In order to be successful in futures trading one needs a proven low risk high probability strategy. That is something most of you already know. Learning the core strategy here at Online Trading Academy, at least in the initial stages, requires plenty of hours in front of the screen. This is because the core strategy is simply a chart pattern that is made when banks and institutions decide to buy or sell a big position. The footprint they leave is where Online Trading Academy students find the lowest risk entry points.
Using a set of rules we call odds enhancers, students learning our core strategy can discern which levels have the highest probability of success. Many students will tell you that this is the easier part of the process, as once students train their eyes to identify what the picture of supply and demand looks like they simply look for that specific picture day in and day out. The most difficult part for most traders however, is sticking to the rules.
Since discipline is the most challenging facet of trading, what can a trader do to improve in this area? For starters, ask yourself how disciplined you are in your personal life.
Do you usually accomplish what you set out to do?
Are you a good planner and organized when it comes to achieving a task?
Do you push yourself outside of your comfort zone?
If you answered yes to these three questions, then you’ll do better than most in the trading arena. If, however, you’re honest with yourself and find that you’re lacking in these areas, there is some work to do.
Following rules does not come easily to most of us, that’s why we have rules imposed on us in every aspect of our lives. Politicians often have to write new laws to protect us against ourselves, usually after something bad happens. The penalties for transgressing those laws can be stiff depending upon the severity of transgression. This also holds true for trading.
So, for those of us that need some help with discipline, one recommendation is to start a workout regime. In the Trading Plan classes that I teach, I actually have students incorporate some type of workout routine into their daily trading plan. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, trading is largely an exercise in mental exertion; as such, without a health body the mind will not function properly.
Studies have shown that regular exercise improves mental acuity and gives people who routinely workout a positive outlook when faced with adversity. This is attributed to the exertion producing chemical changes in the mind that make people feel better. Do you think as a trader you will face adversity? At some point all traders do. How traders handle the inevitable set-backs is what separates the winners from the losers.
For those that think this doesn’t apply to you because you’re already thin or already routinely exercise, think again. If you’re currently running 2 miles, then how about 3 or 4? If you workout 3 days a week, how about 4? The point is that to get better, we need to stretch our boundaries, face our fears and conquer them.
With the Summer upon us now is as good a time as ever to start making those changes that will improve your trading results. One of those is to improve the way you handle the challenge of sticking to your rules; having a clear, concise plan will help in that area. Starting a workout regime can also help with discipline. So start making small positive changes in every aspect of your life and perhaps your trading results will be the best you’ve ever produced!