10 days before the third anniversary of the Trading Den, yesterday we hit a major milestone – we past the 500% profit mark.
I think that is a result to be proud of, not in the least because this period also includes the most difficult year I have seen in the (gulp) 32 years I have been it the markets.
I don’t say this to blow my own trumpet. Far from it in fact, because this result isn’t all down to me. It has been a real joint effort. It is a testament to the relentless hard work of the professional traders who make up the group and to how everyone has worked together as a team, dedicated, determined and above all disciplined.
If you are a member of this elite group who I am proud to have as my friends, then you deserve a real pat on the back. Because you have overcome the hardest barrier to trading success – gaining and then maintaining discipline.
Just to be clear…
That very respectable return assumes a trader took every trade officially called in the room. It represents the money taken out of the market, because that is what matters most to me that the market is fulfilling its role as a provider of cash! So it does not include brokerage fees and also assumes everyone’s trades were filled at the same price as my own (which is pretty well always the case).
However it is also based upon small fixed unit sizes and doggedly grinding it out day after day without the benefit of any clever compounding or money management techniques. At the end of the day a trading career is about that – eking out the cash little by little, one day at a time and not about gambling on the occasional lucky winners.
Let’s also be clear this program is intended to fulfil the need to “earn as you learn” for newer traders and to provide diversification to already successful traders. So it is a return attributable to people allocating perhaps $25k to $100k to the program. It is not a realistic return for someone trading $10m as the unit size would be too high.
Before anybody thinks, ah ha I know where this line of discussion is leading – sorry but membership of the Den is currently closed. Either you are already one of the lucky ones who are in or you’re not.
I am drawing your attention to the results of our hard work for a very real and critically important educational reason. Because as hard as it may be for many people to believe, very few traders can actually do what sounds so damn simple!
To have banked this real time profit all anyone had to do was to:
- Show up to work each trading day (10 days per month)
- Take the trades exactly as called out in the room
- To manage the trades as shown
Then while the Den provides a source of profitable trades, lots of education and masses of essential screen time, the trader has all the rest of the time to study, learn and develop as a trader in his or her own right.
That is what has happened to some, but not all of those who have been members during this time.
- But why not all of them?
- How can it be so hard to just do what someone else is telling you?
- Surely that must be the easiest thing in the world?
[/unordered_list]You would think so wouldn’t you.
Human nature conspires against us!
I know it sometimes sounds soft to talk about things like discipline.
But I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that discipline is the key skill that separates successful from “yet to become successful” traders. Period. End of story. That is it in a nutshell!
Discipline IS the holy grail that everyone is seeking. But so many traders are looking for it in completely the wrong place!
Forget everything else for now. Until you can develop the discipline to set a plan and to follow it, without hesitation, without wavering from it, you flat out will NOT succeed in trading.
Year after year I witness the same challenges amongst the traders I work with. First of all the biggest red herring is the belief that trade setups are the key to everything. They aren’t!
Successful traders may have setups that are logical and have a statistical edge. But that doesn’t guarantee any kind of success. It simply stacks the odds in the favour of the traders that then follow through by (a) having a plan and (b) following the plan.
It is astonishing how difficult it is to just follow the plan. I know because I struggle to stay on track all the time just like everyone else. As humans we are our own worst enemies – sad but true!
This business is hard. It is hard because the enemy we are fighting each day is ourselves!
The good news
There are techniques we can use to help us all gain discipline. Just as there are tools that we can use to develop trade setups and good trade management.
Anyone can learn to trade. I honestly believe that. It is not something we are either born with or not. But you have to want to do it so badly that you are absolutely prepared to commit to acquiring the skills that matter.
Those skills include the obvious ones, like:
- Technical analysis
- Statistical modelling
- Risk management
- Trade management
- Money management
[/unordered_list]But the less obvious ones must be acquired as well. They are every bit as important – more important if anything. These include:
- Acquiring the discipline to follow a trading plan
- Having a trading plan to start with!
- Understanding fear and using it as a weapon
- Controlling emotions and spotting them in the market
- Understanding the major causes of failure and avoiding them
- Developing a business plan (trading IS a business!)
- Designing a trading style to suit your personality (not vice versa)
The list goes on, but the good news is that there are tools, techniques, tricks and tips available to help you acquire the softer skills, just as there are for learning the more mechanical aspects of a successful trading career.
A successful trader is not an expert in any one of these areas, but someone who has learned the whole package! However you do it, you have to acquire all of these skills.
Over the three years since we launched the Trading Den I have watched some traders fail even though they are extremely good at some of these things.
I have also watched others develop into rounded professional traders having acquired all of these skills. These traders are now self sufficient and have the ability to trade for a living for as long as they choose.
Once in a decade opportunity
If only there was a way to acquire all of the skills necessary to become a successful self sufficient career trader, in one place, at one time.
Well for the first time ever (the only time ever in fact), that might just be possible.
For 3 days in September I will be teaming up with one of the greatest traders in the world to run a workshop in which we will deliver that rounded package of all the skills and knowledge necessary to be a highly successful career trader. In fact we also have a special guest speaker who has been at the forefront of electronic trading since its inception.
I cant tell you any more at the moment other than the dates, so you can make sure to keep them free – 13th, 14th, 15th of September.
3 days, 3 speakers each with 3 decades in the markets – but 1 time only.
Do you think 3 days locked away behind closed doors with 3 people who trade $100m of real money, might just give your trading a boost? You better believe it because this will be:
The Best of The Best – From 3 Decades of Professional Trading
I know that at least three of my Trading Den members will be coming from various corners of the globe and they don’t even know the agenda yet. They just know that they HAVE to be in on this.
I’ll be able to spill the beans in a couple of weeks time, but until then I urge you to keep those dates free.
Meanwhile your next task is to go and find out everything you can about developing cast iron discipline in trading. For many aspiring traders the only thing between them and success is a lack of discipline to some degree – sort that out and the landscape can change dramatically and quickly.
Until next time, wishing you every success!
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