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Look, I think the biggest challenge that I faced in my trading journey is really just understanding my own psychology and learning about myself as a trader and what I need. I mean, I read a lot of books about different styles of trading and in the early days I was really grappling with trying to connect with every different style of trading that I read about and really pushing myself to implement those things.
One of the mistakes I made early on is I implemented a day trading system that I’d read about and I designed and tested and I implemented this system. It was taking between 5 and 15 trades a day. It was at a time when I was working full time in my job. I just hated it because it was causing me so much stress in my work because I was trying to trade and manage my positions and trying to do my job and succeed in my career, and all of that at the same time.
Not only that, it was high frequency. It was very short term and high stress, and it didn’t really fit my personality. And so, one of the main challenges that I’ve faced is actually coming to grips with who I am as a trader. That’s what everyone has to do. In order for you to be successful, you’ve got to come to grips with who you are as a trader and be true to that. Not get distracted by all these other shiny bells and whistles and new instruments and different ideas and tips from your brother-in-law and all that sort of crazy stuff. Because as soon as I came to grips with who I was as a trader and my method and found my rules that fit all of that, that’s when I really became successful and consistent. My account went from sideways and pretty volatile to consistently profitable year after year.
That’s the big challenge. I think that’s the challenge for every trader is to learn who you are and develop the rules to match that, to fit your personality or objectives and the lifestyle that you really want. I wouldn’t wouldn’t change anything about the way I’m trading because it just feels right for me. There’s no stress, there’s no anxiety, there’s no worry. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my positions or anything like that because I’ve got confidence in my system. I developed the rules myself and it fits my personality.
I think that’s the key. It’s about understanding who you are. It’s probably true in all areas of life, but particularly in trading, if you can find a method or by finding a method that suits you, that’s the big challenge to become successful. Recognizing that when when I’m coaching, mentoring students now, a big part of the focus early on at the beginning is who are you and what are you trying to achieve? What are your goals and aspirations? How do you want to live? What’s your lifestyle look like right now? Because you’ve got to fit trading into all of that. Because it’s no good doing a day trading system if you can’t be there during the day to place your orders. All you’re going to do is stuff it up and lose money. In my experience, what I found is when I try to do something that doesn’t fit my lifestyle, it just doesn’t gel or it doesn’t gel with my personality or my objectives, then I lose money because I make mistakes.
I think that’s the big challenge is to find the right method. Find the right method for you. When I overcame that, the trading results just improved so dramatically. So rewarding to be able to do that. I think that’s the key to almost every trader’s success.