This year I’ve read several blogs or articles mentioning trading ability with the focus on emotional control over having a specific working trading plan. By “working”, I mean a plan that that has proven itself to be profitable over time.
Today I read another article that went along these lines- here are some excerpts:
On why traders have problems:
No, it is not your fear of losing, it isn’t your inability to read the market correctly, nor is it your lack of charting knowledge that causes your trading difficulties.
In a nutshell: The number one reason for all your problems revolves around the fact that you have reality back to front.”
The author then goes on to explain what they mean – that our mind is focused on the wrong things- that we are weighed down by preconditioning.
The presented solution:
“First of all you must let go of the idea that you need to fix your trading. No, you don’t need to fix your trading, in fact, you don’t really need to fix anything. How can you? You are looking at old stuff that was created yesterday. However, you do need to fix the way you look at your life in general. This requires that you learn a thing or two about how you generate reality, learn a few basic things about quantum physics and understand how this applies to your trading and indeed to your life.
Your refusal to do this and instead carry on with the same old tried and tested paradigms, expecting different results in your trading account, is akin to placing a plaster on a festering wound.”
A “renewal thought process” example:
“Your next intention shouldn’t be about improving your trading, rather it should be about acquiring knowledge. Go where you have not ventured before. Look at all those areas in the field of neuro science and spirituality you have ignored and resisted until now. Become curious about yourself. Imagine how you were as a child, looking at the world as an adventure ground, a place of limitless opportunity.”
So the recurring theme in this article and others I’ve read is that the state of your mind and perhaps emotions are the primary elements of being a successful trader.
While I certainly agree that one’s mental and emotional state can impact one’s trading, that by itself isn’t the main key to being a successful trader.
At the end of the day, you need to have a successful trading system that gives you the necessary information to generate market profits in order to be a success. Being mentally energized or in tune with tranquility makes for a calm disposition, but it can’t replace a working trading plan.
I can understand why some people focus on the mental conditioning aspect of trading. Trading well isn’t a skill that you can learn by only reading a book or studying a standard set of rules. Your mind has to be flexible enough to understand what the market is doing and then be able to devise a plan.
This is the beauty and curse of trading – one’s developed skills exists in the realm between hard science and art. Trading forces you to attempt the marriage of creative and rational thought. Those who seek to “free” the mind while ignoring the science are missing the complete picture.
The technical aspects assures consistency and the ability to repeat results. The artistic aspects helps one see through the market “noise” that can throw you off from the main market movement.
So I’m all for keeping one’s mind open to new ideas and thinking outside the norms, but that in itself is just one piece of the trading puzzle solution. A successful trading system is a perfect counter to the market. The market doesn’t care about your emotions or mental state, and neither should one’s trading system.