…continued from Tonys Story Part 4
THE UNEXPECTED RESULTS OF THE EXPERIMENT
Some time after the experiment, I was trading online with a group of friends I’d met online in various trade rooms and forums. We met each morning and shared our screens and trades via Skype. Mostly we just kept each other company while trying to figure this trading thing out. I’d never told any of them that I was about to quit and that I was attempting an experiment that I was sure was going to fail just like everything else did that I tried.
This little informal chat room of about 8 of us was nothing more than each of us telling the others what trades we were about to enter or just recently entered. Nothing too technical really. We were mostly just there to motivate and support each other. We weren’t any better than we’d ever been, but we were all honest with each other about our wins and losses. It was refreshing to learn that other people besides just me took losses. They never seemed to in the other trade rooms we’d tried.
In hindsight, our little trading community was just a bunch of hobbyists sharing whatever tidbits of info we’d collected on the internet and were interested in trying. We THOUGHT we were WORKING at our trading, but, we had no idea what WORKING on our trading really was. If one of us had a couple of winning trades, we all started trying to do what he did. If we took a couple of losses, we all went back to trying other things or trying to help TUNE the losses out of the trade setups. That would go something like this…
“Hey, why don’t we add a Hull Moving average to this and see what happens?”…. “OK that sounds like a great idea. What’s a Hull Moving Average?” … “I don’t really know but I saw a YouTube video on it and it looks cool”… “OK, good enough for me, let’s try it”
So anyway, I’ve quietly decided to try to win just a couple of ticks a day and to limit my exposure in the markets to just a few seconds or minutes in order to remove or reduce my emotional attachment to the money. I wrote up some simple rules, verified the rules were pretty good doing market replay for several hundred different potential setups before I ever tried to do it with real money. When I did begin to trade it with real money, my confidence was off the chart. I knew I had something and if I stick to the rules, the data proves that I can make money. Initially, not much. But positive growth in my trading account was something different than I’d ever experienced in the past. Somebody said to me once “You’ll never go broke putting money in the bank”. So that became my mantra. Don’t try to get rich trading. Make the focus “Not going broke”. Just consistently add profits to my trading account. The amount didn’t matter. The consistency with which I did it was what mattered. Develop a pattern of winning and then build on it slowly and steadily.
At first my trading friends didn’t take much notice of what I was doing. The trades were small, and they couldn’t justify doing it if it didn’t seem to have the potential to make them a lot of money. They still wanted to make a lot of money at trading and hopeful that trading would be their career someday. Money was still their primary concern and was really the focus of most of our conversations. Eventually though, the high percentage of winning trades began to get their attention. I may not be winning much in the way of money, but I was kicking their butts most days. Many of them began to ask me to teach them exactly what I was doing. They still didn’t know about the other part of the experiment. The part that I felt was actually what was helping me the most. They just wanted to learn the trade setups and how I managed them. They thought I must have some sort of magic combination of indicators running on multiple time frames in order to pull off this level of high percentage trades. But I knew that without a strong set of rules, hours and hours of practice, and the conviction to work hard every day, they’d probably not have any more success than they were currently having. But I tried to teach them anyway and sure enough, they weren’t seeing the success I was. But we all kept trying and eventually it was taking up a lot of my time to try to explain what I was doing both mechanically, you know, the trade setups and management, but more importantly the other stuff.
- I was Pretending I had a boss to explain things to
- I was not counting money
- I was Practicing to become consistent and unconsciously competent
- I was Putting my focus on my job rather than money
- I was Putting my focus on consistency which builds confidence
- I was no longer trying to trade like a machine
- I was no longer trying to manage my emotions because it’s pointless
This was becoming increasing hard to teach to them in the format we had sharing Skype screens. So I started just sharing my own screens with them and doing it from a free online meeting room to make communication and sharing much easier. Within a short time, my friends began inviting family members and their friends to hang out with us in the new “trade room” that just kind of happened without much of a plan. I began mentoring the group and also mentoring each friend individually. This was a lot of fun to see them have some successes they hadn’t seen before. But it was killing me on my time. I was spending more time trying to help them than doing my own work on my own trading. Mentoring them DID help me a lot though and I recommend it if you can do it. It’s amazing how much faster something sinks in when you teach it to someone else. The more I did it, the better trader I became. But I hit a point of critical mass where I was spending the largest bulk of my day just mentoring them. Something had to change.
I eventually saw the writing on the wall. I couldn’t help them and myself. So, I created a program for them to follow that would force them to learn what they needed to know. The program was designed as a goal-oriented program so that they’d be focused on the program goal instead of money or the next whiz bang indicator. A lot of the rules of the program were put in place in order to teach them things that they needed to learn, but they’d learn the things subconsciously. For example, how consistency will raise your emotional wellbeing so much that it changes the chemistry in your body. The fear and stress get reduced. But this happens over time and you can’t just talk yourself into being less fearful or less stressed. You must earn it slowly. Working towards a goal is how this happens.
Let me stop for a second and discuss what a goal is and is not. A goal is not a hope. For example, you might have a goal to earn $100,000 a year day trading. That “goal” is actually a HOPE or a DREAM. A actual goal is a target that you can hit within a relatively short time with structured practices and procedures in place to achieve it. You know, A PLAN. Goals and Dreams or Hopes are very different things. Please don’t mix them up or confuse them.
This program was called the TradeRx. It was a way for me to be able to still help my friends, but still get my own work done on my own trading career. It was tremendously successful for those that chose to do it. Many chose either not to do it or started and quit relatively early on because it was too much work and they thought that trading should NOT be so hard. To my knowledge, none of them are still trading today except one of them, who still comes to our trade room regularly since 2010.
There is SO MUCH MORE to my story on how I got to be sitting here today talking to you. But In short, this little experiment I just KNEW was going to fail, actually turned me into a real professional full-time trader. What that is, is NOT what I thought it was though. It’s better.