You will see this theme throughout this book. It is the most important concept you can learn in order to be a successful trader. If you can master this skill, you can be very successful in this business. But without it, you are destined to fail. It really is that simple. If you can learn to act in your own best interest, you will make a lot of money trading. If you do not learn to act in your own best interest, you will lose a lot of money trading.
You see, the (futures) markets work in a very different way than almost everything else in life. There is more freedom in this business than probably any other business in the world. You can do what you want, when you want, pretty much any time the market is open. The only thing that will hold you back is running out of money. Other than that, you have all the freedom in the world to do whatever you want in the market.
Trading really is different from everything else we do in life. In the everyday environment, you can have control (at least somewhat) by taking actions that affect the
environment. For example, if you wanted to listen to some music, you would have to turn on the radio. If you push the power button on the radio, music will come out of the radio. If you donÂ’t push the power button, the radio will not turn on.
Another example would be if you wanted to start your car. If you put the key in the ignition and turn it, the car will most likely start because you did something to affect that change.
If you donÂ’t turn the key, the car will not start. You must change the environment (by turning the key) to get the car to start.
Everyday we all do things to affect changes on the environment. We put our bankcard in
the money machine to get cash out. We push the button on the coffee maker to make coffee come out in the morning. These are all changes that we can consciously make happen. But hereÂ’s the difference:
In trading, you canÂ’t control what the market will do. No matter how much you want the market to go in a certain direction, there is nothing you can do to make it go in that direction.
There is no affect that you can cause on the market to make it do what you want it to do. We canÂ’t push a button, we canÂ’t turn a key, nothing we do will make the market do what we want it to. Nothing at all!
So, if we canÂ’t control the market and what it will do, then the only thing that will make
us successful is if we can control ourselves. And thatÂ’s easier said than done. But it is the reality of successful trading. Again, you canÂ’t control what the market will do, so you must control what you will do.
IÂ’ve met hundreds and hundreds of traders and, unfortunately, many of them fail at trading. Most never learn the proper skills they need to be successful. Most of them focus so hard on finding the perfect technical method or mechanical system, and very few people realize that is much less than half the battle.
Being able to act in your own best interest is much more important than finding the perfect technical method. As I often say, Â“A person with good self-discipline but a poor trading method will outperform a person with poor self-discipline but the best trading method currently available.Â” It will work like this every time.
Quite frequently, I talk to people whoÂ’ve had very large profits in certain trades. For
example, I remember a time when a person called me and told me he had 800 points in a three lot trade in the S&PÂ’s (worth approximately $6,000). But even with that big profit, this particular trader still lost money on the trade. When I asked why he didnÂ’t trail his protective stop order to lock in some profit, he told me he was looking for the big home run. Right then I knew this person didnÂ’t have his best interest in mind.
Sure, we all want those huge winning trades. But one thing we must all remember is we canÂ’t control what the market will do, so we must be prepared for whatever it does do. Thus, a
person who gets 800 points in an S&P trade (not an easy thing to do) must have his best interest in mind and not allow all of that profit to evaporate, even if that means missing out on the big winner.
This book is broken up into three sections. The first section is called Â“Skills You Do
NeedÂ”, and is made up of all the skills I believe you must have to be successful in the trading environment. These include ideas like setting and accomplishing goals, being an active winner and loser, flawless execution of your trades, etc.
The second section is called, Â“Skills You DonÂ’t Need.Â” Included in this section are chapters on wishing, hoping, and praying. Also included is a chapter called Â“Revenge Trading.Â”
Another chapter is called Â“Emotions: Fear, Anger and Greed.Â” This section will help you to know the things you must stay away from to become successful with your trading.
The third and final section is made up of ideas originally put together many, many years ago by the famed Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who coined the term Â“Psycho-Cybernetics.Â” This section is called Â“How To Improve Yourself.Â” The chapters in this section will give you background on how Psycho-Cybernetics works and how you can use it to greatly improve your trading results.
This section contains the most important part of this book: step-by-step exercises to teach you how to act in your own best interest and deal best with the emotional side of trading. These exercises are all based on the works of Dr. Maxwell Maltz and Psycho-Cybernetics.
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