Saturday, December 05, 2015

Best Practices, Best Processes, and Why Traders Don't Reach Their Potential

One of the key ideas from the Trading Psychology 2.0 book is turning what you do best in markets (your best practices) into robust habit patterns (best processes).

What that means is that it is vital for traders to understand their strengths and how those strengths manifest themselves as successes.  When I ask traders to identify their strengths, they inevitably give generalized responses that don't map onto best processes.  For instance, a trader may say that they're good at risk management or good at reading chart patterns.  How do they specifically draw upon those strengths in day to day trading?  That is not elaborated.  

To truly understand yourself in a best practices framework, ask yourself:

1)  What do I do best in terms of researching ideas for trading?
2)  What do I do best in terms of translating my ideas into specific trades?
3)  What do I do best in terms of executing and sizing my trades?
4)  What do I do best in terms of managing the risk of my trades?
5)  What do I do best in terms of managing myself as a performance professional?

Now ask yourself:  How do I keep track of today's performance in light of the five best practices categories above?  How, specifically, do I ensure that today's trading is aligned with what I do best?

The greatest mistake traders make is spending much more time following and studying markets than following and studying their own trading performance.

Better understanding of markets does not necessarily translate into better trading of markets.

If you don't understand and act upon what drives your success, something else will inevitably drive your performance.  Every bad trade fills a vacuum.

Further Reading:  Why Disciplined Traders Make Bad Decisions