Trading is arguably the single most challenging venture on the planet. Of course, just about every other business around the world is operating to make a profit, so why is trading so different? It is because when you are in a trade, with every tick of the market you are gaining or losing…money; and money in case you did not notice drives just about everything. Money is at the core of power hungry governments, multi-national commerce, mega-institutions, and of course central banks that fund every widget imaginable. Actually, if you stop to think about it, from the day you were able to look with undersigning toddler eyes at a billboard, T.V. commercial, or T.V. program you were inundated and bombarded by messages about how critically important money is and why it is of the utmost importance to have it. You saw sparkly stuff that you were told you wanted and why you had to have it. Additionally, these messages were quick to point out that if you didn’t make or have money – or the stuff that it buys – you would be “less-than” and “devalued.” Obviously, these messages are only true to the extent that money is important to have in this world for survival; but the messages fall woefully short when they tie your self-worth to it. But, we grow up in the shadow of these messages and over time begin to form biases, belief systems and values connected to the notion that money is the be-all and end-all. In other words, so many of the population end up with a self-identity that is to a large degree tied to money as a barometer of self-worth. Why else would there be so many grave issues around the planet that are secured to money and the profit motive; for instance, air pollution, water pollution, health care challenges surrounding insurance companies, pesticides, fast food proliferation, climate change (as many scientists attribute to burning of fossil fuels) and the lists goes on. So, when you get into a trade, almost immediately the system is triggered and emotions such as anxiety, fear, greed, doubt and worry that are tied to negative thoughts about yourself or the markets are activated. These emotional alarm bells then drive you to make impulsive entries, trade without a plan, move stops, chase trades or prematurely exit, all from the underlying limiting beliefs about money and what it means to lose it!
There you have it. With trading being this difficult, how is it that there are individuals that turn the corner, begin to incorporate discipline and become successful traders? There are those that harbor the belief that they can never break the chains of their internal demons that attack them whenever they begin a trading session. They think that they will forever be tormented and their follow-through will remain flawed and the pristine execution will elude them. This notion is false. At your core is perfection. What causes the issues that you experience is directly tied to your limiting beliefs that force you into making choices that are not in your best interest. I have been working with people for many years which include helping individuals to make the corrections necessary to change those underlying faulty beliefs and begin to take new action towards manifesting the outcomes and results that they desire in their trading. Through tools, techniques and concepts they are guided and supported in becoming accountable and aware of first what to change then how to change it. They begin to monitor their thoughts, which are the building blocks of how they feel, and once they start to feel differently by managing their emotional states, their enthusiasm, curiosity and positive energy ramps up in the direction of assembling new strategies and taking action towards accomplishing those desires. They learn to embrace the discomfort in order to develop capacity for emotional strength and endurance in the trade. They “train” their minds just as a premier athlete would train her body to perform at elite levels. Yes, it is difficult but any endeavor that is of value is difficult to master. Trading is no different.
Now, let’s deal with the buried lead…that of how, since trading is so difficult and the snarling demons are let out of the cages with fangs protruding and saliva squirting with each entry, how two classes of Turtles that were personally trained were able to make over $175 million in 5 years. First, a little background is in order. Legendary commodity trader Richard Dennis who took a $5000 investment and turned it into $100 million, and his partner William Eckhardt in the early 80’s had a debate about why they were so successful. Eckhardt determined that it was Dennis’ innate talent that created the windfall. However, Dennis argued that anyone could be trained to do the same…they just needed to follow a rule-based protocol. So, they put an ad in the paper and interview hundreds if not thousands of applicants and selected a group of people to teach Dennis’ rules. They trained them for two weeks then gave them their money to trade live. When necessary they repeated the training. They called the students “turtles” named after turtle farms that Dennis had visited in Singapore and decided that he could grow traders as quickly and efficiently as farm-grown turtles. Richard Dennis proved beyond a doubt that beginners can learn to trade successfully.
So, how did the turtles overcome those rabid emotional demons that lurk at the gates of the trading platform? Well, it was not due to just the rule-based system that they employed. The key was the fact that they were put on a short leash and the “training” was set in stone. If they deviated from the rules they were ejected. It was about the protocol and maintaining a ferocious laser beam focus on the strategy of the protocols. The incentive was to see “how” good they could be at maintaining the strategy. They were mentored/guided/coached/taught the “right” way to traverse the mountain of charting through the rules. Their “internal data” (thoughts, emotions, behaviors – underlying programing that could sabotage the results) were sidetracked by the “context” of the training. In other words, you will do it this way or you will do it no way. And, if you think it was all about IQ or a certain “pedigree” then you would be wrong. These traders were women, men, gay, straight, bartenders, MBA’s, blue-collar workers, etc. They came from all walks of life. But they did share a desire to play the game and to play to win. It is tantamount to being given a very expensive car and told that the only way for you to keep it and continue to drive it would be that you must adhere to all the driving rules of the road and all the maintenance rules that you had been given…that is the major incentive. This construct creates the “story” that each driver/player tells themselves; “I want to win at this game and I am going to play it exactly as I am told.”
The rules of the turtles have been published and there are those that are trading those rules to this day with success; but, the key to that success does not lie solely with those rules, it lies in the individual’s ability to keep those rules no matter what and to trade to win. Online Trading Academy has core strategies that have been proven to produce an extraordinary percentage of high probability opportunities. Additionally, OTA provides exceptional instruction and support to help you execute with precision. It is helpful to have that mentor/guide/coach/teacher to continue to look over your shoulder as you execute the “protocol” of your trading strategies to support you in holding yourself accountable, honoring the perfection that is at your core and making the appropriate choices as you take action in the direction of your trading visions. This is what we teach in the Online and On-location “Mastering the Mental Game” courses. Ask your Online Trading Academy representative for more information. Also, get my book, “From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Trader.
Dr. Woody Johnson