In order to be successful in futures trading one needs a sound low risk strategy; 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 isn’t because learning the core strategy, which is simply learning to identify a chart pattern that is created when big banks and institutions decide to buy or sell a big position, is difficult. It’s what comes after they learn to identify this “footprint” that’s tricky.
You see, using a set of rules we call odds enhancers, students learning our core strategy can discern which levels have the highest probability of success. However, many students will tell you that this is the easier part of the process, as once they 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 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, or do find it hard to move away from your “safe zone”? If you answered yes to all these 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 can be stiff depending upon the severity of transgression. This also holds true for trading, doesn’t it?
So, for those of us that need some help with discipline one recommendation is to start a workout regime. In the Trade 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 and, as such, without a healthy 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. Do you think as a trader you will face some adversity? Of course this is a rhetorical question, but you get the point.
If you think this doesn’t apply to you because you’re already thin or already routinely exercise, think again. If you currently run 6 miles, then how about 7 or 8? 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 New Year just around the corner 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 and setting goals 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 next year you’ll have the best trading results ever!
I hope everyone has a great Holiday!