Archive for January 2014
With the advancements in technology, the way of doing things has changed. What was once the “king of the market” is now a shell of it’s former glorious self and, sadly, fading with each passing year. In this segment of Floored, we see the floor trader’s challenges in the face of rapidly changing technology and the very hard decisions they have to make about an industry many love.
In our discussion so far of the seven different filters, we touched on the Defeated Trader Syndrome and the Revenge Trader. Both of these filters have been very catabolic, or have negative energy, associated with them. Remember, the 7 different levels are neither positive nor negative but they have a negative or positive quality to them. With our next level, the Good Enough Trader, we are starting to enter the more anabolic or positive quality.
The Good Enough Trader
The Good Enough Trader has the ability to rationalize everything. Think of this level like walking around with a pebble in your shoe. Instead of taking the pebble out, you change the way you walk so that you don’t notice it. Ignoring the pebble isn’t the same as dealing with it. As a trader, because of the nature of trading, we often rationalize our trading to “that’s the way the market works.” It becomes “good enough” because the market is unpredictable and $#!+ is bound to happen. But just because the market is capricious, doesn’t mean we have to be with our trading decisions. Here are some thoughts about the nature of this filter.
Some of the thoughts of this level:
- Being very tolerant.
- Willing to compromise.
- Settling or “good enough” on what results you’re getting.
Some actions that result in this level:
- Worry – making sure that things work out.
- Judgment – is this really the best situation to be in?
- Analytical – trying to think your way out of a situation.
The Good Enough Trader is very contemplative, spending a lot of time in their heads. Because of this contemplative nature and the fact that this level is about rationalization, it’s very easy to stay in that loop of always saying that whatever your results, it’s good enough. This is where a lot of traders find themselves maintaining a breakeven type of trading result. They don’t have big losers, like when they were learning to trade, but the winners aren’t really that big either. There’s a certain amount of maintaining the status quo. Nothing too big either from a winner or loser point of view.
In the next posting, the Good Enough Trader Fired Up, we’ll talk about some of the things you can do to inject some passion in your trading and boost your trading profits. If you would like an opportunity to talk about igniting some fire in your trading, sign up for a complementary exploration coaching call. Click this link to find an available time to meet. Please include a brief description of your particular challenge in trading.
*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.
In one of blogs that I follow, a discussion has arisen asking the question if trading can be taught or is it reserved for a small group of special individuals that possess some innate ability. My feelings, not surprisingly, fall into the camp that trading is a teachable skill that anyone with the desire can master.
And that desire is really what separates the “successful” traders from the wannabes. As with any laudable skill, playing a musical instrument, performing the perfect layup, executing the perfect golf swing, the talent to perform a skill are only second to the hard work needed to perfect that skill. Talent can take you so far but what separates the truly elite are the hours spent learning their particular craft.
The only exception to the trading world is that unlike the arts or athletics, where the environment doesn’t change, the environment of a trader is constantly changing. For example, I learned to play the saxophone when I was in high school and the notes of the instrument are still in the same place to this day. How I use those notes, or what might inspire me to play one note over another will vary, but the mechanics of what I’m doing haven’t changed and I count on that consistency to be able to play.
I can’t make the same claim about trading. The market environment that I learned to become a trader in 2002 is very different today. And the environment is constantly changing depending upon people’s perceptions. The “tools” that we use as traders; indicators, oscillators and the like, are just feeding us back information that has already happen. The “constant” to a trader’s success is within the trader themselves. Its our ability to adapt ourselves to the market environment. How we are going to use those tools becomes more important than what tool we’re using.
And that’s why it’s even more important to be willing to spend the extra time to practice how we, as traders, are going to react in certain situations. Giving yourself the permission to find your “sweet spot” comes with many hours of, what Christine Carter, PhD from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center calls “grit.” In her article for Psychology Today entitled A New Theory of Elite Performance, she talks about how deliberate and persistence practice over time is a greater measure of someone’s success than any innate ability.