The Empowered Trader by Mark Fechner

Learning to Respond to the Market, not just React

Archive for December 2013

Documentary FLOORED – It’s all Fun until the Fat Lady Sings.

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In this segment of the documentary Floored, we get a glimpse of the dark side of the trader experience.  When markets turn and the decisions are all coming up as losers, this high stakes world turns very ugly very quickly.


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December 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

Posted in Education

Documentary FLOORED – This is the life! (?)

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In this segment, we get a glimpse of the lifestyle of floor traders.  When markets work well, they are beautiful.  When they don’t, well that’s a different story.

Written by etradingcoach

December 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

Posted in Education

The Difference Between the Will and the Way

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We’ve all heard the phrase, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It’s intended to be an inspirational quote to motivate people to tackle the hurdle that confronts them or overcome an obstacle. It sounds good but I’ve never completely understood how this is supposed to motivate me. Does it mean that if I don’t have a way, I’m without a will? Is my will so weak that I’m incapable of creating ANYTHING to find a way?

These types of phrases are what traders take with them when they sit in front of their charts deciding what they should be doing in the market. I’ve had more than one trader parrot back this phrase to me when they are explaining their trading results. It’s usually a hollow attempt to steel themselves to the incredible task of becoming “successful” traders.

The challenge, as I see it, is that we’re putting the preverbal willful horse behind the cart. We make the mistake of focusing all on the way of doing things rather than the will to do them. To put it another way, we focus all of our attention on how to become successful traders but spend very little time on why we want to become one.

Admittedly, this is really easy to do. A quick Google search on the words, “trading methods” will yield 35,700,000 responses where as “trading psychology” will only net you about 9,570,000. It’s much easier to sell the method, or the “way” of trading in contrast to the “why” or the will of trading.

Solving the puzzle about the “why” of trading is important. It does 2 things for traders. First, it’s what gives traders the will to get up the next day and find new trading opportunities. Many traders begin trading in the hopes of making money easier, faster, less stressfully. When this doesn’t happen, they inevitably give up thinking that making money is just too hard.

Second, it gives focus to traders on the way they are going to trade and narrows down those 35+ million hits on Google to a manageable number of possibilities. With so many different ways of trading, the only way to navigate the method-landscape is by taking stock of your own values and desires. This is, at least, a starting point for discovering how a trader is going to become the next William Buffett.

And there is some scientific evidence for this approach. As Dr. Elliot Berkman, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon writes in Psychology Today, the will and the way are two parts of a goal hierarchy in our brains. The Will is the higher function of this hierarchy and the Way are the particulars of getting the goal accomplished. If we apply this to trading, knowing what we are trading for, the bigger purpose, gives us a clearer picture of how we’re going to get there. That will, minimally, give us a better chance of achieving our trading goals.

Written by etradingcoach

December 12, 2013 at 8:00 am

Documentary Floored – How it all works.

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In this first excerpt from the documentary Floored we’re given a brief description of how this chaotic world works.  What some of the challenges are and the allure of this very high stakes world.  One of the best quotes from this excerpt, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you don’t lose.”

Written by etradingcoach

December 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

Revenge Trader Syndrome Calmed*

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The characteristics of the Revenge Trader Syndrome painted a picture that many traders have experienced. That sense of being alone and that the market is out to get them is a common sensation amongst traders. Since most retail traders are physically isolated from other traders, the burden of making the “right” decision is exaggerated by feelings of aloneness, defiance or revenge.

The need to create awareness of these feelings, as we did in the Defeated Trader Syndrome Empowered, is even more important for the Revenge Trader Syndrome. The reason is that unlike the Defeated Trader Syndrome, which can mire a trader is inactivity and indecisiveness, the Revenge Trader is more likely to act on their feelings. The core feeling here is anger. Anger can motivate people to take action, in some cases, any action, to change a situation. Taking action is good. The challenge becomes to take action that is responding to the market rather than reacting to it.

We are looking to learn to be powerful verses forceful. We want to use this filter to create an inner strength so that your decisions and subsequent actions are conscious rather than unconscious.


As we discussed before, the first step is to be aware. Being angry, unfortunately, can be somewhat blinding. Have you ever been in an argument with someone and raised your voice without being aware of it? That’s the challenge to us as traders.

So awareness starts with the word “STOP.” Stop what you’re doing; stop chasing the market; stop taking action. This is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you have a little gremlin on your shoulder telling you, “Get back in! Don’t stop now, you’re going to lose!”

So this is how you take back the power of The Revenge Trader. Instead of letting that gremlin tell you what you should be doing, use that voice as your own personal indicator. Let the gremlin be the awareness that you need to begin making a change in your trading decisions.


Then, acknowledge the gremlin. Acknowledge the fact that, at that particular moment, you’re not trading at your best. You may be reacting to the trading situation instead of responding. Acknowledge that your decisions might be based in fear and not in the best interest of your trading account and certainly not in alignment with your larger trading goals.


The simplest action – STOP! Stop trading, stop risking money in the market and stop trying to prove you’re right!

These actions sound good on the surface, but they can be incredibly difficult to implement. After all, if it were as easy as I’ve just outlined, there would be no need for these types of conversations. Everyone’s version of the Revenge Trader is unique and therefore calming the trader is also unique. Your job is to understand how the Revenge Trader might be showing up for you and what the best course of action is to calm it.

If you would like to talk about your particular brand of the Revenge Trader, sign up for a complementary exploratory coaching call.Click this link to find an available time to meet. Be sure to give a brief description of how the Revenge Trader shows up in your trading results.

The next condition we’ll examine is The Good Enough Trader.

*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

December 5, 2013 at 8:00 am

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