The Empowered Trader by Mark Fechner

Learning to Respond to the Market, not just React

Archive for November 2013

A New Documentary about Floor Traders.

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In my research of finding subjects to write about, I found this posting from Futures Magazine.  There is a documentary about the open out-cry trading floor and the slow demise of this once esteemed institution.  I found the trailer for this movie, and in the coming weeks, I’ll be posting excerpts from the movie on the blog.  Thought this was interesting enough to share.  Enjoy
Trading places: From peak to FLOORED (a documentary) (via Futures Magazine)

In 1997, 10,000 people traded on the floors…Today, about 10% remain. Thus begins James Allen Smith’s movie “Floored,” which will premiere on Futuresmag.com Sept. 6. As we see in this sometimes harrowing, occasionally funny, often sad documentary…

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Written by etradingcoach

November 25, 2013 at 11:34 am

Revenge Trader Syndrome*

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Continuing on in this educational series, we examine the second filter called the Revenge Trader Syndrome*.

The Revenge Trader Syndrome

The Revenge Trader Syndrome is the 2nd of the seven levels and is slightly more positive, or anabolic, than the Defeated Trader Syndrome. If you remember from the Defeated Trader Syndrome’s characteristics, we were in helpless state of mind. Not really able to make any decision and feeling pretty bad about the decisions we were making, unable to move forward. The name, Revenge Trader, being the next level up, aptly describes the general nature of this filter. That means, getting mad is better, more positive reaction than doing nothing. Let’s look at this level’s characteristics.

Characteristics

Some of the feeling and thoughts of this level:

  • Being alone, me against the market.
  • Betrayal, a sense of being wronged.
  • Anger, at mostly others of the market but can be directed at one’s self.

To help identify some of this for yourself, you might hear yourself saying some to these things:

  • “Trading is hard. It’s one fight after another.”
  • “This is a dog eat dog world.”
  • “There is only right and wrong, no grey area.”

Consequently, this self talk can lead to some of these behaviors:

  • Defiance – trading to get back at the market.
  • Revenge – this is pretty self explanatory
  • Proving you were right about your analysis

I’m going to venture to say that this characteristic is familiar to many traders. That’s understandable because there is often a passion to make trading work in one’s life. That passion can be a great motivator but it also can cloud our judgment regarding our expectations. The desire to have that trade get to your profit target can be overwhelming if you’re not aware of the underlining filter being used. The desire of having a trade hit its target can be translated into an affirmation to you that you are “right”. The desire to be “right”, therefore, can be a powerful enticement to stay in the market when common sense says otherwise.

This posting is just an introduction to the characteristics of the Revenge Trader Syndrome. Your Revenge Trader will be uniquely yours and be a reflection of how you look at the world. If you would like to talk about your particular brand of the Revenge Trader, sign up for a complementary exploration coaching call. Click this link to find an available time to meet. Be sure to give a brief description of how Defeated Trader shows up in your trading results.

In the next posting, we will examine how we can calm the Revenge Trader and take control of its capabilities.

*The educational material contained is gratefully adapted from the training received at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), its founder Bruce D Schneider, and his bestselling book Energy Leadership.

Written by etradingcoach

November 21, 2013 at 8:00 am

Today’s Market Confusion is not in Your Head.

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The New York Times 2013 DealBook Conference in New York

Many of the conversations that I’ve been having with traders lately centers around the inability of retail traders to understand what the market is doing.  That translates into uncertainty about our individual positions in the market and what the average Joe Trader should be doing.

This situation, now more that ever, speaks to the importance of clarifying your reasons for being in the market and your reasons for being a trader.  Since predictability is even less likely, understanding your decision process becomes more important when trying to decipher your portfolio questions.

And if you doubt me, listen to what the experts are saying.  In an interview for the NYTimes’ DealBook, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock talks about the uncertainty regarding the market and how politics is playing a part. It’s personally comforting to know that even the “experts”, or at least those with more money than me, aren’t sure about what is going on.

Written by etradingcoach

November 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

The Defeated Trader Syndrome Empowered.*

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In the previous posting, we discussed how these filters have a positive and negative quality to them. This bears repeating because when we’re in the throes of a really bad trading session, it’s very easy to place all sorts of judgments on ourselves, our abilities, the market, and in some extreme cases, life in general. The phrases, “I’ll never get this,” or “I’ll never make a living at this” have negative connotations and can lead traders to a variety of impulsive actions. Have you ever figuratively thrown up your hands and abandoned everything you’ve been using because “it’s just not working?”

Congratulations! You’ve just identified your version of the Defeated Trader Syndrome. And if you have been trading any length of time, this is something you have experienced. Being immersed in this filter can be all consuming and feel like there’s no way out. This is perfectly normal.

Awareness

The key to overcoming this syndrome is to, first be aware. To do that, you will need to “feel” your feelings. Yes, I said the word “feel.” I know this is a four letter word in the trading world, but it’s the only way to move forward. It’s not the feeling of despair, frustration, or inadequacy that you need to avoid, but rather embrace to get out of this state of mind.

Acknowledgement

Once you become aware of what you’re feeling, the next step is to acknowledge it. You’re acknowledgement could be as benign as a few choice words to something more physical. (I knew a trader that would throw his wireless mouse across the room when he got very frustrated. He kept Logitech in business because of it.) However you choose to acknowledge the feeling, the important part is to take the awareness to the next step, which is to take action.

Action

Taking action is the way you alter your state of mind and change how you’re trading at that moment. The simplest way to take action is to step away from the computer screen. Physically get up and walk away. That simple act of walking away has amazing recuperative properties. It allows you to change your perspective and your state of mind. It gives you a fighting chance to change your decision process and make a new set of decisions.

There is obviously much more on the subject, but this is a beginning. Remember, these are generalities. How this will show up for you is very unique and may not always be the very obvious. If you would like to talk about your particular brand of the Defeated Trader Syndrome, sign up for a complementary exploration coaching call. Click this link to find an available time to meet. Be sure to give a brief description of how Defeated Trader shows up in your trading results.

In the next posting, we’ll talk about the next filter that many traders fall victim to, The Revenge Trader Syndrome.

As always, Happy Trading to One and All

Mark
eTradingCoach

*The educational material contained is gratefully adapted from the training received at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), its founder Bruce D Schneider, and his bestselling book Energy Leadership.

Written by etradingcoach

November 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

The Defeated Trader Syndrome*

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As we stated in a previous posting, we’re going to get started in learning about these different filters by examining the first one that I call the Defeated Trader Syndrome*. As I stated before, these filters are neither good nor bad but they do have positive and negative qualities, similar to the positive and negative quality of electricity. They can be ranked from 1 as most catabolic, negative, to 7 as most anabolic, positive. We use all 7 filters on a daily basis, usually unconsciously, and they help us make decisions on a variety of subjects and situations.

The Defeated Trader Syndrome

The Defeated Trader Syndrome is the most catabolic of the energy levels. Being the 1st of the seven levels, it often is where many people default to when stress occurs. Some of the core characteristics are stated below.

Characteristics

Let’s start by identifying some feelings, and thoughts of this level.

  • Feeling of guilt, regret or remorse.
  • Incapable of succeeding as a trader.
  • A sense of avoidance to trade or lack of motivation to trade.

To help you identify this level to yourself, becoming aware of the self-talk we use when we are in this level is helpful. Here are some things you might say when in this level:

  • “Why is the market doing this to me?”
  • “Every trade is a loser.”
  • “Why did I take that trader? I know better.”
  • “I should never have taken that trade.”

The action or result of this level might be:

  • Lethargy
  • Avoidance
  • Feeling bad or a sense of inaction.

These are generalizations of what you might be experiencing, but in general, a lack of motivation and energy is not uncommon in this filter.

If you’ve been trading for any length of time, these feeling or actions are not unfamiliar to you. It is normal to experience these feelings. The trouble occurs when these dictate how you act on a regular basis or how long you stay in this particular level. If you are experiencing these feelings on a regular basis or several times during a trading session, you are probably not working are your best, optimal self. Creating the awareness is the first step to moving forward in your trading and getting more of the results you desire.

In the next posting, we’ll talk about some strategies for moving out of the Defeated Trader’s Syndrome to empowering yourself to making better decisions.

*The educational material contained is gratefully adapted from the training received at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), its founder Bruce D Schneider, and his bestselling book Energy Leadership.

Written by etradingcoach

November 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

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