Obviously, you’re into trading to make money, the dream is always to earn money and live the lifestyle of our choosing and enjoy the freedom trading brings. I know those are some of the things that lured me to trading in the beginning of my career.
Almost 100% of people coming into trading are drawn in by the desire to make money and improve their lifestyle. Whether you want to admit it or not, that is probably why you are on my blog; because you think you can make a lot of money trading or you think trading can bring you an amazing lifestyle change. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with those kinds of thoughts and feelings because they ARE obtainable goals if you study hard, perfect your craft and manage to keep your bankroll intact long enough to live to trade another day and come out the other side profitable.
I’m certainly not hear to squash the dreams and ambitions of newbie traders (I was once one myself), but what I am here to do is help you achieve those dreams, and in order to do that we first must put these life-changing dreams and goals to one side and look at what’s actually going to get us there, we need to get smart, we need to be real and cut through the noise. You will only make money as a trader if you’re in this game for the right reasons and for most traders, at least in the beginning, they are not trading for the right reasons…
Do you love the money or the process?
Let me ask you this; do you REALLY LOVE THE PROCESS of learning about markets, studying and looking at charts and trading in general? Do you TRULY enjoy it? Or, are you just sort of slugging along because you think you can make fast money? For most traders, especially beginning traders, the honest answer is the latter.
In trading, as with any business endeavor and life in general, if you aren’t IN LOVE with the process you are VERY RARELY (if ever) going to achieve the goal. Read that last sentence 5 times before you continue.
How can you make an honest assessment of whether you are in love with money or the process of trading?
Here are some signs that prove you’re trading for the wrong reasons
- You’re trading money you can’t afford to lose. If you’re doing this, it’ because you’re too focused on the money. People who risk money they really cannot afford to lose are doing so because they want to make money fast and they are only thinking about the prize, not the possibility of losing that money. Bottomline, don’t trade with money you really cannot afford to lose.
- You’re thinking only of money, not enough about trading or your trading plan or strategy. Trading really shouldn’t be all about ‘money’ to you. The money is just a way to keep score in a game that tests your ability to remain disciplined and patient in a world of constant temptation. If you are trading properly and focused on the process and excited about the process, you will make money and that money is like the score, if you’re score is going up, you’re winning, if it’s going down you are losing. Ironically, when you focus too much on the score (money) you end up losing.
- You’re already making plans of what you’ll do after you make XYZ money in the market, you only think about the rewards and not the risks. Like the last point, but a bit more specific; I know a lot of amateur traders who get super excited about the possibilities of what they will do with the money they make from trading. It’s great to have ambitions and goals, don’t get me wrong, but this cannot consume your thoughts. If you’re making plans of how you will spend money you haven’t made, your trading mindset is not right yet.
- You trade for no good reason, even late at night before bed, pressing some buttons for the gamblers endorphin release, you need to be in a trade. If you end up trading all the time, entering one as another one closes out, you don’t want to trade anymore, you NEED it. This is trading addiction and I can promise you that it will very quickly drain your bank account.
- You get enthralled by the next biggest trading thing (Like crypto currencies, which by the way, I think bitcoin and the like is basically a Ponzi-scheme and I encourage people to stay away). Stick to major markets, major Forex pairs and major stock indices and commodities, don’t trade every market under the sun, this will cause you to over-analyze and over-trade and lose money.
The right reasons to trade:
- You should trade because you love trading, plain and simple. You must love the process of trading, not only the dream of the end-goal, or you will never achieve the end-goal
- You’re becoming methodical and well-structured in your approach, making plans and keeping notes and spreadsheets, you’re taking this seriously. Once you start doing things like this you know you’re on the right track. Being methodical and having a trading plan and keeping a trading journal in spreadsheets of your trades is something traders do who truly enjoy the process. These things keep you accountable and help develop proper trading habits and routines.
- You live and breathe markets, it’s what you do, it’s who you are, every precious moment of free time you’re reading a post on a blog like the one you’re reading now or you’re reading a classic trading book like The Market Wizards or Trading in the Zone or perhaps studying chapters in my price action courses, you’re studying charts religiously, even if you’re out and about.
- Your family and friends don’t understand you any more, the conversations have turned into things people can’t relate to, you feel alone, isolated, and feel desperate to find others who think the same way.
- You love self-improvement. Trading, more than anything else, is about self-improvement. Show me a successful trader and I will show you a person successful in other areas of his or her life. Intense discipline, focus, passion, patience – these are the ingredients of LIFE success not just of trading success.
- You are competitive, you like the competition. The idea of competing with millions of other traders and putting yourself into the that top 10% who are making all the money – drives you more than anything – it’s inside of you – it’s NOT JUST about getting a lot of money it’s about the self-confidence and the feeling of knowing you are better than all those other traders and you out-competed them. It puts you in a very small group of upper-echelon individuals and is a true accomplishment, one you’re dying to achieve.
- You simply love markets, you love charts, you love business and entrepreneurship, you love studying what drives the world economies and you find yourself watching CNBC even when you’re bored or (god bless you) the PBS nightly Business news.
If you want to get fit and healthy and achieve your optimal body composition, you must fall in love with the process of working out and eating healthy, because if you don’t fall in love with it all, you will never continue to do the little things day in and day out that lead to the type of body you want. Same thing in trading. To get the money and the cars and houses and the life you want, the life that IS possible from trading, you have to love the process, the little things, the details, otherwise you’ll never stay committed to the discipline that is required. As they say, the devil is in the details.
To succeed at trading you must let go of the need to control the outcome. You must trust the process. You must trust your intuition. You must trust yourself. You must fall in love with the process if you want to get the results you’re looking for.
Don’t worry if you’re not yet feeling this quite yet or doing the things I discussed above, just stick with the plethora of inspirational and educative lessons on my blog and then study the chapters in my professional trading courses as well as follow along with the daily market analysis I post for members. You will soon find yourself enjoying your trading and hungrier for knowledge day by day, momentum builds momentum, and you must turn your desires into habits. Habits are what makes someone successful and when you start by developing the proper trading routine and stick to it, it will turn into a habit that leads you down the path to trading success.
For those who can’t yet make sense of it all and feel overwhelmed, the cliché saying holds true here; When the student is ready, the teacher appears; you just need to turn your desires into passion and to do that you need knowledge and consistent stimulation. At Learn to Trade the Market, we live and breathe trading… so we have you covered.