Saturday, July 11, 2009

Overcoming Failure and Fighting for Your Future

Listening to favorite music early on a Saturday morning, I was contemplating the situation of traders who truly are damaged by their experiences in markets: the frustrations, losses, and dashed dreams. Then an email came through the inbox reminding me of other traders who perform the inspiring alchemy of turning failure into success. Here is the gist of the email:

I have been trading unsuccessfully for years. Your comment on how trying a different time frame could help. I have taken the last few months and analyzed the markets full time under a...time frame...I would have never thought of previously, using only one set up and am blown away by the results. Started using real money last week and just cannot say thanks enough for the inspiration to make the switch. Unbelievable!!!

Note what our reader did: He stopped trading, analyzed markets, and forged a strategy that fit the marketplace. It's amazing how many people fail to make such basic adaptations.

Consider radio station operators who play music that they like and want to hear, rather than research the interests of listeners; restaurant owners who prepare food that they prefer to eat and make; boutique owners who stock their stores with clothes and accessories that fit their tastes.

I know a business owner who selected a location for his enterprise based upon its proximity to his home. No traffic studies, no needs analysis. The venture failed--the site was not visible from the main highway nearby-- and he lamented his lost dream.

Such "entrepreneurs" are so busy gratifying their own needs that they ignore the needs of the marketplace. Theirs is failure born of self-indulgence.

I see the same thing among traders. The market becomes slow and they continue trading. The market becomes choppy and they continue hunting for trends. Why? Because that is what they want to be doing, not because the market is rewarding those activities.

Much has been written about whether human beings are inherently good or fundamentally evil. I say neither: people, as a whole, are breathtakingly mediocre. They stubbornly reside along a tall peak surrounding a zero mean, where the horizontal axis quantifies directed effort.

That's what made the email special: someone unsuccessful for years took full-time effort to reverse engineer markets and tailor a strategy that worked, not a strategy that merely felt comfortable and convenient. He found a single setup that fit market conditions and trades selectively to make money; he doesn't consume money in order to trade. If he continues that search process, I have no doubt he'll find other setups as market conditions evolve.

We are capable of greatness and nobility, so much more than mere indulgence. Anyone who fights for the future, Ayn Rand noted, lives in it today. The greater part of greatness is the willingness to move beyond comfort and fight for the future. Thanks for the email.
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11 comments:

traderchick said...

Loved the music & the article on the "F" word brought tears too my eyes & my sword out. Thanks.

zircon-212 said...

http://www.michaelcovel.com/pdfs/ptj.pdf
Great link from Michael Covel's site on a commencement speech given by PTJ. If this doesn't fire you up I don't know what will(apologies if you have already cited it in a previous post)

Tahoe said...

and many thanks for sharing that with us. It continues to confound me; the simple solutions to often old and tired challenges. it does not need to be complex. it needs to fit the circumstances. thank you for your good work.

lll said...

excellent as usual.
thank you very much.

SSK said...

Excellent article! Thanks for sharing. I think more traders would become better if they took time off from trading and work at observing preformance trends,then readjusting trading approaches and trying new solutions.Markets always change. Keep up the good work. Best, SSK

smtrader said...

zircon-22:
Great speech. Thanks for the link.

smtrader

Trade FX said...

Just finished your book "Enhancing Trader Performance". In 8 years on the markets, I've read more than 100 trading books, this one is ABSOLUTELY the BEST ever. I lost money several years before finding the real inflexion point with now consistent results week after week. All the way to trader's 'freedom' is clearly explained in this book from 'niche' to 'expert spouse'. Read it, you can save years of hard work. Thank you very much. Walter.

PS: Same content posted on Amazon

Trade FX said...

Just finished your book "Enhancing Trader Performance". In 8 years on the markets, I've read more than 100 trading books, this one is ABSOLUTELY the BEST ever. I lost money several years before finding the real inflexion point with now consistent results week after week. All the way to trader's 'freedom' is clearly explained in this book from 'niche' to 'expert spouse'. Read it, you can save years of hard work. Thank you very much. Walter.
PS: Same content posted on Amazon

Gustavo's Trades said...

Thank you for the posting! Very inspiring!

Here is the Portuguese translation:
http://gustavotradesbrazil.blogspot.com/2009/07/superando-derrota-e-lutando-pelo-seu.html

Cheers!
Gustavo

JimRI said...

Excellent post. Trading has led me to understand that in trading and in my whole life, I have gone with with I think things should be or what I want them to be rather than what they are. One can get beat up pretty bad by not going with what one wants the market to be rather than what it is. I learned a few setups and then used them regardless of whether or not they fit the current market. Often not.

Zee said...

Great Post, when we start listening and not dictating, is when we can form an opinion of what the markets want, not what we think it wants