Thank you for your nice comments. It really is appreciated.
I'm not sure what else to add. I'd be lying to you if I said it still isn't a struggle at times. The thoughts are there, the pressure is there, but I've learned to ignore it and go against what I want to do, because I know that doesn't end very well.
For me I've become somewhat more robotic in my mechanics of the trade. I still have a discretionary system, but once it's a valid setup I take it. I also remind myself that the outcome of any given trade has nothing to do with it being a good trade or a bad trade (right or wrong). As long as the process is right, then the trade is right.
So in the end my focus has become on process, fine tuning that, and becoming better about process every day. Focusing on process has also helped me to not focus on money. Like the OP, money is not my concern, but it can still trip you up. So I don't trade the money, I trade the process.
I'm a guitar player and I recall that when I started to learn to play the guitar, every day I was focused on becoming a little bit better. Day after day, I was focused on technique, craft, how I could improve. I didn't sit there dreaming about becoming a rock star, or how I would impress my friends with my new found skills as a guitar player, I was focused on become a better player. A better version of me. If you can reach that same stage with your trading, you'll find that you go from being a losing or scratch trader to being consistently profitable.
I hope the original poster hits his goal to do this in a year. For me it's been a much longer journey, but mostly because there were a lot of obstacles I had to go through along the way. Obstacles that, for the most part, I put there with my own psychology.
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You read my entry right!! I could be down by 20% if my stops get hit 4 times consequently.
However, we are talking about 50 points stop and I usually get out much before it gets hit, should the context change. In fact, I was never stopped out once in the last 6 months but GOT out many times, as my own choice. It's often well before the stop. I treat stops more like insurance. I hope I don't need it 4 times on a row. Even if it does, I loose only 20% which seems reasonably safe to me.
Last edited by Narcissus; October 4th, 2015 at 12:38 PM.
Very pleased you have this topic of discussion....it can show a lot about our plans when it comes to trading don't you think? Many experienced traders seem to jump in with some valid queries I think. I mean, the top 1 % of traders only make a living from it.....really? Where do that get that stat anyway?? Of course it's a tough gig, we're aware of that,
but we think ' I can do it'....right? Then what makes us think that?
Firstly I think there are Pros and cons with both ways of thinking:
I can make a living from trading in a year CAMP
Pros - Confidence breeds success. You are setting the bar very high, if you don't shoot for the stars you may not reach the moon idea. If you don't really put it out there and challenge yourself, how will you know you couldn't have done it? Perhaps your drive alone is what empowers you to do what's required to succeed. You might be amongst the small minority that have the 'right stuff'. The cons camp laugh at you, and know you'll bomb out ( hare) while they slowly but surely make a lower return than you but get rich 'eventually but near retirement age' ( tortoise). Cons - Not being realistic. Overestimating your abilities. You might shoot for it, but because you lack the knowledge and experience, you will over-leverage yourself and bomb out multiple times...until you feel so demoralized you feel like giving up....you repeat this process thinking that a 'time out' somehow re-invents a new you that's miraculously wiser and more able to attempt trading next time. This thinking is overly conservative, but it may protect you from an inflated sense of your own ability. The Pros camp hate this way of thinking as being rather boring, drull, stiff, and overly sensible and lacking in ambition.
You're better off trying to make a smaller return, and keep your day job CAMP.
Pros - Lowering your return to say, 20% initial capital per year - seems oh so sensible doesn't it. Of course, it sounds much easier than 100 %. But is even that ambition doable ? Perhaps by not stressing yourself out so much, with supposedly difficult goals you are more relaxed and actually follow that boring trading plan that took you years to write out. You find enjoyment from many other things in your life, its a more balanced approach....trading is one thing you do, you're not really able to call your ' A Trader' like it's your sole source of income. It's not sexy or exciting but it pays for your annual holiday or back patio extension for Parties, away from that dreaded day job.
Cons- Perhaps by lowering your ambitions, you are just scared of trying too hard. You are frightened of letting go of that day job you secretly loath, as it's too 'risky' and you are full of fear around that idea of letting go and having a go at something you suspect you could be really successful at - if only you just took a chance and 'did it'. But it's too scary contemplating that because it might mean I have to really work at it and its more of a leisurely pursuit, not a chore ( like my day job !)....also, I may lose my regular income and I have mouths to feed and just can't take that chance despite it possibly being the best decision I ever made leading to untold wealth and happiness ....
Personally, I think we all have a little of all of these traits....some more than others. That's why I think it's a good idea to have a well thought out and written ' Trading Vision', and ' planned steps to achieve that vision ' .....it uncovers flaws in our expectations - if we read it out aloud each day ( in the cold hard light of day we can then chuckle at ourselves for being either too inflated or conservative)
Personally, I also wish to make a living from trading.....I have a trading journal I've just started in the same vein called ' Aussie Spi'......
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From a pure probabilistic standpoint, if the end game is to be "successful" in futures trading, you should work your futures trading around your job as a physician and not the other way around. This will give you tremendous flexibility in how you could approach your trading while removing a potentially significant amount of unnecessary stress often caused when one tries to transition from a wage earner to an "eat what you kill" earner....for lack of a better term.
I can't in good conscience recommend that you leave what appears to be a solid career as a physician to pursue full time trading as your sole source of income. Particularly in light of the fact that trading futures and working your current job are not mutually exclusive. Since it appears that your current approach is already geared towards swing trading the markets, you could make simple changes to your current style by focusing on trading larger timeframes. This solution should fit well with your current job schedule and keep you in the enviable position of not having to rely on trading as a single source of income, which will only increase your odds for success.
Probably not what you wanted to hear but tread very carefully because throwing away a career as a physician should not be taken lightly. I wish you success in whatever decision you make.
Last edited by Sazon; October 4th, 2015 at 03:39 PM.
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Very valid point. You are right. This is NOT what I wanted to hear but I thank you for your honesty and putting my best interest first. (My Inner voice has been warning those same concerns for almost a year now)
Though I have taken calculated risk in my life several times, I am generally risk averse in nature. It increased further after having 2 kids (still under 5). However, my passion towards trading seems to be triumphing my anxieties. My biggest strength is my safe financial position. I have made safe long term investments in a variety of assets including stocks, Bonds, Real estate and Precious metals. More importantly my cost of living is VERY low and can go down even further as I started as very poor and still connected to my grass roots. I am not filthy rich now but definitely positioned better to deal with unexpected life events for atleast 10 years (except health concerns which can ruin anyone in minutes)
First of all, Unlike other professionals, my medical degree stays with me for the rest of my life as long as I am in good standing and has sufficient education activity credits. So, I (think, I) can always return back to similar job, or even the same job after 6 to 12 months. Another advantage is that my specialisation is approved not only in Canada, but also in UK, Australia, Singapore and India. I am confident that I can get back to a job in any of the above countries but aware that I will likely start at a lower salary and less than ideal working condition.
If I begin to think of my full-time trading time as sabbatical or Paternity leave, then it will reduce my and others concerns, I guess. However, risk is a risk. Just like trading, I am minimising the risk and maximising the reward.
Now, What are the rewards.
Apart from the obvious ones related to satisfaction and revenue, I have emotional reasons too. I haven't shared them here as they are not only personal but may not resonate with others. However, I will share some.
I want my kids to grow up in an extended family with cousins, uncles and aunts. Both myself and my wife grew up in that set-up and I feel like my kids are missing out on a lot. Canada has offered us a lot but none of my family members are interested in moving here. Even when they visit us, they get bored and restless after 2-3 weeks. My parents and in-laws are getting older and frail. Lot of professionals left Asia usually for financial reasons and currently doing well but carry that emotional burden and guilt of not being available for our parents when they need us the most. Very often, we get so used to this lifestyle here and often experience 'reverse culture shock' when we visit our home country. We don't seem to fit there anymore and often in no-man's land.
On the other hand, I am also becoming more dis-illusioned with the western values which attracted me 20 years ago. This period of my full time trader will also provide that much needed reflection time and live in India to try that out.
That option is not without problems though. I left India 20 years ago and India has changed a lot. I have this 'ideal' world in my head but the fabric of family is disintegrating in Eastern world too. Internet had far reaching positive and negative effect. Infact, it's happening at an alarmingly fast rate. Corruption is still rampant but affects poor people more than the middle/upper economic sector. Law & Order is still very chaotic at best and society functions better as a unit here in the western world. Other issues are over-crowding, pollution & poor quality food. Last year, We built a farmhouse in 3 acres and tried to minimise that effect. Hopefully, we will grow our own food and also make milk products from our cows
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We are likely to live in a city with easy access to better hospitals and school but have a farmlife within a hour or two drive. This post ended up as much longer than I anticipated.
Obviosly there are other parts to this plan but full time trading trial is a big part of that grand plan. I have no idea whether it will work out or not. Even if it doesn't work out, I will be a happy man (hopefully).
What I don't want to happen is me thinking 20 years from now 'What If, I had tried full time trading in 2016?'
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I'm thinking on similar lines Narcissus. I can understand your thoughts much better being a Doctor myself and being from same part of world and belonging to same culture . It may take time for me to take plunge because financially I'm not that stable yet. But, I know what I'm going to do in future.