So approximately 18 months into what was supposed to be a two year project I’ve reached a very interesting point in my journey that I’d like to share…
If you’re looking to become profitable and consistent in this endeavour I seriously suggest you pay attention.
In part 1 I’m going to argue that as much as we’d all like to deny it the following is true. Learning other people’s specific setups and copying their trading methods does not work.
In part 2 I’m going to try to explain what this means as far as learning to trade goes and some of the things I’m doing about it. Part 2 will take me a couple of days to put together so lets kick off part 1 first.
So 18 months in and having extended my timeframe for becoming profitable on a consistent basis I have been very much on the point of giving up. Well, not quite, but the most ‘giving up-est’ I’ve been so far.
This prompted me to look around for what the profitable traders I’ve ran into have said about their own path to success and whether there were any common points. Here are some very lose observations: –
- The average timespan seems to be 3-6yrs to get really good
- If you dig a little deeper it’s mostly nearer 6yrs
- Those that seem to be consistent threw out the rulebook and developed their own trading methodology from scratch based on personal observations
- The majority of these individuals use ‘price action’ rather than charts with loads of indicators and wavy lines
- Some only trade one or a very few number of markets with very simple setups/rules
- Most of these rules are entirely dependent on experience which reinforces their discretionary approach
- Anyone who is very heavily promoting or selling themselves/their approach probably isn’t actually trading at all
So what does this tell me – other than I’m possibly screwed?
It’s been written over and over and over (which I’ve also completely ignored) that you can’t really trade someone else’s system/approach.
Acknowledging this truth would mean that I’m going to have to do a lot of hard work so I’ve ignored this up till now and not understood the point being made.
This statement removes the possibility of all short-cuts and frankly that’s a bit of a bugger.
However I now know this to be true from the following experience.
In October last year I signed up with Jimmy Young and went through his excellent and extensive training. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Jimmy’s approach and he is a completely genuine, honest and straight-forward guy with 20+ years of trading experience. The amount of effort he puts into educating his students is frankly un-paralleled. He’s got some extremely talented students and I can’t find any fault at all in how he conducts himself.
He genuinely wants everyone he’s teaching to succeed
When snow storms took out his local power/internet in the US Jimmy decamped himself to a motel for 3 days so his students could still get the information he provides every day. No really – Jimmy’s sending out a 10-15 minute webinar every day going though the previous day’s trades and what would have been the best approach as well as providing a huge amount of insight to the next day.
I know his approach completely works but I just am not able to enter the market and trade like he does. My personality with regards to trading just doesn’t work like his. Sad but true.
In order to not get emotionally steamrollered every time I look at what’s happening in the market I need to do what so many (now) successful traders have done and break everything down to something I can understand. Only then will this connect my personality, my unique view of the world and my psychology with how I trade.
Not only can I not trade like Jimmy, I can’t trade like @Trader_Dante, @FTSEDay, @50pips, @FT71 or any of the other great/supportive people I’ve run into on this mad arsed pursuit. To quote Monty Python…
Yes, we are all individuals!
So exactly where does this leave me, you or anyone else out there looking to become a consistently profitable trader?
You need to pull the market apart for yourself and see how it works with your own psychology/approach/creativity in mind. Then you can put it back together for yourself and objectively test what works. I’ve now come to the conclusion that this is the long, boring, slow and un-exciting process of becoming a trader. Just like working out and eating right is the long, painful, slow process of getting into really good shape.
There are so many people selling shortcuts, there’s the considerable challenge of self delusion and on top of that the impossibility of trying to change your personality to match someone else’s trading style… On this basis I’m un-surprised that few actually get there.
At this point you might think that I really should give up.
So why am I really excited now about moving forwards?
Well, think about it for a moment. What if the thing that’s holding you back isn’t that you’re not a good trader? What if it’s got a lot to do with the fact that you don’t take good trades like person ‘x’ because (surprisingly) you don’t see what they see ’cause you’re not them? Logically this makes complete sense to me. What a relief it is to put that burden down!
Perceptually the world I see isn’t what you or anyone else sees. You can get 100 different interpretations from the same chart. What follows from this is that you need to trade your own personality in the market.
How do you get to a point where this can happen? Well, you’ll have to wait for part 2 in order to find out and you’ll discover why I went all the way to Florida to really move things forward…