Tag Archives | trading plan

Yoda Quote #4, “Fear…leads to suffering”

This is a continuation of the Trading Words of Wisdom By Yoda, for Quote #5 click here.

“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.” -The Phantom Menace

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When young Anakin Skywalker is standing before the Jedi Council, we have no idea the of the dark, bitter creature he will become. Yoda does, though. Yoda senses something in Anakin that worries him: Anakin’s fear. Yoda’s early prediction came true as Anakin’s fears are realized and he becomes angry and hateful. In the end, though, we see that Anakin doesn’t have anger and hate to lift him anymore, he is just suffering.

As Traders, we can relate to Anakin’s fear of losses; we should always be aware of two dominating emotions: fear and greed.

Fear is a crucial response in humans to preserve both emotional and physical well-being. It works as a warning in our brain to show when something is dangerous or threatening. Most of us, however, fear uselessly and that fear holds us back. It’s natural for a trader’s fear to spike with the drop of a stock, or stomach clench when bad news comes from the market. Marie Curie, a physicist/chemist who was known for her pioneering research on radioactivity, adequately stated that “nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.” And explains, “Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” As traders, when we understand our fear and what causes it then we can either prevent it, prepare for it, or isolate it.

Greed can be just a devastating to traders. If you are too greedy then you will, as the old Wall Street saying goes, get slaughtered. None of us want to experience the humiliation of trying to squeeze every last tick out of winning position and getting blown out or whipsawed. For most of us, greed comes from an internal drive to get more and do better. Yet, success in the markets is based on a well-thought and calculated business plan, not those emotional impulses demanding more from yourself.

Take the time to develop a good trading plan that you trust enough that when these emotions rise, you are willing to stick to it. In the end, it feels a lot better to stand by your trading plan than to jump into destructive emotions like fear and greed. Eventually, fear and greed leave you, and your left to suffer the losses like the sad figure of Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return of The Jedi.

Happy Trading, and May The Force Be With You!

For Quote #3 click here.

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What Makes a Trader Successful?

How would you answer this question?  What is it that makes a trader successful? Is there one special quality they need, one bit of knowledge they need to learn, one tool that they could use to make them successful?  Or maybe, it’s just luck.  They are lucky, and now they are successful!

Well, the truth is, there is no one simple thing that can be given to immediately make a trader successful.  Luck may help sometimes, but it’s not a reliable process that we can count on.  The only consistent and proven way that makes a trader successful is by the process of hard work.  Nothing will be given to you without you putting the time and effort into your trading, and even then it may still take a while.  Time and hard work will eventually place you in a position where you can be successful.  The question is – are you willing to put in the time and effort needed to become a successful trader?

Successful traders have spent the time to learn how to trade, and then used that knowledge to create a trading plan.  Most have written their rules down, so they know exactly what to do to enter a trade and to exit a trade.  If I asked everyone to send me their written trading plan (please don’t, I don’t have enough time to read them), most traders couldn’t because they either don’t have one or haven’t taken the time to make it real by putting it down on paper.  If you don’t have a well-defined and written trading plan, then you are not ready to become a successful trader.  This is something that takes time and hard work.  Again, I ask – are you willing to put the time and effort to become successful?

The development of a trading plan does not need to be complicated. In fact, it should be as simple as possible.  Let me suggest a few things that you should begin to develop your trading plan.

  1. Define the “why” for your trading.  I know you want to make money but the “why” is more than just money, it is the reason behind your need for money.
  2. Define your risk rules.  You need to identify your “sweet spot” for how much you are willing to risk.  If you risk too much you will become fearful and if you don’t risk enough you will feel unsatisfied.  This should include how much risk you want to take in each trade, as well as how to calculate your position size.
  3. Define your entry and exit rules.  I will put this into two categories.  Setups and triggers.  The setup is what you see on the chart to know a trade is about to happen while a trigger is what you see on the chart that tells you it’s time to buy or sell.
  4. Define your analysis process. This is what you are going to do to analyze your trades after they are done.  Do this on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to make sure your trading plan is working the way you want.

Ok, so that’s it! (Well, at least some of it) If you want to be successful then create a well-defined and written trading plan.  Do not leave your success to luck or chance or anything else.  It’s up to you – now go and put the time and effort into your success!  Be that successful trader you want to be!

Happy Trading!

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