivial point, but it’s probably the biggest point. A lot of times, what happens to people, sort of what separates the good from the great is that the good know the right answer, but they don’t follow through with it because it’s too scary and they think the risk is too big. They don’t have that confidence that it’s okay because while there might be some variance to the results and you might lose on this particular trade, mathematically it was the right choice. Over the long run it will work out. Most traders spend far too much time worrying about whether they’re right on this particular trade. What great traders worry about is whether their action will give them a profit enough of the time, which is a totally different way to think. What really makes a great trader is understanding, it’s not about winning right now, it’s about making the right decisions so that you win in the long run.

Any trade taken as per the trading plan is a winner weather it resulted in a profit or loss. Take all the trades that develop as per the plan.

Although beginning traders hang their entire psychology, confidence and performance on the next trade – you have to look at the next one as just one free throw in the thousands you will make over time.


Thank you very much for all your comments and insight.

I see we share very common stuff. I am a computer systems engineer and I sutdied a master in telecommunications and a MBA. However, I also decided to engage into the trading business four years ago. As any other trader, I was looking for financial freedom and also being my own boss and having all the time I wanted to do things I enjoy and not to be a slave of a specific working schedule. However, I thing that during all these years I´ve had less free time because of this trading business.

I´ve been also practicing my trading method during 4 years, although, it has been improved specially on the last year.
After the first year of practicing the method, I became profitable trading on SIM and nowadays, I thing I have mastered it and I trade it with confidence, but trading on SIM. The issues arise when I try to start trading live.

Although I also have to admit that the last time I trade live was not the same as it was the first time. I remember that the first time after a couple of trades, I totally fell into the fight/flight mode and I almost fall into a panic attack.

Nowadays, when I´ve traded live, emotions are not that intense, but still I do not feel very comfortable, but as you said they switch from being a bilogical threat to a psicological discomfort.

Before I started to read Rande´s book, I took a couse maned Mind Muscles for Traders who had a similar approach of being aware of your thoughts, physical sensations and emotions. At that time I decided to stop trading live and go back to SIM. Eventhough I was not losing money, but I made a small profit, I was not glad yet with my results, because mainly the profits I made in a week, then I lost them in the next week.

So I decided to finish that Mind Muscles for Traders course and then to finish reading Rande´s book, so that I was better prepared. From the beginning of the trading journey I realized that the mental aspect or having a proper trading mindset was completely important to succeed, and I have also tried a lot of stuff like subliminal audios and videos, affirmations, writing essays and lifescripts, self hypnosis, etc, but I´ve also realized that all that was not enough since it was not reaching the core of changing the beliefs that were holding me back.

So, I liked Rande´s approach, but still I think the way he propses to change your beliefs is not enough, at least the what he mentions at his book.

Well, I liked a lot the Thinking in Probabilities text. What that text states it´s very important because we as traders believe that we are playing the life in every trade or in every trading day, and that´s why emotions become so arousal.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


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