Tag Archives: Growth

Before Making Changes to your Strategy, Ask These Questions…

 

We're one week into the new year. Are you already trying to tweak your strategy, or your trading process, based upon a bad session or two?

Before making changes to your strategy or process, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is the change the result of deliberate analysis of past performance, in order to improve upon a recognised deficiency or to further enhance a current strength?

A Deliberate Process

2. Or is the change a result of looking at a few different indicators or settings and thinking, "This might be a good idea"?

I know it will work this time!

It better be the first one!

If not, the major problem is not with strategy, but with your growth and development process. Yes, the strategy may well need further work. But without an effective growth and development process you'll likely never find the right solution.

Let's fix it now.

First, review this article – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/dont-break-the-chain-a-simple-tool-to-improve-consistency/

We're going to use this method to try to force some consistency. But with a tracking sheet designed just for this purpose.

Right click to save a PDF copy

(Larger copy: http://www.yourtradingcoach.com/products/ebooks/consistency-tracker.pdf)

And second, commit to a better process.

Review this article – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/its-time-to-fight-to-get-to-the-next-level/

Print out the article if necessary.

And take action.

A Deliberate Process

Your trading success requires consistency in application of your plan… and an effective process for driving growth and development.

You can do it!

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Stretching to the Next Level – Followup

 

Let me start by sending out a massive THANK YOU to the whole YTC community.

I believe last week's article set a new record for the amount of feedback it received.

And all positive, which is nice to see!  🙂

Check it out here if you missed it – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/stretching-to-the-next-level/

The aim of the article was to have you bring your goals closer.

Closer in time. And just a small stretch above and beyond your current capabilities.

This ensures that you receive quicker feedback. And most importantly, that you have a greater chance of achieving the goal.

Small wins, received often, do wonders for your mindset and self-belief.

Plus… it's just the way that progress works. So many things in life are achieved through small, incremental steps. For some reason we tend to forget that when it comes to trading.

I was most excited mid-week to see a new blog post by Dr Brett Steenbarger, which ties in nicely with our "stretch goals". Dr Steenbarger has for a long time been one of my favourite trading educators. His writing is of the highest quality. Every blog post is something I never miss.

I recommend reading the post in full here – http://traderfeed.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/how-to-trade-with-peace-of-mind.html

But the key points, as they relate to our article last week are:

  • "…the way in which we set goals greatly impacts the probability of our success and the mindset we're likely to come away with."

  •  "…the importance of keeping goal-setting flexible and doable. Flexible means revising goals at intervals: for example, setting monthly goals rather than annual ones. Doable means that both the number of goals and their difficulty be set in such a way as to set us up for success rather than frustration. Many big goals can be broken down into a sequence of smaller ones that create an ongoing sense of progress and momentum."

  • "Over time, the accumulation of small goals creates large changes. The idea is to make each day a win, regardless of the P/L of the moment. That creates peace of mind, and peace of mind frees us up to trade with open minds."

I'd like to also share with you an extra step to the "stretch goals" which I shared with a couple of traders via email last weekend.

It's the idea of having TWO TIERS of goal-setting.

Why?

To ensure an even greater likelihood of success and peace of mind.

The aim of our "stretch goals" last week was to ensure that it targets something only a slight reach beyond current capabilities. But this of course doesn't mean we'll achieve it.

Stretching to the next level

And that's fine. The reality is that we won't always achieve this new level of performance.

But we will learn. And we can review our plan for achievement of the goals. Or even amend the goals themselves, bringing them another step closer. And then we launch ourselves off on another attempt.

The problem is…

Stretching to the next level

This is where it can help to have two tiers of goal setting.

Our stretch goal is the second tier. It's the one we're really pushing for. It's the one we put all our focus and attention on achieving.

But it's also something that we completely accept we may not achieve. Or may not achieve, just yet.

But we NEVER judge our self-worth on achievement of this goal. EVER!

Because, although it's just a small stretch, it might take a lot longer than we expect.

This is where the first tier can help.

Set something that is so damn easy that you absolutely should achieve it.

Something like SURVIVAL.

However you want to define that is fine. For me it would be – "My aim this week is to ensure that my family is safely provided for and my trading business is not threatened in any way. I survive to trade another week!"

Stretching to the next level

Don't under any circumstances allow failure to achieve Tier 2 to influence your self-belief. You achieved Tier 1. That is awesome. Well done. Now, examine Tier 2 and find out why you didn't achieve it. And set in place plans for the next assault at that target.

It's all about maintenance of a positive mindset, while at the same time always pushing yourself to expand to new levels of performance and skill.

Tasks for the Christmas / New Year week:

  1. Review the prior article, if you missed it – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/stretching-to-the-next-level/

  2. Review Dr Steenbarger's blog post. And subscribe to his RSS Feed, or find some other way to get all his future posts.  http://traderfeed.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/how-to-trade-with-peace-of-mind.html

  3. Consider the use of two-tier goal setting in order to maintain a positive mindset, while still stretching to reach the next level.

  4. And set your goals. Trading recommences in early January. What are your goals for the first week? Do not start trading until they're clearly defined.

Go for it!

Lance Beggs

 


 

Stretching to the Next Level

 

Do you have trading goals?

Stretching to the next level

Whatever it is, that's fine.

As long as you're making progress towards that goal.

Let's be honest though… are you actually making progress?

I hope you are!

But I speak to a lot of developing traders and the fact is that MOST are not making progress.

Here is a problem I see over and over again:

Stretching to the next level

The target is just too far away to be able to see any real progress.

And even worse, there is no solid plan for how to get there.

Stretching to the next level

Wrong!

Stop it!

Let's fix this now!

How?

Step 1: Bring your goal closer in time.

Much closer. No more than a month away. Ideally weekly.

Let's say for example that your goal is to achieve $100k per annum. But you're not yet able to ever achieve a positive week.

GOAL: $100k per annum

"That's too far away. Bring it closer."

GOAL: Ok, I will aim to achieve $8k months.

"Which is how much per week?"

GOAL: I will aim to consistently achieve a weekly average of $2k.

Step 2: Reduce the size of the goal till it's just a slight stretch beyond your current capabilities.

A goal of $2k per week is fine. But if you're not yet even achieving positive weeks, it's kind of pointless.

If your goal cannot be reached from your current location, within three or four attempts, then your goal is crap. You'll just churn away week after week getting more and more frustrated. 

Your goal should stretch you just beyond your current capabilities.

And it should be something you feel that, with improvements in process, you might have a chance of achieving in three or four attempts.

GOAL: Ok. Let's reduce the weekly target to a much more achievable $1k.

"Too much. You can't even achieve breakeven."

GOAL: Fine. My goal this week is to achieve a breakeven week.

"Good. You're close to that already. It's just a small stretch. Remember, when you achieve that, and can prove it repeatable, you will then set further goals to stretch to the next higher level. And so on and so on until eventually you're achieving your original goal."

Step 3: Focus on process improvements required to achieve this outcome.

Break the trading process down into as many smaller sub-processes as you can.

Find the one part that, if improved, will provide the greatest impact upon results.

And then set your goal to improve that part of the process.

It might not be sufficient in and of itself to reach your monetary goal. But it's a start. Once achieved, with consistency, you can then find the next area of improvement.

"Break the whole trading process down into parts for me. However it makes sense to you."

"Ok. How about (a) quality trading ideas, (b) quality entry and (c) quality trade management."

"Fine. Which area is currently contributing to your inability to achieve a breakeven week?"

"All of them. But ok, perhaps the trading ideas. Too many, when looked at with hindsight, are just in poor chart locations. Far too late in the move. In retail zones, I guess you could call it. Definitely not where the professionals are trading."

"So what process changes can you make, and what daily goals can you set, to give you greater chance of trading in good chart locations?"

"I can spend some time this weekend defining "quality trade locations" including the point at which entry is too late. I can put something in checklist form. And then I can then work this week with the following goal:"

GOAL: This week I will focus SOLELY on ensuring the vast majority of my trades are attempted in quality trade locations, in accordance with my new checklist. Quality entry and management are of little importance. I can work on them next. But first, I will aim to ensure I'm at least trying to trade in the right areas. I will consider this a success if by the end of the week, 80% of the trades are in areas that meet my definition of "right area" as best it can be determined at the right hand edge of the chart.

"Awesome."

Ok, I totally made up that conversation. You knew that right!  🙂

But the point is that it takes the goal from something outside the realm of immediate possibility, to something that is much more achievable in a short timeframe.

Progress won't be guaranteed, of course. It might take three to four attempts, with further improvements to the process each weekend.

But if progress is not seen after several attempts, break down the process goal even further to something even smaller and more achievable. Your aim is to start accumulating small wins in the direction of your original and ultimate goal.

And if our trader achieves consistency in trading in better trade areas, but still fails to achieve breakeven weeks due to poor entry or trade management, then the process goal shifts to these areas. At some point, a breakeven week will be achieved. The goal might shift then to repeating this same level of performance, just to prove it's not a fluke.

And then… maybe aiming for something greater. Maybe three out of four weeks positive, with the losing week smaller than the average winning week.

Each step just slightly beyond the current level of achievement.

I don't know what your goals are. And I don't know your current level of performance. But whatever they are, if you're just churning away week after week without any clear evidence that you're closing that gap, you need to take action.

Step 1: Bring your goal closer in time.

Step 2: Reduce the size of the goal till it's just a slight stretch beyond your current capabilities.

Step 3: Focus on process improvements required to achieve this outcome.

Stretch… just a little bit.

And fight to get to this new level.

Stop accepting failure. Redefine your goals so that you can achieve small incremental wins.

One step at a time.

Stretch!

You can do it!

Lance Beggs

 


 

Review and Improve

 

You might like to consider your review process as the vehicle which drives your trading business to its ultimate destination.

Whether that destination is ongoing improvement and eventual success… or continued mediocrity, frustration and failure… is completely up to you.

If you've got nothing in place, here is a simple process to get you started.

Once you're comfortable with this, there is great scope to expand it to new areas of review. It doesn't solve everything.

But again, if you've got nothing in place, consider implementing this process RIGHT NOW.

Review and Improve

Look at your last 20 trades. Study them with the benefit of hindsight.

Examine 50 if you prefer. Or 100. Find the right compromise for sample size, which is large enough to be statistically significant and small enough to ensure your review process occurs on a regular basis. But not less than 20. I would suggest that is the absolutely minimum.

Once you've gathered all the trade data and charts, let's check the quality of the setups.

How many of your trade ideas were in chart areas which DID offer potential for multiple-R profits (2R minimum)?

It doesn't matter whether you actually managed to profit, or not.

We're checking the general concept. The trade idea.

We're making sure you're trading in the right areas of the chart.

Did price move from the setup area a sufficient distance to provide multiple-R returns?

Take note of all the trades within the sample which achieved this goal. And now let's check the quality of trade entry.

Now consider those trades that were in good multiple-R setup areas. How many were you able to enter at a place and time which offered good potential to catch those multiple-R profits?

Again, it doesn't matter if you achieved a profit or a loss.

With the benefit of hindsight, given where you entered, is it reasonable to expect that a successful trader could manage that position to achieve multiple-R profits?

How many of these trades would you classify as having a good entry?

Take note of them… and let's move on to check the trade management.

Now consider those trades that were in good setup areas and which were entered well. How many of these were successfully held from entry to the first target level?

How many were you able to hold open to the initial target point, avoiding all temptation to scratch the position early?

And then…

Of those which did achieve the initial target, how many of these were held to a further "hindsight perfect" exit point?

Again, take note of how many achieved this aim.

And now let's use this information to drive our business forward.

Looking at these figures, which area do you need to improve when trading the next sample?

It's important that we focus on one area at a time.

And that we work in order.

Get the setups right first. Are you happy with the number of trade ideas that are actually providing multiple-R profit potential? If not… focus on improving the quality of your trade ideas.

Then work on entry.

Then initial management.

And then ongoing management.

Find the first area that disappoints you. Examine why. Determine a course of action for the next 20 trade sample.

And repeat.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Keep It Simple

 

It's very easy in this business to bury ourselves in complexity. Typically leading to nothing but feelings of extreme overwhelm and doubt.

It can help at these times to "step back" a little and look at the bigger picture.

At a simpler level, what exactly are we trying to achieve here?

I would suggest that many of us could describe our trading by the following "simplified" flowchart.

Higher level simpler overview of the trading process

When you get one wrong, work to contain the damage as much as possible.

When you get one right, work to take as much profit as you can out of the move.

Aim to keep the losses smaller than the wins, on average.

Record data on your decisions and performance.

Identify what adds to your edge across a large sample of trades. Seek to understand why. And do more of it.

Identify what reduces your edge across that same large sample of trades. Seek to understand why. And aim to avoid it or reduce the damage.

And improve over time.

Essentially, that's how I run my trading business.

But perhaps the best use for this "simplified" flowchart is in it's ability to help us find the way forward when we're stuck.

Because the same flowchart can be used to guide our learning process. And to narrow our focus to ONE AREA OF IMPROVEMENT at a time.

Using the simplified flowchart to guide our learning

We won't get it right in every trade, of course. But our aim must be to learn to do so with sufficient frequency to provide an edge across a series of trades, assuming acceptable trade entry and management.

Using the simplified flowchart to guide our learning

Again, we won't always get this perfect. But we must get it right sufficiently often to ensure that our edge remains, assuming acceptable trade management.

Using the simplified flowchart to guide our learning

And once more, we don't expect to get this perfect every time. But across a large enough sample, we need to get this right enough to maintain our edge.

Using the simplified flowchart to fix a failure to provide edge.

Are you trading in the right area? Or do you need to work more on your strategy?

Are you entering well enough? Or are you getting chopped up as you try to consistently pick the exact turn point?

Are you holding for a reasonable portion of the move? Or are you regularly failing to manage the opportunity that is available.

Success requires that you first identify the source of current failure. So simplify! And then narrow your focus to one area at a time.

Do you need to work on your trade areas? Or trade entry? Or trade management.

There's work to be done.

Best of luck,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Miscellaneous Thoughts on Making Progress as a Trader

 

One of the things I love about what I do here at YTC is the opportunity to chat with other traders, at all stages of their development.

My email archive provides an absolute treasure-trove of information and ideas spanning all areas of this business from strategy to peak performance to business management.

I was reminded of this by two different email conversations in the last week, in which two traders both achieved a similar breakthrough in understanding. I'll share these right at the end of the article, so that we can finish on a real positive note.

But this got me thinking. I don't dip into the email archive enough for inspiration for articles or social media posts.

So let's rectify that today with a surf through my Sent Mail folder.

I thought we should start with a search for some miscellaneous thoughts related to the challenging task of making progress as a developing trader.

When Overwhelmed…

Let me start with a phrase that is often repeated in my email replies; perhaps more than any other. It's short and to the point. I'll let it stand on it's own without further commentary. You'll know if it's relevant to you and your circumstances.

Excerpt from an email reply:

When overwhelmed… SIMPLIFY!

 

Quality of Effort is Perhaps More Important than Quantity

Sometimes less is more!

If you're putting in a whole lot of effort, but finding no consistency in results, perhaps this email conversation will help you refocus in a new and more effective way.

Excerpt from an email reply:

If you're inconsistent in application of your strategy then I think you seriously need to consider WHY you are trading a full session.

If your inconsistency is leading to doubts about the strategy, then again, seriously consider WHY you are trading a full session.

Yes we need to maximise our exposure in order to grow.

But quality is important as well.

At the moment you're trading a full session but life is providing limited time beyond that for effective review processes.

Is there perhaps a better way to use your time?

What if you traded only half a day and used the remaining half for a more effective and thorough review and learning process?

What if you narrowed focus even further and just traded the opening hour?

Let me run with that idea for a second. What if you did this:

Focus on the first hour of the market open. Learn to trade it well.

Trade for 1 hour.

And then follow that up with 3 hours of review and REPLAY.

Study the session from a strategic perspective. Study the session from an execution perspective. Study the session from a human performance perspective.

Find the setbacks. Study them. What happened? Why? Is there a pattern of behaviour repeating here? What can you do to improve in future?

Find the successes. Study them. What happened? Why? How can you achieve more of this in future?

Replay the hour with the benefit of hindsight. What can you learn in comparing your actual performance, with hindsight perfect performance?

1 hour of FOCUS. 3 hours of QUALITY review.

And you've still got half a day then to allocate towards other areas – general reading and study, idea generation, testing and development, personal development. And occasionally, reward yourself with a half day off.

Start with increasing efforts to trade the first hour well. Find consistency and success in this small period of time. Later you can consider expanding this to 2 hours. Then 3. Then 4.

Inconsistency doesn't just disappear because you found an awesome new affirmation. If you're inconsistent in the first hour, you'll be inconsistent in every hour of the session. Narrow focus. Fight to get the first hour working. Then expand.

 

Stop Comparing Yourself With Others

We all do this. It's natural. But it serves no good at all.

This idea comes up often in my email conversations.

Excerpt from an email reply:

Stop comparing yourself with others. Their results are irrelevant. And for God's sake, ignore what (name removed) says he achieved.

There is no race against others. Only against yourself.

All that matters are your own results.

Whatever they are… accept them. And work to improve from there.

Have you improved when comparing with your abilities a year ago? Great. You're winning. Keep improving. This is the ONLY comparison you need to make.

 

Work With What You've Got

It can be tough to fit trading around a full-time job and family responsibilities. It seems we can never find enough time to work on our dreams.

But it does no good to dwell on it. Accept it. And find a way.

Excerpt from an email reply:

So you can only manage to trade one half-day per week. Fine! It is what it is. Family and income needs have to take priority.

But you've got one half-day per week.

That's 50 sessions in the next 12 months.

50 sessions to trade. 50 sessions to review and learn from. 50 sessions to get better than you are now.

And maybe next year you'll be able to manage a whole day. And the year after that you might be able to manage two.

Maybe this year you'll do 50 sessions on the sim.

But then maybe next year you'll be able to do those 50 sessions live, with a small single contract position. Building gradual success. Slowly increasing confidence.

Maybe the year after that you'll be able to increase size.

And maybe the year after that, success will lead you to new opportunity and new ideas, allowing you to trade more days per week.

The next year is going to pass anyway. It's your choice how you use it.

The next five years are going to pass anyway. Where you find yourself then, will be a direct result of the decisions and actions you take now.

You've got one half-day per week. Go for it. Use it well.

 

It's All About Learning To Perform in an Environment of Uncertainty!

Let's finish on a real positive note by sharing excerpts from TWO different email conversations in the last week, in which two different traders both achieved a similar and related breakthrough in their understanding of this game.

I was fascinated that I received these emails within two days of each other. This was what provided the inspiration to dip into the archives for today's article.

Initially I wrote this section with just "notes" taken from my reply, but in editing I've come to realise that unlike the above sections it reads best when you get to experience the breakthrough in the words of the sender.

The lesson for us – sometimes our progress as a trader comes not through small incremental growth, but through sudden and massive leaps of understanding. A paradigm shift!

The thing is though, typically these paradigm shifts are just the end result of long months of trading, review, thought and reflection. Underlying a paradigm shift is often an whole lot of work that remains unseen by other observers. So if you're putting in the work and not seeing results, keep your chin up. Perhaps you're still just setting the foundation for your next breakthrough in understanding.

Enough from me… let's just share the email conversations and wrap up the article.

Excerpt from email:

Strangely enough I was also going to email you yesterday as I also had a significant aha moment.

You said in your book something along the lines of we are operating in an uncertain environment and therefore looking for certainty is never going to work – all we can do is try to enter at good structural locations, with strength and against weakness, and manage our risk accordingly.

While this made sense to me immediately, last night I was looking through some charts and all of a sudden realised that I was guilty of doing exactly that. How the hell do we know what all the other traders in the market, and therefore price, is going to do next? All we can do is assess weakness/strength, get in with the strength and 'likely' future trend and manage the risk as best we can. The R/R will take care of the rest.

I now realise that I was far too focused on winrate and avoiding losses without even realising it and while I'm obviously not going to go all gung ho now, something has definitely shifted subconsciously and I now genuinely feel so much more comfortable with the mindset of expecting the the next trade I place to lose, and the next one, and the next one and not being obsessed with finding the perfect A+++ entry.

Absolutely fascinating how these things just happen from no where (albeit after 100s of hours of chart time and thinking).

Except from reply:

I'm glad you've come to this realisation. It's one of those things that everyone rationally understands and says they get, but it's clear from their actions and behaviours in the market that they don't REALLY get it. I'm not sure it's possible to teach. It perhaps just requires experience and loss and a whole lot of self-reflection and pain.

I'm reminded of something Mark Douglas said in The Disciplined Trader (his first book). "Most people like to think of themselves as risk takers, but what they really want is a guaranteed outcome with some momentary suspense to make them feel as if the outcome had been in doubt."

Trading success is not about achieving certainty. Rather it's about accepting and managing our imperfection within an environment of uncertainty. Expect losses in the short-term. Play to win over the long-term.

Excerpt from email:

Really enjoying your book, just thought I'd share some contradictory concepts & thoughts I didn't expect that are encouraging for me. Besides getting much needed "structure" from your work, (which I lack in all areas of my world), I never expected to experience the comfort in seeing professional traders actually missing opportunities and taking losses. Over the years I've noticed this underlying gut feeling of anger when I get stopped out or miss an entry, no matter how often I've heard to expect losses & missed trades, it never erased or cleared it mentally for me until now. It's been liberating to take the time to heal an issue I never really noticed how much was holding me back.

I've noticed it's been going on for a while and realized I've held a belief that "perfection is the only way to succeed" and it's been keeping me from progressing. It's comforting to read successful traders also go through this every day, and clearly for me it's taken until now to actually feel and connect with this unconscious nemesis and address it.

Thanks for sharing you're weakness as well as your strengths !

Excerpt from reply:

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. It's great stuff. I love hearing when people have these breakthroughs in understanding.

You're right. Belief that "perfection is the only way to succeed" is almost a guaranteed way to fail. It's setting an impossible standard. It's much better, in my opinion, to believe that "accepting, forgiving and learning to manage our imperfection is the only way to succeed."

Now begins a new stage of your trading journey! Exciting times ahead.

There is no greater "personal development course" on the planet, than trading the markets! 🙂

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

It’s Time to Fight to Get to the Next Level – Examples

 

Last week we added some structure to our growth and development as a trader, exploring how we could use our review process to drive our progress along the development pathway.

Check it out here if you missed it – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/its-time-to-fight-to-get-to-the-next-level/

It's Time to Fight to Get to the Next Level

The summary version of the plan was as follows:

(1) Find where you currently reside on the above pathway.

(2) Determine the Win%, Loss%, Average Win and Average Loss stats for your most recent trades (20 trade group… minimum).

(3) Identify the next level you hope to achieve.

(4) Determine how your step (2) stats will need to change in order to place you within the next level of the pathway.

(5) Immerse yourself into a review of the trades making up your most recent sample, to identify the reasons for failing to achieve the required statistical outcome, and the changes necessary to take you to that next level.

(6) Implement the changes and apply them as you trade your next group of trades (20 trade group… minimum).

(7) Repeat

 

Let's work through a couple of hypothetical examples, in order to make the process clearer.

Example 1:

(1) Find where you currently reside on the pathway.

You already know this. You're stuck at the very first stage. Sim trading with spot forex mini-lots… and still losing. Not losing badly mind you. But just slowly grinding your way to a smaller and smaller account.

No problems. That's absolutely fine. We all start there and build our way higher.

First things first though, you recognise that you need to quantify the problem and get some useable stats. So you document your plan as best you can and complete a sample of 20 trades.

The P&L clearly shows a negative result, down 100 pips ($100) over the sample of trades. So yes… it's confirmed… we're in stage one. It's all upside from here! 🙂

(2) Determine the Win%, Loss%, Average Win and Average Loss stats for your most recent trades.

Let's examine the stats a little closer though.

Win% = 55%

Loss% = 45%

Average win = 10.91

Average loss = -24.44

Expectancy = (Win% x Average Win) – (Loss% x Average Loss)

Expectancy = (0.55 x 10.91) – (0.45 x 24.4) = -4.98

You're losing almost five dollars per trade!

Ok this is not the end of the world. This is something you can work with.

(3) Identify the next level you hope to achieve.

(more…)

It’s Time to Fight to Get to the Next Level

 

Feedback from a recent article has been so incredibly positive, with a number of emails coming through saying that this was EXACTLY what these people needed to hear right now. It seems one of the most popular articles of the last 12 months.

Check it out here if you missed it – Are You Closer To Profitability Than You Thought?

So let's explore an idea expressed in my favourite line of the article.

And that's the following:

  • "… right now it's time to end the mediocrity. It's time to fight to get to the next level."

There are various levels to pass through on the way to consistent and increasing profitability.

It's Time to Fight to Get to the Next Level

For most of us, there are no short cuts!

There are no Game Cheats that can jump you straight to the end goal.

It's Time to Fight to Get to the Next Level

It's a step by step process of growth and development.

It's Time to Fight to Get to the Next Level

Progress will be slowed (or completely non-existent) if you're plan for progression is unstructured and random.

Here's how to provide some structure.

(1) Find where you currently reside on the above pathway.

Look at results over a recent sample of trades. What you did three years ago is irrelevant. We want to see what you're achieving NOW.

Take a recent sample… 20 trades minimum. And look at the P&L. Where does that place you on the above pathway? (Note: the sample chosen must also represent "typical" current results. If you fluked a massive winner through poor practice (and if you're honest with yourself you'll know if you did that) then exclude that trade. You'll only be cheating yourself if you include it.)

Wherever you are… accept it. There's no point denying it. This is your starting place. You build from here.

(2) Determine the Win%, Loss%, Average Win and Average Loss stats for your most recent trades (20 trade group… minimum).

If you don't have sufficient stats to determine these… you need to keep better stats. Start again with a new 20 trade group and keep better stats.

(more…)

Trader Motivation Hacks – Number Two

 

Maintain a list of milestones... and aggressively seek to achieve these new goals as often as possible.

In a recent article we discussed an email I received from a trader, Nathan, excited by the fact that he just got his first 50 tick winner… a goal he'd had set for quite a while.

See here if you missed it – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/reviewing-a-50-tick-winner/

50 tick winner

This was perfect timing for me, as it's a great example of "Trader Motivation Hack – Number 2", which was planned for release today.

This hack is simple… maintain a list of milestones… and aggressively seek to achieve these new goals as often as possible.

The secret:

  • Make them small.
  • Make them achievable.
  • But always make them stretch your levels of skill and knowledge, just beyond what you've achieved before.
  • And reward yourself when you get them.

Oh… and:

  • Keep them visible! Maybe put them on your wall. Those you've achieved remind you of the great progress you've made so far. And those you're yet to achieve will motivate you to push for the next reward.

So you've achieved a 50 tick winner? Nice work. Mark that one achieved. Reward yourself. And amend it to now seek a 60 tick winner.

Example milestone list

Of course, you'll need to customise your list of milestones to suit your own circumstances.

Make them all outcome focused if you prefer. Or process focused. Or a mix of the two. Whatever you find more motivating.

Pre-enter the rewards if you feel that will help you stretch yourself to make the target.

Customise it however you want.

But be sure to try it. It's simple. And it works surprisingly well as a motivation tool.

ACTION TASK:

  • This weekend… Set up your milestones list. Make the first entries simple and achievable, but just beyond what you've managed before. And think of some rewards that might help push you to achieve these milestones.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

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