So… You Wanna Be A Trader???
I’m guessing your answer is, YES! Or why would you be here?
But I’m sure you didn’t grow up (or maybe you did) telling your 3rd-grade teacher that one day you wanted to be the world’s best stock trader. My aspiration at that age was to be in a rock and roll band (the drummer). My poor mom!
So how did I get “here?” and what can I impart on you regarding my experience? That is the question…
I never set out to be a trader. Actually, I was loving life as a corporate consultant, helping management teams optimize their performance. THEN, the financial crisis hit and well, consulting was one of the first investments to get cut.
Right about that time I was fortunate enough to sell some real estate right before the downturn and thankfully invested my profits in a very conservative CD earning 6% a year. Remember those days? I felt most brilliant and jumped into the market in January 2009.
Over-Confidence Lead to Mistakes
My brilliance translated into over-confidence and I made EVERY mistake one trader can make. Some of the big ones included…
- Position size (due to over-confidence)
- Not honoring my plan (if I wasn’t honoring my overall “life” plan, why would I honor my trading plan — think about that)
- Letting fear rule my trading decision (FOMO (fear of missing out = buying too high and selling too soon = not letting my winners run).
Maybe I was missing out in other areas of my life and trying to make up for it with my trade. Basically, it all came down to not letting my EGO get in my way. But thankfully I reigned it in and somehow managed to trade decent enough to preserve the capital I employed all while taking some hefty losses. I don’t advocate this way of learning the markets, but for me, this experience was priceless. It taught me that trading is not something that one can do successfully based solely on their level of confidence or the balance of their account, but with the discipline to study, execute and review.
An important lesson…
The most important lesson I learned, however, and want to share with you, is this:
I began to notice patterns where the level of my well-being was in direct correlation with the level of my trading. We are only as strong as our physical, mental and emotional health. If you can get these 3 areas aligned, then you will have the facilities to ultimately trade your best. And that is why I set out to consult with traders about these 3 synergistic areas that encompass the body, the mind, and our spirit.
Below is the basic outline of the program I designed and implemented while I worked with Michael back in 2016.
Lifestyle —- Environment —- Vision
I explore one’s physical needs such as diet, exercise and sleep to ensure you have the foundation to begin trading your best, based on your personal needs.
I discuss how an engaged mind plays a vital role in determining one’s potential. While much of the world news translates into “noise” for us as traders, there is no denying that what is happening around us has implications on our performance and it is our job to be cognizant of these factors in order to identify how they may enter into our practice of trading.
We all know that in today’s world it is easy to lose touch with one’s self.
Internal stress, work stress, and stress at home can all build up quickly.
When this happens, all of the above (physical and mental health) suffer.
Having an outlet outside of trading (such as meditation) is sometimes all you need to bring you back into balance.
Taking an inventory of our physical surroundings in which we live, work, and even play will allow us to dial in on the qualities that make for our ideal space, one where we can thrive as traders. The quality of our relationships highly contributes to our overall sense of well being and one that will either contribute or distract from our performance. Preparing ourselves and our environments for the lifestyle we aspire to sets us up not only to achieve but to adjust effortlessly to the demands of the markets that we set out to meet and beat.
In order to envision our desired outcome, in terms of our trading goals, we must first understand what drives this vision. In effect, why it is we want to devote our time to perfecting our method of trading. This is key to attaining our goals. We all need a “WHY!” As you create your vision (your WHY), you will begin to uncover and implement these areas of support This will give you the confidence required to manage your risk and therefore allow you to grow, not only in your trading but in all areas of life that ultimately support your vision.
This is just a brief snapshot of what it is I put together, to empower traders to do what we love: TRADE!
Let us know what, if any of this, interests you. Leave it down in the comments below and let’s start a dialogue that will be of benefit for all of us CYT members.