From time to time it’s worth taking time out and conducting an appraisal on yourself as a trader in order to ascertain just how far you’ve moved on, not just as a trader, but also as a person involved with trading. How has trading affected your outlook and perspective on many aspects of your day to day living and approach to trading?
The second measurement, your personal development, is often overlooked given that as individuals we become obsessive with regards to the first measurement, our development as a trader. But there are undoubtedly cross-overs between the two that we’ll explore in this article. And once you take a step back to analyse your personal development as a trader, you may be surprised to learn how trading has in fact developed you. We’re not going to discuss the technical discoveries you’ve made, such as: markets to trade, indicators, patterns, stop losses, etc., we’ll concentrate singularly on your personal development, which may have been heightened by your involvement in trading.
One of the first qualities trading may have unconsciously delivered is patience, we learn that, irrespective of our personality types, patience really is a virtue and that regardless of what time frame, or method of trading you prefer, patience is one of the bedrocks of successful trading. Without patience, not just in waiting for your set up to occur and the conditions to align for a safe exit (hopefully with profit), you’ll struggle to develop. In developing patience as a trader you may inadvertently develop the habit of patience in other aspects of your life.
A wider macro economic knowledge base arrives consciously and by a form of mind ‘osmosis’ over the years. If you didn’t have much interest in economics and fundamental policy decisions at the outset of your journey as a trader, then you’ll develop one fairly quickly as it would be impossible to trade successfully without developing a keen interest in economics. Even if you doubt fundamentals ability to drive the market, and rely on the decisions to eventually ‘bleed’ as information onto your preferred chart/time frame, no one could deny the part macro economic policy and (domestic and international) high impact news events takes in moving our markets. After a few years of market absorption you’ll find yourself being able to confidently discuss economic matters at quite an advanced level.
Doubt can be a positive as well as a negative quality when trading as we learn over time that nothing is certain in trading. The only certainties we can rely on in trading, the only aspects of our trading that we can control, are our money management and our self control, we can’t control the market. In surrendering to the fact that once we’ve entered the market we have no way of knowing whether we’ll win or lose traders cross an important barrier. You can never have 100% confidence in your trade, what’s more you should never have 100% confidence in your trade. Based on past performance you can only deduce (and hope) that your trade has a higher percentage chance of success than failure.
No one likes to lose, no one embraces the experience, however, learning that losing is in fact a larger part of trading than many like to admit is a critical lesson on our pathway to success. In the early days we can become seduced by adverts on trading forums declaring that a method of 90%+ success rate has been discovered and many of us will search for what’s termed a ‘Holy Grail’ form of trading that eliminates all losses. Learning to accept losses, as part of the price of doing business in this business, is a bitter pill for many new traders to accept, but accept it we must if we’re to develop as traders and as a person.
Be cautious, but never suspicious. Without a doubt at some stage you’ll go through a process were you doubt everything and everyone involved with trading. There comes a time, generally early on in a trader’s development, were they begin to distrust; the industry, the process and just about everything involved, including their brokers and their platforms. This metamorphosis is in fact a natural part of trader development and generally occurs after a series of losses. But we can be absolutely sure of one aspect; the market and the brokers do not cheat. Brokers are capable of errors and the market can perform cartwheels and hand brake turns quicker than we can say ‘no taper’, but the market and our broker is not out to ‘”get us”. We must learn to work with our brokers and the market if we are to have any chance of success. Don’t fight it, fight with it.
So there’s just a few personal developments and skills that we develop that perhaps enhance our character, not just in relation to our trading but in other areas of our life. If you have anymore why not share them with us by commenting on this article. Thanks for reading and good trading to you.