Saturday, April 17, 2010


The third biggest reason why traders fail is that they do not know themselves. One could even argue that this is the first, and best, reason why traders fail. Nonetheless, this is not surprising. Of course a person will fail at something if they do not know themselves or their limitations, and this most certainly includes trading. Not knowing who you are, or what you are, or what you are good at or not, or how you act, or may act, in certain situations, etc. are all completely intertwined in trading. The ancient Greeks stressed the philosophy of "Gnosin Se Auton." Knowledge of yourself. You better have it, or you better get it, if you want to have any chance of becoming a successful trader.

Looking back over the trading years I have come to realize, and appreciate even more, how difficult trading really is. Not only that, but how invaluable it was in teaching and revealing to me who and what I really am and what my qualities are. I am not sure how many professions allow you to hold a mirror up to yourself and show you quite clearly, and sometimes painfully, who and what you are. Trading most certainly did this for me and it will help you too in getting to know yourself. Enjoy the process!

All traders try to create a trading model, plan, or strategy that works. They start putting indicators on their charts, tweaking them, combining them, etc. to come up with something. I have done this too. As time went by, however, I realized that what I really needed to do was to "take a step back." I realized that in order for me to be "successful" I would need good answers to this question, "Do my models fit my personality?" Trading successfully is not only about making money. It is also about living a higher quality of life. If, for example, you need an adrenaline rush, like hummingbird needs nectar, then you better create a trading model that trades frequently, and gives you ample doses. What is more important, however, is to know that you are like a hummingbird, up front, before you build your trading model(s). I, for one, am no hummingbird. I like to enjoy my life and the time I have on this earth. I do not like to be glued to a computer each and every day waiting for some lines to cross, or whatever. That is why I built my models to fit my personality. They work for me and maybe they can work for you too.

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