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Time to Give Up
Started:March 27th, 2013 (04:47 PM) by Big Mike Views / Replies:55,867 / 414
Last Reply:October 21st, 2016 (12:21 AM) Attachments:3

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Time to Give Up

Old March 27th, 2013, 11:39 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I don't want to have any vendor-related discussion here in this thread about the vendor who produced this video, but this is from last year and is an interesting watch for those who haven't seen it.



Does this video speak to you about why you are a trader?

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 11:55 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Thanks for starting such a crucial thread. Maybe some of my experiences could help others.

I've tried lot of things over the years... and found trading to be the most difficult of them all. When I went back to a regular job (at least twice in 8 years), it was mind-boggling that I was receiving a regular check and I was being paid for each day of work! And yet, I gravitated back to trading, as I wasn't ready to throw in a towel.

In my low moments, I thought of Brett's reflection Giving Up Trading.... but, I never quit though it was in the back of my mind...

After years of success and failure, success and failure..etc., and many micro-improvements and personal growth, I reached the conclusion that I truly don't care if I continue trading or not. In other words, while evolving as a trader, I stopped being addicted to the action. It became business. Nothing special, no glamor or dreaming. Win or lose, I lost the stars in my eyes.

Now I trade 1 simple setup on 1 chart. It is profitable over time, but could stop being so. If that happens, I'll find another one. And if I can't find another thing that works, I'll stop trading, without any regrets. Either way, I really REALLY don't care.

Trading has made me indifferent to trading. My happiness does not depend on being a trader, or anything else for that matter.

Now with respect to beginners, they still dream, are still addicted to action..etc. These have to be smoothed over, I think, before they can move on... or destroy what they have and quit.

"...the degree to which you think you know, assume you know, or in any way need to know what is going to happen next, is equal to the degree to which you will fail as a trader." - Mark Douglas
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Old March 27th, 2013, 11:57 PM   #33 (permalink)
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That is right...


@Big Mike

All out effort is pre-req NOT an edge. But few even understand what an all out effort is. That, I believe, is why indicator groupies or grail seekers come from with questions like what room should I join or what course should I buy.

Correct also that many floor guys have a terrible time learning screen trading. I believe that properly stated, the activity happening on the floor is appropriately called trading, while the screen based activity is really short term speculation. The two are very different processes.

I was lucky in that I spent years as a NASDAQ market maker before going to the trading floor. That activity was screen based, benefited from order flow "paper" and could be built on both fundamental and technical approaches. The specific edge though was absolutely the benefit of customer order flow. At the CBOE and on the other trading floors, order flow is a definite edge, so is having the ability to execute simultaneous transactions for a theoretical hedge or arbitrage. Having 20 other guys standing around looking to trade can also help as long as you are not the fool. "Edge"? as we are calling it now, to a screen based trader, starting from scratch...almost impossible.

For me though, Mike, the progression was part of the master plan. Going all out to learn something to which I thought I was well suited and believed I could compete at required me to subordinate myself to a process, the initial stages of which took years. Making a deposit, buying a nifty indicator package, reading a book or two is NOT even a half-assed effort. Almost everyone that employs that strategy is destined to lose all their money.

Almost every man I know has been golfing. I know two legit scratch golfers. In 2012 100 guys made a million or more on the PGA tour. The next hundred guys $214,000-$1,000,000. Number 300 on the money list made $31,000. 368 guys made the money list. Safe to say that those 368 are among the top 1000 in the World. I can acquire the same equipment down to the undergarments. I can read the same books, golf most of the same courses. BUT in a million years if I make every human effort possible to win the Masters, the best I might legitimately hope for is to get my pro "card" and compete at the local or country club level.

That does not mean I should quit golf. It does not even mean that I should stop trying to get better at it. What it means, in part, is that I should learn to love the game. To identify what it is that makes me love the game...to be happy to be on the course and to "shoot well" Now, that would give me something to build on, right?

So, when my options mentor suggested that I become familiar with "Options as a Strategic Investment", Lawrence G. McMillan and "Options Volatility & Pricing", Sheldon Natenberg on the Thursday before a four day weekend, I bought both at the train station on the way home THAT DAY. Over the 4 day weekend I read all 1400 pages and showed up a week later with over 400 note cards committed to memory. I was already running a Nasdaq desk. I communicated to my next mentor that I was serious and a good risk/investment. I clerked for almost 9 months before getting a badge and going on to choose a "crowd". I still did not make any real money until after I'd been in the crowd trading at least 9 months.

I'd venture that the top 300 traders in the world are all 9 figure guys...four digits past the 300th golfer. Like the golfer, none of them has more time in a day, or access to a secret club or special swing dynamic manifesto guarded by dragons. We each have our own attributes, the vast majority of which go vastly undeveloped because we are not honest with ourselves or committed to that which we claim as our desire.


Last edited by wldman; March 28th, 2013 at 12:08 AM.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 12:30 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Anagami View Post
Trading has made me indifferent to trading. My happiness does not depend on being a trader, or anything else for that matter.

To me, this sounds similar to "Once you know how to make money, you can make money doing anything". Or "The first million is the hardest" in other words.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

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Old March 28th, 2013, 12:37 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I'd venture that the top 300 traders in the world are all 9 figure guys...four digits past the 300th golfer. Like the golfer, none of them has more time in a day, or access to a secret club or special swing dynamic manifesto guarded by dragons. We each have our own attributes, the vast majority of which go vastly undeveloped because we are not honest with ourselves or committed to that which we claim as our desire.

Good points Dan. I think most people look at trading as a way to make easy and unlimited money. The truth naturally is not so glamorous.


wldman View Post
So, when my options mentor suggested that I become familiar with "Options as a Strategic Investment", Lawrence G. McMillan and "Options Volatility & Pricing", Sheldon Natenberg on the Thursday before a four day weekend, I bought both at the train station on the way home THAT DAY. Over the 4 day weekend I read all 1400 pages and showed up a week later with over 400 note cards committed to memory. I was already running a Nasdaq desk. I communicated to my next mentor that I was serious and a good risk/investment. I clerked for almost 9 months before getting a badge and going on to choose a "crowd". I still did not make any real money until after I'd been in the crowd trading at least 9 months.

How would you carry this over to screen trading?

I recall many conversations I've had with a close trading buddy over the last 5 years. One of the most memorable is "just add a zero", referring to the number of contracts traded. If only it were that easy. Trust me, I tried it a few times and it didn't end well (lol). The process is slow and gradual. Today I trade much bigger than I did a few years ago, but I also trade far less frequently and have much bigger targets per trade. I consider it an evolution of my process over the years, but perhaps it is just because I am getting tired so I modified my approach to help me adapt, slowing things down. I used to live on the edge with tiny charts and trading dozens of times daily. But am happy to say that is behind me and I enjoy a much slower process today, which is also far more profitable.

In a way, I think that is somewhat similar to floor traders entering the screen trading world. On the floor everything is absolute non-stop chaos. As a screen trader you would need ultra fast moving tick charts and you need to be taking dozens (hundreds even) of trades per day in order to get the same rush you would have on the floor, am I right?

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

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Old March 28th, 2013, 02:58 AM   #36 (permalink)
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So David let me ask a blunt question... hope you don't mind or take offense... why do you believe trading is right for you?

OK let me back up to be fair. Do you believe that anyone can be profitable at trading? Or do you believe that some people are not cut out for it? Some believe any skill can be learned, others believe that there are some things they should accept are not their strong suits and move on.

Mike

Mike,

You can be blunt or ask me anything and I won't take offense.

I think some of your questions are difficult to answer, but I will give my opinion.

Do you believe that anyone can be profitable at trading? No, I think trading is indeed a skill and a profession. Not everyone is cutout for every skill or profession. Which I think answers the second question.. I do feel that there needs to be an interest in the markets and the process of trading. Interest may sound to simplistic, but what I mean is that one should not just trade for the money just like they shouldn't become a software engineer because it pays well, or there are a lot of jobs in that field. There needs to be some kind of desire or enjoyment, I think.

For me personally, I feel trading is right for a couple reasons. It's like being in business for yourself. The buck stops with you and nobody else. Ive been working for others for a long time and i don't like it. I admit that I got into trading for the wrong reasons. To make money. But in reality is that a bad reason? I think it's not a bad reason, but should not be the focus. The other reason is that I enjoy the process. I don't mind doing homework and I enjoy charting and technical trading. I think another question is, am I right for trading? Having the ability to be as some say "cool as a cucumber" does not come easy for me. I know that I have struggled with the emotional side, but I'm trying to improve upon that. I hope I answered your questions.

D

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Old March 28th, 2013, 07:10 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Wow. Says a lot about futures.io (formerly BMT) that this thread even got started, thanks @Big Mike and all who post in here.

Trading is indeed like golf - both 'combat activities' with an infusion of ego and talent that bring out the very best and the absolute worst in all of us as we flip between triumph and disaster, those equally unbalanced emotional magnetic poles. It is also a microcosm of life itself in all our fallible glories, forever to provide entertainment to our friends and enemies alike. If only we could suspend ego long enough to realise that's always how things are.

The 220yrd iron to the middle of the 18th green that attracted envious admiring glances or the insistence on hitting the half mud-covered ball in the hazard that resulted in the totally mud-covered shirt that had all players rolling around in fits on the floor? The sensible 2 points from the pullback in the up-trend or the widen the stop out another 10 points and add 2 contracts again because it has to turn here I just know it can't go lower but it just did?

You will never learn more about yourself than when you trade. Just be prepared to listen to the full ugly truth that emerges. Why did I start? I'm smart - just not smart enough to not start. Now I'm hooked to a terminal blessing and addiction. Why did I really start? Because I discovered that the world was not what we'd all been told it was.

What happened en-route?

Started 13 years ago shorting post dot-com trash telecom companies that were destined for (and reached) zero, just before Leonardo said a 62% retrace was due. My accounts reached zero before theirs did.

Made every mistake in the book, blew several accounts. Watched cert trades disappear in smoke. Sat and watched large losses get larger. Sat and watched large profits return to zero - because I never understood that it also takes balls to take a large profit. Lost it all and my sanity. Have traded +500% with thirty 5 minute binary option trades in one month. Have lost it all in 3 fat finger trades in 2 days. I no longer trade less than 20 minute binaries.

Learned that the learning never stops, particularly about the fat and water between the ears. That's always the tough bit, the rest of it is now pretty straightforward. Find something that works and stick to it. If it doesn't work you haven't found it.

A good day? Hard solid work and no more than 4 or 5 cherry picked trades with 2 or 3 winners.

A bad day? Tons of real turkey trades, usually with the two handed syndrome in full swing - you know - the one half says just wait and watch but the other half already clicked the mouse anyway.

Trading for me is for the income and the understanding and the art and the science and to know my place in the world that is exploding all around us - up and down.

Should I have stopped a long time ago if the advice on this forum had been available and loud enough? Hell Yeah. Listen Up.

Happy Easter to One and All. Thanks Mike. Battle restarts on Tuesday.

Travel Well
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Old March 28th, 2013, 07:45 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Great topic Big Mike,

After giving this a bit of thought I think there are essentially 3 Gates (or whatever you want to call them) that must be passed through when beginning your journey as a trader:

1st Gate:
This is an absolute pre-requisite. This gate includes your environment.
- Does your family support you? Have you explained exactly what it involves and the risks you'll be taking.
- Funds. Do you have enough money to cover expenses and trading losses to maintain your lifestyle. (in my experience so far, when you think you have enough, double it)
- Do you have the significant time available to dedicate to learning this

Do you have the right environment in place to even bother giving this a go?

2nd Gate
If you've passed through the 1st Gate, then the next pre-requisite is research and planning. This includes developing your trading methodology, risk management, trading plan

3rd Gate
The first two gates can be passed by anyone. Sure there is a lot of effort involved. But they can essentially be accomplished by most people. The final gate is your psychology and discipline. This is where things get tricky because it is all too easy to lie to yourself. The first two gates have hard and fast rules. Either you have those aspects in place or you dont. Pass or fail. However here you begin to learn about yourself and find out if you really have what it takes to be a trader.


So getting back to the thread question, I think that until you can pass the first two gates. Dont even bother thinking this can become a career. The final gate however is far harder because it doesn't have a clear end goal. It's a constant journey and one that is very personal. Hopefully you have the will power to give up if you see that you are unable to stick to your risk management plan, however it is very likely that those who dont stick to it, wont give up until they are forced to (by running out of funds, or family intervention).

On a side note, I stand firmly in the camp that sais not everyone can be a successful trader. This is not something that everyone can learn. This is not to say that traders are born. This is definitely something that has to be learnt. I am however saying that people either have an innate psychology and 'make up' that would lend itself to becoming a successful trader or they dont. Being honest with yourself on whether or not you pass that final gate is the question.

You donít trade the markets; you only trade your beliefs about the markets.
- Van K Tharp

Last edited by DarkPoolTrading; March 28th, 2013 at 08:06 AM.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 10:50 AM   #39 (permalink)
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What a great thread!

Before I dare to utter my oppinion, let me first say that I am still at the beginning of my journey and not (yet) an accomplished trader.

The problem I see is that the ones that should give up will very likely not be interested in a thread like this. Almost to the point that one could say "if you are not successful and don't read this thread, it's time to give up".

There are many prerequisites for becoming a successful trader, but no guarantees.
On the other hand these prerequisites are not to be understood as prerequisites to start learning and developing, many of them can be seen as milestones on the way to becoming a (profitable) trader.
Someone mentioned a Samurai example which I rather liked. You cannot expect to succeed without thorough preparation (technical, tactical and mental) and utmost dedication. However, as this preparation and dedication was for a Samurai the only way to stand a chance in battle, it did not at all guarantee his survival.

I think doubt is an important aspect of this journey, it opens the view to problems and shortcomings and can keep your ego in check. If one lacks this doubt, it should be a big bright red warning sign, either expectations are unrealistic or the ego might be a bit oversized, or both which is probably the most likely. Of course this doubt has to be in balance with confidence and it should not interfere with low granularity decisions like individual trades.

Exterior factors like support, capitalization and so on are very important, but can at least in some rare cases be overcome. Interior factors however can be somewhat different. For example I don't believe that a person with the heart of a gambler can ever succeed in this game. Although we can develop and change to the better, I believe we can not change the very essence of who we are. So if these internal prerequisites are not met at least to some degree (no Napoleon syndrome, ability to reflect, ability to take responsibility, discipline although it can be learnt to a great extent, willingness to learn...)(note that I left out intelligence as I believe that rather little of it is neccessary to trade successfully) it probably is time to give up even before you started.

Vvhg

Hic Rhodos, hic salta.

Last edited by vvhg; March 28th, 2013 at 02:37 PM.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #40 (permalink)
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vvhg View Post
What a great thread!
For example I don't believe that a person with the heart of a gambler can ever succeed in this game. Although we can develop and change to the better, I believe we can not change the very essence of who we are. So if these internal prerequisites are not met in the slightest (no Napoleon syndrome, ability to reflect, ability to take responsibility, discipline although it can be learnt to a great extent, willingness to learn...)(note that I left out intelligence as I believe that rather little of it is neccessary to trade successfully) it probably is time to give up even before you started.

Vvhg

This paragraph touched on something that has caused a lot of doubt in my trading journey, so I'll put it out there to get some feedback. Even though I have never had any gambling issues, I am an addict to the core. I am very proud to say I have been sober close to 7 years now and my life has done a complete 180, however sometimes when I get excited in a trade (winning or losing trade) the switch will go off an I will make some inexplicable decisions that remind me of the state of mind I would go into when I was still active. I am naturally undisciplined, selfish, egotistical and have a high threshold for "pain". I have been able to change all of these in my daily life, but when it comes to trading, all these traits still come up with full force.

So, would this put me in the "Time to Give Up" category?

London Calling
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