Each of us have trading demons. These are the actions that always seems to turn our worse trading fears into reality. It is different for each of us, but some demons are more common than others. When these demons manifest, we come face to face with the worse parts about our trading selves. These actions are the things we hate most about our trading. Even worse, we can blow out our account because of the actions we take while our trader demon take over.
If you are willing to come to term with your demons, then you can learn how to train them to do your bidding and not let them rule you any longer. So, how is this done? There are no cookie cutter answers. But, I believe it is almost impossible to conquer our demons alone. I know I needed some help. The best help was for me to spend time with someone who had conquered and trained their own demons to do their bidding. It was a more successfully experienced trader who was willing to help me learn how to control my demons.
What if your demon is the demon of "I know what I am doing and don't need anyone's help!" Then you are done. Go do something else. Or the demon of "I am right and the market is wrong". Again you are done. I have seen these demons and how they manifest themselves. I have watched good traders average in to fix trades to the tune of 20 contracts in the hole insisting that the market is going to turn around. They were always half right. The market did turn around just after their last margin penny was spent and their account crashed and burned. I have also seen good traders trade well past their loss limits because they just knew they knew what they were doing and could get it back. I have watched them tell themselves "just one more trade"...
One of the most devious and toughest demons to tackle is the "I know I should have stopped but just couldn't". This is a really nasty one. It is similar to the "I should have just taken the small loss" demon.
Many of our demons are nipped in the butt if we are lucky to hang out with more experienced traders who are willing to share their knowledge and trading savvy. They are only able to do this because they have recognized demon actions in themselves first.
So, there is no magic for a demon fix. It can only be done with some serious self talking to. The temptation is to lambast ourselves into a self deprecation frenzy as punishment. This is not the way. This is just the demon of "if I punish myself enough I won't do it anymore". Wrong! Punishing yourself or not has nothing to do with fixing a demon action. The fix is in positive re-enforcement, whether from your actions or the actions of someone else. We tend to gravitate towards winners. So, hang out with someone who wins a lot. If you are lucky, they will say things to help you conquer your demon. If you are unlucky, then you will face the demon of "I know, I know, I know" and the truth is, you will never ever know until you accept the full responsibility of not knowing. But, our "ego" demon often gets in our way, preventing acceptance of some simple truths;
We are our stats. We trade our stats. We have rules based on our trading behaviors. We spend years developing these rules as guidelines to live and trade by. We have loss limits, target goals, daily goals, daily routines. We have journals to maintain, thoughts to write down and read about our trading actions. We have so many avenues available to help us conquer whatever demon manifests itself.
For most of us, one day we come face to face with the demon of "I am a loser" and we may continually act to fulfill that expectation of ourselves. If you find yourself facing this demon, then you are at the precipice of your trading. The next steps you take will either send you soaring into the winning sky, or you will plummet down into trading hell. So, whats your next step?
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In this industry, the statistical advantage of success is with the newbie trader. Yes, many people have a problem with this statement. So, lets take a look at a newbie.
The trading newbie has had no Rotweiller chomping on his bones. He has no opinions. He has no 'understanding" that leads him into confusion. He has no idea of anything except what he can see on this chart. If his chart has only the price bars, and if his chart is a price based chart and not a price defined by time or defined by tick orders chart, then he has the clearest picture of the market. So, he has no brain clutter.
Also, his lack of experience means he has no bias, no opinions, no preconceived ideas about the market. This is a great statistical advantage. Imagine, returning into that child like state with the full knowledge of history. Wow! Talk about a powerful starting point. All he has to do is "trade what he sees".
So, what must he see? He must learn to define support and resistance. He must also learn to define mis-direction. That is, he must learn to understand what the market really is. The market is deceptive, and full of false evidence appearing real. He must learn to recognize the fear of other traders so he can use this to identify the real players in the market. Once he can see how the real players are feeding this false evidence to other traders, the newbie can trade with the stronger players and not against them, and not become their victims. So the words for newbie traders are OBSERVE, UNDERSTAND, and CONCLUDE.
Unfortunately, most newbie traders fall victim to vendors, brokers, and charlatans who bombard them with crap and garbage the minute the newbie gives out his email. Those lists get sold and passed along and before you know it, the newbie is bombarded with enough useless information to make their head explode.
Here are some facts all newbies need to face:
There is no holy grail.
There is no perfect system.
There is no best method or approach.
There is no magic.
What works great for Bob may not work great for Mary.
There is no single answer.
If you are a newbie trader, then stop reading books written by vendors who also have websites offering you their time tested secret stuff. Read a book on mental aspects of trading instead.
Stop going to seminars sponsored by vendors or communications outfits. See a psychologist instead. OR, even better lift weights and work out really hard.
Stop buying indicators, systems, methods, formulas, ideas, or other peoples results.
Do not put more than 1 indicator or oscillator on your chart.
Do not believe anything anyone tells you about trading unless you have verified it as fact from your own efforts.
At the hard right edge only the clearest blank mind can see what is happening. Looking left provides all the clues, and staying in the moment at the hard right edge means trading with only the past to guide you. This is the best place to trade from. It is the only place we can trade from. There is no future in trading, there is only the past. Keep in mind the deceptive nature of the past; it is like understanding that history is often written by the victors.
So to all you newbies out there I say this: Beware - you are new cash cows in the making.
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When you are trying to win each trade, then each trade becomes a contest between what you believe and what you see. Put in other words, it becomes a conflict between what you want to see and what is actually happening.
In my trading I start with what I want or would like to see. I make it a point to see more than one scenario, and use my three wishes: one for lone, one for short, and one for sideways. Once I have those pictures painted in my head, I watch the new tick coming in on the new bar forming. I watch the volume on the tick, gage the speed of the bar building, the location of the bar, and ask myself a simple question. Has this new bar changed my picture of things. Is my long picture re-enforced or gone? Is my short picture changed? What about the sideways picture? Until something changes my picture of the long, short, and sideways of it, I just wait until one of those pictures appears with solid commitment where it cannot be taken back by the next bar.
That's it in a nut shell. I am not trying to win, I am not worrying about losing. Both of these concepts have no bearing on the actions I take while trading. The consequence of my actions will resolve into one of these scenarios, but I do not trade for either. I concentrate on trading well. This is a very dispassionate view. I have no opinions or bias. At all times I strive to know the long, the short (and it could be multiple long and short scenarios), and the sideways. The latter is easy. Sideways is sideways. The former are more difficult because the market never moves in a straight line in one direction. It stair steps and zig zags all the time. Sometimes it zigzags up, sometimes down. When sideways, it is always in a zig or a zag.
In your trading concentrate on finding the long, short and sideways that exists, or can exist with the next tic, the next bar; and then wait for the clearest picture to unfold. Once that clear commitment tic or bar is formed into the picture you are seeing, then make a decision. Act or don't act. Trade or don't trade. It doesn't matter. Just live in the present that the market has just given you, say thank you, and be happy!
Last edited by Jaguar52; September 27th, 2013 at 01:19 PM.
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Shhh... don't tell anyone.
Here it is. Decipher this and you have the answer to what will make you the best trader you can be. A few hints.
It is not any indicator, it is not any strategy, it is not any other method but your own. It is something you develop. It is something you can only experience over time. The answer is:
Nou Barris is one of the ten districts into which Barcelona has been officially divided since 1984. The name refers to the original nine neighbourhoods it was composed of, even though nowadays it's made up of fourteen.
It is located in the northern part of the city adjacent to two other districts of Barcelona: Sant Andreu and Horta-Guinardó and grew up extensively out of small urbanised areas near the former municipalities of Sant Joan d'Horta and Sant Andreu de Palomar (now neighbourhoods of Barcelona) in the 20th century, especially from the 1950s on. The district council is located in a former mental institution, the Institut Mental de la Santa Creu.
Sim is great to practice price action reading, practice following the order flow, practice identifying support and resistance, and testing your theories and ideas about market dynamics and intention. It is also great for practicing money management and identifying trade failure points, and for getting an idea of what loss is and how it affects your technical sim account.
However, two things that are VASTLY different, and that will greatly affect the duplication of all you learned on sim are:
MENTAL and EMOTIONAL DISCIPLINE
Once your real contract goes into the market, you represent a dollar value. Either there will be inventory to supply your needs or there won't. Time of day, volume, transaction size, entry location and pivots will all have something to say about the dollar value you made apparent in the market. Trading a thin market or trading a slow market are extremely dangerous. No matter how well you did in sim, the real market is all about inventory accumulation and distribution. You are either worth accumulating or you are not. You are either distribution to other traders or you are not. Either there is inventory available to you or there is not. This is the first great wake up call for all systems going live.
The real loss resulting from the above factors can mess up your head and cause you to doubt everything you learned to date on sim. The market needs to respond to your new presence one way or the other. This takes time, and you will need to weather this particular learning event. Reducing your risk per trade to something tiny will greatly help you weather this part of your initial learning to trade live and real.
Last edited by Jaguar52; October 8th, 2013 at 04:37 PM.
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