Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Resources for Traders and Reflections on a Trading Career

During the past year, I've worked on two projects to help readers become more effective traders. The first is the book The Daily Trading Coach, which is scheduled for publication in the first quarter of 2009. This book consists of 101 short lessons that teach traders how to coach themselves for better performance, using practical psychological techniques. I believe it will be the most comprehensive self-help guide to trading psychology yet published.

The second project is a free online book that I am assembling post by post, entitled An Introduction to Trading. It is focused on the how-to's of short-term trading, from understanding markets to recognizing trading patterns and managing trading positions. Later today I will post the next installment to the book, as I resume weekly entries.

Supporting both these efforts will be the Become Your Own Trading Coach blog. I will be using this site increasingly to add material to the Daily Trading Coach book and to elaborate the Introduction to Trading with examples and explanations.

The idea is to work on yourself by working on your trading and to work on your trading by working on yourself. Trading, at its best, is a vehicle for self-development, as well as profits. Indeed, one of its enduring attractions is that it so richly rewards those with talent and skill, who master themselves.

Trading has a unique way of bringing the best and worst out in people. All the fear and greed, the destructive impulsivity and the swings between overconfidence and lack of confidence, come to the fore in the face of risk and reward. Also coming to the fore in trading, however, is the best of the entrepreneurial spirit. Traders are rewarded for their efforts and ideas: they develop their plans, execute them, and either profit or lose. They get no bailouts from government, nor do they ask for them. They don't lose themselves in mindless corporate team-speak. Traders eat what they kill; they seek to eat well, and they make no apologies for that.

My hope is that this blog, my first two books, and the resources above help developing traders find their way toward personal and financial success. Your path, ultimately, may or may not be that of a participant in the financial markets. That will depend on your values, interests, talents, and skills. But whatever your path, make sure it's one that challenges you personally and professionally to become more than you are; to develop the best within you. It's not important that you trade; it's important that you have a life of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. Such a life will get you through the rockiest financial and economic periods.