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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Being Your Own Person

I haven't been blogging much...in the "learning" mode again (for the umpteenth time in my trading life).

I'm still reading John Carter's "Mastering the Trade" (it's like 400 pages, and not exactly something you rush through) but I'm also looking at internet videos on crude oil, and reading other blogs. What really strikes me is that there is a wealth of information out there, and there is also a plethora of bullsh*t! I've seen videos on not ever using technicals as well as videos on such technical depth that you'd need to be a mathematician to trade. I know people with four computer monitors and people who trade on their smart phones. So, you really, really have to find a way to stay true to yourself. And in this game, believe me, it ain't easy. No easy answers, and certainly no certainty.

With a personality like my own, I have always tried to "fit in" -- always feeling the outsider. So, in trading, it was natural to me to try to emulate what other traders did. If they said they had success, then I wanted to do it that way. We're all looking for success in trading, so it's an easy pitfall. And I'm not saying that we can't learn from each other. BUT...

Trading is like having a relationship. You can't just marry anyone and expect it to work. You have to find the rules, patterns, strategies, and discipline that fits YOU. Not your trading buddy or your mentor or your friend who used to be in the pit. I realized that I am way too quick to accept what others say without testing it on my own ground, by my own standards. I LIKE new things and I love learning, so it's easy for me to try things. But to embrace things without a strong foundation geared to MY personality, my own trading style and goals, is just plain silliness. But it's been said that I'm a silly woman. I need to stop that.

So, for the moment, I'm going to spend a lot more time testing and questioning theory and strategy and a lot less time placing trades until I get some sense of "who I am" for real as a trader. This is not a minor matter. I am here to say I think it's one of the most important things we can do before we risk our money.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

A word about Stops!

"By using hard stops and sticking to them, a smaller trader has a fighting chance of being able to do this for a living. If he can't at least do that, he will not make it as a trader. Period."

John F. Carter - "Mastering the Trade"