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Trading in the Zone - Mark Douglas
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Trading in the Zone - Mark Douglas

  #21 (permalink)
Attitude is everything.
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My Experience With Mark

@VegasFlyer Thank you for starting this thread. You've inspired me to get out my copies of The Disciplined Trader and Trading In The Zone, and read them with less rush. I think every time I've read them, I've plowed through them looking for that one answer to all my trading problems. I'll slow it down this time around.

It seems a little absurd for me to say that because some of my favorite quotes are Mark's:


Quoting 
"Attitude produces overall better results than analysis or technique. Of course, the ideal situation is to have both, but you really don't need both, because if you have the right attitude - the right mind-set - then everything else about trading will be relatively easy, even simple, and certainly a lot more fun." - Trading in the Zone, Chapter 3, pg. 35


Quoting 
"It's a fundamental shift in attitude that accounts for their success, not some brilliant realization about the market, as most people erroneously assume. This erroneous assumption is prevalent among traders simply because very few of them really understand, at the deepest levels, just how critical a component attitude is in determining one's success." - Trading in the Zone, Chapter 3, pg. 39

It's also absurd for me to say that because I actually have some direct experience with Mark.

A little background:

It's the summer of 1993 (I can't believe it was that long ago) and I've been determined to learn how to trade successfully for a couple of years. I had The Disciplined Trader and I knew that Mark was doing seminars for small groups of traders. At the time my daughter was only a few years old and I had a computer network manager job that I hated. I got up the guts to tell my wife that I wanted to go and I scraped together enough money for the seminar ($1,000 - $1,500 – can't remember exactly how much it was now). I think we had some frequent flyer miles that I was able to use for the plane ticket (from Dallas).

While I was there a friend of a friend of a coworker of my wife's arranged for me to get a tour of the CBOT. I thought it would be a group thing, but a relatively high-ranking woman (can't remember exactly who she was either!) met me at the predetermined location and proceeded to walk me through the CME (we couldn't go to the CBOT – something was going on there). We did the regular visitor stuff, but then she took me through some back hallways and we emerged on the trading floor! My head was spinning. The markets had closed just a little earlier and there were paper orders all over the floor and traders standing in groups talking. She introduced me to a few of them and chatted for a bit, but I wasn't hearing anything because I was in a daze.

Back to Mark:

Myself and 5 other traders (basically small timer's like me) met in a beautiful conference room overlooking one of the piers on Lake Michigan. It was in the condominium building where Mark was living at the time.

It was an amazing two days, and I firmly felt that Mark was not a charlatan, but very sincere in his desire to help traders. I did get the sense though that he may have felt some frustration that the information he was delivering would tend to fall on deaf ears – as if he'd said it to a lot of traders but they just weren't “getting it.” And I think that would have been with good reason, because I can still vividly recall my cab ride back to the airport that Sunday evening going through the material and thinking, “How am I going to use this to make money trading tomorrow?” Completely missing the point that it's a process.

A lot of the concepts he presented to us ended up being in Trading In The Zone, published about 7 years later.


piposaurus View Post
I find the content of his books superb, however the way/style which he has written them makes for a difficult read.

I always thought the books could be made better if they were re-written by a professional writer as Douglas certainly isn't one.

Still brilliant though in my opinion...

@piposaurus I tend to agree. And during my two days in Chicago with Mark he explained that he had hated writing. He would drop classes in college if it required him to write a paper. If I recall correctly it took him over 6 years to write The Disciplined Trader. He said that he always thought he was only 6 months from finishing it, and if someone had told him that it would take 6 years, and he had a way of believing them, he would never have finished it.

Here are a couple photos of the spiral workbook from the seminar (yes, I still have it!):

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"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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Was he using the Hemi-Sync tapes back then?

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  #23 (permalink)
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Bookworm View Post
Was he using the Hemi-Sync tapes back then?

Yes! In fact we were required to bring a portable cassette player with us (another example of how long ago it was). We listened to side 1 of the H-Plus De-Hab tape on Saturday and side 2 on Sunday.

Mark actually wrote an article on the Monroe Institute website in 1993 that describes how/why he used the Hemi-Sync technology in the workshop I attended.

I listen to a couple of the Hemi-Sync Mind Food CD's (Surf is one of them) when I meditate or do breathing exercises.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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"Zone" follow up

Many fine points/comments made here - this Christmas Santa brought me a new large stack of financial literature and the first one I've delved into is Debt:the first 5000 years, not a trading psychology book but an amazing history and analysis of civilizations, cultures, both ancient and modern, and societal attitudes toward monetary obligations. As a negative, there are a few not so veiled political agendas by the author but not many - it's still helped my macro views greatly and they don't disrupt the overall content. There are horrific and disturbing facts, and some sad discoveries made, I will say, I have a changed ideologolical view of the world, not for the better or worse, in a non-religious sense, it was enlightening.

I mention this book in this thread only because it has dovetailed nicely with some trading psychology wisdom accrued in the trader self help books and supplemented my economic/politcal learning.

Web of Debt by Ellen Brown and Hedge Fund Wizards by Jack Schwager, are good TTZ complements too, great books.

Currently reading Option Volatility and Pricing by Sheldon Natenberg, phenomenal book on consistently successful trading, more to come in re: to this text, probably a future thread. Check out the reviews on Amazon.

I follow Tastytrade daily and i am a complimentary member through my TD Ameritrade brokerage account, they preach many of the things covered in TTZ:

1. Trading through probabilities.
2. Making assumptions based on statistics.
3. Following a specific and PROPER trade plan and PROPER trade sizing. "Trade small, trade ofthen"
4. The anything can happen in the markets mantra - everyday they go through this.
5. Getting duration in your trades probability of touching, probability of being in the money etc...
6. They trade specifically backtested strategies: strangles, verticals, iron condors, broken wing butterflies, option futures, scalping futures, futures pair trades, earnings plays, covered calls... Etc.

They honestly don't care about being right on market direction as much as proper execution of their strategies, they just want to eventually be right and when they are wrong, which they will be, it never effects there net liq overall. Their good people and they try to make it fun... The shows have gotten light years better since I started watching them last year. There are some n/a shows geared to getting kids trading, but they do have regulars that are very experienced CBOT traders turned to retail.

Steve "Slim" Miller is the most technical analyist and the resident "psychology in trading" mentor of the group, Tom and Tony are more strategists.

While your standard futures.io (formerly BMT) member may closely relate to Slim, I believe they would benefit most from learning from Tom and Tony. For example, the new Get Trading @22 series, kids originally trading market directions with unhedged technical setups, who slowly have their technical trader mindset changed to a beneficial (read: profitable) probablistic understanding of correctly done, proven trading strategies (or tech setups) and the experience and confidence that comes with that

The show will only confirm/reinforce Big Mikes SPOT ON "stop changing charts...stop putting more indicators on your charts... stop looking for the holy grail... Etc..." advice.

Liz and Jenny are nice but the show may not appeal to more serious traders. But those girls are sharp, don't let them fool you.

If you enjoy TTZ I highly recommend Tastytrade for at least a trial run.

They disagree with Cramer, CNBC, most other buy and hold pundits, and are trying to educate to change personal finance in America. You can email and call them, they will personally get back to you.

I post all this because futures.io (formerly BMT) has always been a rudder for seeking trading wisdom, hope this helps.


Last edited by VegasFlyer; January 13th, 2013 at 03:00 AM.
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traveller View Post
<Video Links>

Hi,

Unfortunately YouTube now reports that the videos do not exist. Do you have updated links by chance?

Thanks!
-Bob

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AttitudeTrader View Post
Yes! In fact we were required to bring a portable cassette player with us (another example of how long ago it was). We listened to side 1 of the H-Plus De-Hab tape on Saturday and side 2 on Sunday.

Mark actually wrote an article on the Monroe Institute website in 1993 that describes how/why he used the Hemi-Sync technology in the workshop I attended.

I listen to a couple of the Hemi-Sync Mind Food CD's (Surf is one of them) when I meditate or do breathing exercises.

-AT

Online I found a VHS transfer of one of these old seminars. Priceless.

Mark also made a studio produced video series that covers the same material called "How To Think Like a Professional Trader." It is available on his site (markdouglass.com) and probably second hand on eBay or elsewhere. It is a lot easier to watch and boiled down to less than half the original time, but there is something authentico about the old one.

I think his video presentation is about the best trading DVD series I have.

Also, I purchased the FT71 paid webinars. It is uncanny how much they overlap, esp. FT71's lecture 3. At times I wondered if FT was copying MD, but not really; I think it is simply 2 great minds observing what works and being able to communicate that wisdom.

-Bob

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bob7123 View Post
Hi,

Unfortunately YouTube now reports that the videos do not exist. Do you have updated links by chance?

Thanks!
-Bob

Have a look here - the other parts are to be found on the same page:

Mark Douglas- Trading Psychology #1 - YouTube

GFIs1

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GFIs1 View Post
Have a look here - the other parts are to be found on the same page:

Mark Douglas- Trading Psychology #1 - YouTube

GFIs1

Thanks!

Interesting stuff.

For others, the first 2 minutes of part 1 is marketing fluff before getting into a serious interview, and at about 8 minutes into part 3 it morphs into an excerpt of the "How to Think Like a Professional Trader" seminar I mentioned earlier.

Thanks again,
-Bob

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I just finished The Path To Consistency Workshop as really enjoy the MD Philosophy so went ahead and bought it - and of course fingers crossed that he just tells me how to make millions with the power of my mind :P

He makes the point time and again that his whole objective is to give the background in the book, and workshop, as a precursor to why you need to do the trading exercise.

Maybe my wholly grail has been found as he gives an example system to trade with for the purpose of the exercise. Finally iron out those creases in my psych. Its definitely about time I actually do what he proposes to be a success, considering I have spent so much time reading, listening and studying his material - and never actually doing that one simple exercise.

Maybe I should blog about it too haha

The leap into freedom is the exchanging of risk for reward. This can be done only by shifting from tension to ease, and that can be done only when one perceives the reward and not the risk. That you won't win all the time has nothing to do with it - that's life, that's the [stock] market. The trying itself is freeing. And being free has its own reward - Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk
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Finished Trading in the Zone for the 2nd time last weekend and I am practicing what the book recommends in and out of my trading life. One thing I am doing is I have a list of the seven habits of consistent trading and the 5 fundamental truths on my phone in the springpad app. Whenever I start playing with my phone out of boredom on the bus ride home, I whip it out and visualize myself completing each of the truths and habits.

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