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Monday, 9 October 2017

Are you a farmer?

Read an excellent post on twitter from a financial trader earlier. There were a few elements to it but, much like the books it referred to, it focused upon process over profit.
We hear it constantly but how, even though we've read the books and tried to drum the concept into our heads, do we abide by this rule? Well, picture yourself as the crop farmer. Year in year out, season after season, the farmer goes through the process. He cannot control the outcome. All he can do is give himself the best chance of seeing a good crop. He does not dream of a bumper harvest, does not picture himself in a brand new tractor. What he does is follow the process, knowing that, based on thousands of years of farming knowledge, this process offers the best opportunity of having a good year. The weather can write off the entire crop, parasites can could ravage everything but he cannot do anything about these aspects. All he can do is give himself the best chance. And so it is with us, too. Process, process, process.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Can I help you?

Though my trading journey has seen me reach incredible highs, and lows, it has been very tough and, comparatively, really, very long. Much of this is down to my own stubbornness; thinking I could work it out by myself and believing blind faith would eventually get me to my goals. That determination stands me in good stead but the journey could've been a great deal shorter had I asked for the right help and if the right help was available.
Enormous amounts of trading education is offered to us almost daily - this guy's e-book, that guys videos, someone else's live trading course. Some of which are very good, most, sadly, are not. Some sellers do offer more, giving us advice about different aspects of trading, flagging up issues we might face but rarely giving us the know-how to overcome them. Often the goal is having us purchase whatever they are selling.
From what is available, I am yet to see any genuine guidance, training or education around putting things into practice. The good service/training providers offer strategy and guidance on how to implement them but, for me, what's completely lacking is help around... I'm struggling for the correct phrase here - I hesitate to use the term "Trading Theory" but cannot think of anything more apt.
When you have strategy, even when you are given clear "push this button now" instructions, you still need framework, structure, guidance and additional learning. When we learn to drive we are not simply handed an owners manual and reference book, we take numerous lessons and, often, some take numerous tests just to get on the road. Only once the test is passed do we really begin to learn what's it all about. How, then, can we expect ourselves, after a small amount of training, watching however many videos, to trade effectively?
My journey was too long, there were too many banks blown, too much needless endeavour and not enough real, genuine help.
Since October last year I've been working with a handful of people, trying to take them to another level of trading capability, helping them understand what's held them back, giving them confidence in themselves and their own abilities to trade the markets effectively. They have not been given any strategy or strategies, working together, all we've done is analysed results and, using that resulting info, been able manipulate how they trade so they focus on what they do well and avoid trading what and where they do not. Each of these guys is part of a particular trading community and their focus is pre race trading. Some of their feedback is below;

"I would like to say a big thank you because not only have you transformed my trading and I am now making more money than I ever have but maybe more importantly  I am more relaxed and happier in my life and sleeping better and all of this is thanks to your help with the mental side of trading. Thank you for changing my life for the better."
The Don

"Before speaking with you, I was just a break even trader. I could read the markets well enough but could not make it pay off. Now, looking back on both my P&L and my Trading record (using the excel framework provided) I am in profit.
There are things that you introduced into my schedule that I knew about but didn't think it would make much of a difference. Especially the detailed Trading Record. This really helps to see areas in need of improvement and has helped give me confidence.
I still have a way to go before I can live off my trading profits, but it is clear to see the improvement I have made due to the changes we have implemented. Most of these changes have been with the psychological aspect which I needed help with the most.
I am confident I can achieve my dream, which likely would not have been possible without you."
AT - Kent.

My endeavour now is to help more people. I still want to help pre race traders but, in particular, in-running traders and traders who focus on other sports like football and tennis.
This is how it would work: Firstly, there is no fee to me. Initially we would have a Skype chat, (I do everything over Skype), during which we would have an in-depth chat about your entire trading experience, however short or long. Then we'd talk about you and what you want to achieve. This will help me understand what help you need and, if we're both happy, you make a £50 donation to the NSPCC. For this you get a further six separate Skype sessions with me over a period that would be dictated by your trading type and style. Each session we deep dive into your latest results and learn more and more about how you trade, your pitfalls and successes, from which we build the plan for the next period.
It must be made clear again, there are no strategies on offer here. The idea is to help you identify what will make you a consistently profitable trader and what is currently stopping you.

Drop me an email here if you would like to take the first step. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

...the chicken or the edge.

What stops us from becoming the trader we aspire to be? Why, when we look at the market, do we see all this money available yet fail to extract any on a consistent basis? The answer is fear.
Fear is the wannabe trader's most formidable foe. It controls us completely, governs our thoughts and actions within the market and, unconquered, will ultimately lead to our failure.
This fear or fears manifest in numerous ways; fear of missing out, fear of being wrong, even fear of being right, fear of the opinion of others, fear of loss, the list goes on. Then, of course, there are the innate fears that have been imprinted on our psyche through our own life experiences. It's these innate fears people feel they need to weed out the most. The need to go through some Freudian process to alleviate. Is this true though? Can we not overcome the more obvious and still achieve trading success?
When fear is removed, we are confident. Confident in our ability, confident in our knowledge, confident that we can control ourselves in a given situation. Think about the first time you got in a car and how well and how automatically you drive now. Similarly, with your job; first day fear and nerves soon dissipate. But trading is different. No one market is the same as another, so how can we build a mental mould for it? We can't. That's the point. So, what is the alternative? What can we do to remove those fears, to build confidence, knowledge and therefore control? We find our edge.

Your edge is what you sets you apart from all the other would-be traders. All the people that begin this journey and the uncountable who end the journey without success.
The kingdom is on offer to us, there for the taking, but without an edge it remains so close but so firmly out of reach.
Ask yourself, right now "What is my edge?"
If your answer is quantifiable and based on positive probability, you're likely already profitable. If you're not, maybe your execution needs work.
But if your answer is ambiguous or you genuinely don't know, stop! Don't make the same mistake so many of us do/did. Spending every trading session guessing, hoping the light bulb moment will come will take years off your life and large sums from your bank balance. The more you try and trade in this way, the more fear will imprint itself and the harder it will be to reach your end goal. Deep dive into your results, make detailed examinations of every entry you've made. You might be so close but aren't aware of the small change you need to make.
Use your trading session time to examine the markets, decipher the flow, find the anomalies, the patterns (they do exist). Correlate what you find, back test, paper trade, fail and start again.
All the information is available but you cannot take it out if you're too busy getting blindly stuck in.