One of the aspects I enjoy most about writing these articles is when I get emails and communications sent to me after writing a specific piece or sharing a particular lesson. Of course, I enjoy writing as a pastime for sure but I also receive much gratification when I am thanked for highlighting something which a reader has maybe overlooked in the past, or which has helped them in their ongoing journey of trading the markets. However, not every single email is of this nature, as I am regularly sent questions from my readers, some of which I occasionally feature in a popular Question and Answer session. These questions are often easily answered, as they cover topics which I am used to speaking about and teaching when I am in the Online Trading Academy classroom, or leading another ongoing Live XLT session. From time to time though, I am sent a query or comment which stands out from the rest and needs immediate addressing (I do endeavor to answer all questions I am sent, it just takes some time!).
For this week’s article I wanted to respond to an email which was sent to me just over a week ago at the time of writing this piece. Sometimes I am sent something which I can’t help but feel needs my attention and that my answer would likely benefit the majority of people out there who have the same question or who have wondered something similar. This is one such example, and comes from one of my regular readers, who out of respect for their privacy, I have kept anonymous. I took a direct screenshot of the email from my active account and you can read the contents of the message for yourself below:
Please note that under no circumstances do I believe that the sender of this email was implying anything malicious in any way, shape or form when they sent this message. I see this as a very upfront and direct piece of questioning is all, and the last time I checked, we live in a free society where we are all entitled to speak our minds and ask questions about those things which puzzle us. I see this email as such circumstances. So why have I chosen to answer the sender’s email publically then? As I said before, because I genuinely feel that my response will not only answer the question posed to me but also that my answer will directly highlight and address some common misunderstandings which many people have about trading and the life of a trader in general.
Firstly, to answer the question of why instructors at Online Trading Academy choose to teach is one which I can only answer from personal experience and having spoken to the majority of my fellow teachers across the network. For me, it boils down to a number of reasons, the main one being because I love doing it. I promised myself many years ago that I would enjoy what I do; and I have lived by the promise to myself ever since. To be completely honest with you, I find actual trading and analysis rather boring these days, mainly for two distinct reasons: 1 – Because I have been looking at charts for years now and 2 – Because I know exactly what I am looking for each and every time I pull up a chart and take the very same action every time a setup presents itself to me. My approach is objective and in line with my rules, thus allowing no room for creativity which in turn makes the whole process rather dull!
I also believe life is about what you put into it and what you take out it, too. There is a balance to everything we do and I firmly stand by the theory that the more you give in life then the more you get. It is a cyclical process and passing on knowledge and wisdom is a great way to receive more of it in return. Of course there is the fact that trading is also a zero-sum game, meaning that when one person loses a trade, that money is directly transferred into the accounts of another person who got it right. There is not an endless supply of money out there in the world of trading and things will never change while trades can take place. Some win, many lose and there is a little part of me which recognizes that not everyone out there will get it and to be brutally honest, I don’t want them too! However, I also realize from my own dedication to trading and my education over the years that everyone “getting it” is never going to happen, as like any other profession, trading takes time and effort. Not all of us were meant to be lawyers, or doctors or scientists. Trading is no different and I am happy to share my understanding of the markets with those dedicated individuals who are committed to learning about it because getting the right education is one half of the success equation. The other half is sticking to the plan and doing it with discipline and patience. Here at the Academy we understand this and that is why all of our educational programs and classes are available to our students for life, giving them the very best chance of trading success through lifetime support.
The second point in the email was regarding the question of why I don’t sit on a beach and make money, instead of teaching and doing the work I do worldwide. Well in response to this query, I feel that I can share a couple of realities about the true nature of trading and what it can involve if you allow it to. In my personal trading I have tried it all and over time and with many lessons learned I realized in the end that making money in the markets and remaining consistent was a much simpler process then what I first thought. I used to spend up to 12 hours a day looking at charts for weeks on end until I figured out one day, that looking at the screen didn’t actually make trades appear to me or even help the positions I was in to work out better. Ever heard of the saying “a watched pot never boils?” Trades are either going to trigger or they are not and they are either going to work out in my favor for a decent profit or they will go the other way for a small loss. I can’t control anything which happens in the market and the more I stared at the screen or watched my positions unfold, then the more I became tempted to tinker with my original plan or pull the trigger for an entry which didn’t fit my plan because I became impatient.
It suddenly dawned on me one day that my rules and plan were all I had and placing the trades and letting the market do its thing was all I would ever have to do. The rest would just play itself out if I allowed time to do its work. Take the following chart below:
In this 4 hour chart which I like to use for swing trading (allowing me to do other things with my life), there have only been a handful of trading opportunities which meet the criteria of my trade plan in the last month. As you may already know, I look to buy in areas of demand and sell in areas of supply. Simple rules and simple execution dictate when I take action and when I don’t. Sitting in front of the screen waiting for a trade is futile when I can place the orders in advance and then shut my PC down and allow the trade to work its course. Patience is what I really need aside from my plan. So what am I going to do the rest of the time? Well, I teach, write, present, vacation, work out and so on. I live a full life doing things which trading allows me to do because after all of these years of speculation in the markets I know that the less time I spend at the screen, the more able I am to allow my plan to execute with objectivity.
There are many misconceptions about trading out there and here at the Academy we will explain the truth to you about profitable trading which you may have not heard before. Remember that learning the skills required to trade consistently involves not just learning a strategy but also learning about discipline in the way you approach your trading on a day to day basis. If you are facing hurdles in your trading currently and really do want to improve, then please ask yourself a question before you take things any further: Are you trading so you can do more with your life or are you spending more of your life on trading? I know which path I would rather walk. Thanks again for all of your emails and questions.
Have a great day,