Where I’m at…

So I thought I’d draw on some other skills to illustrate where I’m at with my trading at the moment…

Yep… Behind the mountain of information, voodoo and lies that people are telling you (as well as stuff you need to unlearn) about trading is a bigger mountain.

The bit between your own ears is where psychology enters the frame and regardless of your technical competence in understanding what’s happening with a price on screen it’s even more important to have your mental/emotional approach sorted out…

Here’s another graphic which will make it clear where I’ve got to on the journey.

So clearly section (A) is basically me not actually having a clue how to trade at all

Section (B) is after having been exposed to Jimmy Young’s FX approach which is the best I’ve seen to date and is eminently trade-able. But clearly I’m still the issue 😉

At the moment I can place trades, they are good, low risk ideas but I just can’t seem to stay in them long enough as well as having challenges with accepting being off-side.

Still, it’s a huge improvement from section (A) and this is where a lot of people give up!

This week I was on the right side of two moves which if I had stayed in them should have got me >300pts but because the bit between my ears hasn’t actually had enough experience of dealing with being on the right side of a trade (this is very ironic) I made 2% of the potential from these decisions.

Silver lining

1) I made two good trading decisions
2) I am not losing my shirt consistently anymore (ok that one’s a bit thin)
3) The only way is up 😉

So hopefully this proves helpful for some and amusing for others.

More updates to follow over the weekend

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8 thoughts on “Where I’m at…

  1. Mike

    Hi Rob

    Nice post as usual and nice to see you turning the corner! But if I may ask do you know were you want to get to? Have you defined your business plan? Your rules, risk, profit targets and statements of your objectives?

    In trading like life you have to know and define exactly were you want to get 2, and how you are going to get there before you start out on the journey

    Mike

    Reply
    1. robertsweetman Post author

      Hi Mike

      Thanks for the comment. In answer to your question… Yes I have a very clear idea of where I want to get to. The business plan has evolved (read stuttered) along over the last 12 months but stubbornly resisted completion and I now believe this was because I didn’t have the first clue what I was getting into at all. Rules, risk, profit targets and trading methodology is in the process of being sorted and needs adding to the ‘plan’ which I am looking to finish before the end of December. The idea being to walk into 2012 as fully armed as possible. Previously I suspect me writing a plan was like asking a fish to tap-dance. No possibility of it ever getting done.

      However, this was also the reason behind the question to you about running trading as a business… So looking for some more awesome advice from you on the 24th 😉 at your free online training event

      My impression is that when it comes to learning to trade there are very few people out there who have the skills/craft/interest in sharing the information beginners need to plan their route to the summit.

      It’s only recently that I’ve finally come across some good guys like yourself who know what they’re doing and are keen for others to succeed. There is a lot of useless crap out there being taught to people for stupid money.

      At the moment the elements of the plan are only just beginning to actually come into focus although I’ve been looking at this subject for a year 🙂

      Have a good weekend

      Reply
  2. Dom

    Sadly, with this being trading, the only way is not up. Down is always an option. There is a silver lining though as its possible to make money in that direction too 🙂

    I never learned to conquer the psychological mountain which means I will spend the rest of my life being a moderately successful, tiny scale trader. The instant things go over £10 risk it goes pear shaped and I lose money by the bucket load. Ironically enough most of my trades are short trades using a lot that I learned about my own fear when prices drop while trading.

    Reply
    1. robertsweetman Post author

      HI Dom, thanks for the comment… Having just blundered into the psychological mountain I totally agree. At the moment if I was to put more than ‘x’ on per trade I would completely freak out 😉

      As far as moving forwards the first step I want to get to is being consistently profitable. Even this might be a big ask at the moment! I think as long as you’re trading in a way that works for you and are making money over time then you’re still doing better than 80%+ of people who open a spread-betting account and don’t have a clue 😉

      Have a great weekend and thanks for reading

      Reply
  3. Neil Rushen

    Well at least I’m not the only one in the same boat Robert. I’ve ridden £70 up to £2000 in 2 weeks by carefully mapping resistance levels, sitting on my hands and waiting when direction wasn’t clear, taken safe 10 to 15 pip trades when the final movement was 100; then blown the lot after reading comments that the market was going in a certain direction and placing trades without any other reason….other than greed. Last week was the same, placed £100 in on Monday, by close at Tuesday I was sat at £403, by nine O’clock on Wednesday I’d wiped the lot out. The psychology is killing me. I’m learning how to make successful trades, looking at charts,websites, moving averages, candlesticks…..but there’s always a little Devil that says…”get in now, you’ll make a killing”…..or more often….”stick with it…it’ll go back up!”…..and that’s when it all falls apart. You’ve quoted Mike from FTSEday.co.uk on one of your posts…”it takes a trader to take a loss”….the quote from Mike I need to get in my head….and stick to, is….”only trade what you see.” Thanks for the Blogg, I’ll be back!

    Reply
    1. robertsweetman Post author

      Hi Neil

      Think of it as a nice problem to have 😉 ROFL

      Three suggestions from me.

      1) Do not read other people’s comments. Think about it. They are not you and it’s not their trading account/cash. Opinions are like arseholes, everybody has one. I purposely do not read any trading discussion boards about what will happen ’cause it’s voodoo. All you need to figure out is what the most likely direction given what you know. Going from £70 to £2K in two weeks proves you have a very good handle on this.

      2) Take some money out of your trading account on a regular basis and pay yourself. This may get your brain back to conserving the money in your account because you’ll go back to trading less aggressively. In other words if you’d have taken £1500 out then you’d have had £500 in your account which is still a LOT more than the £70 you began with, right?

      3) Write down reasons for getting into trades. Then when the voice starts talking shit you can get yourself some time by looking logically at your reasons with clarity rather than emotion. I’ve begun doing this and it’s a wonder to me that I didn’t do this sooner…

      Define exactly what it is you’re getting wrong psychologically then come up with tricks/rules to manage the trade and the voice in your head. My biggest challenge at the moment is not staying in trades long enough. New rule for me is that trades need to stay open at least 30 minutes. With a momentum system this the minimum time required for noise to clear and price to move. After that it’s simply a case of practice, practice, practice before the next psychological hurdle makes itself known.

      If you’ve traded £70 to £2K that is amazing BUT it’s lots of incremental wins over time on a consistent plan that will get you where you want to be and NOT taking mad risks. Win often, win small and do not take mad risks with emotional ‘I’m going to be a millionaire’ driven trades. Also, think about why and what part of you is getting a kick from trading like that then have a word with it. You can negotiate with that part of your personality to get it on side rather than it being ‘king of self sabotage’ 😉

      Thanks for the comments Neil

      Cheers

      Rob

      Reply
  4. Neil Rushen

    Just read blog 4 from May….I could be looking in a trading mirror. It would appear that we all make exactly the same errors. A couple of friends of mine made thousands with their on-line demo accounts, much to my disgust, then promptly lost their shirts and gave up when the cash became their own. There has to be a way around/over/under the psychology…if only Freud hadn’t been fixated by sex!

    Reply
    1. robertsweetman Post author

      Yep, demo accounts have a fatal flaw – you’re completely unattached to the outcome so there’s no fear/emotion screwing up your decision making or trade management. Demo account are useful to familiarise yourself with a platform, testing trade ideas and practising setups/pattern recognition. As we’ve both discovered dealing with real money is an entirely different matter

      I’ve read two books that address this topic quite well. These are ‘The Disciplined Trader’ by Mark Douglas and ‘Financial Risk Taking’ by Mike Elvin… Another (free) piece is called ‘Face The Trader Within’ which is by a guy called Chris Lori from his website http://www.chrislori.com

      I’m writing a post about what I’m personally doing to address the psychology point so this will appear in the next week or so 😉

      Reply

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