When I started trading, I had a challenging time balancing it with school. There I was earning sufficient money for my age, while I had to attend my classes in order to graduate. By this point, I already knew that I didn’t need a diploma, because I already envisioned what I was gonna do for a living. It was simple:
- Be a licensed stock broker
- Trade for a living
- Be an entrepreneur
The mastery of any of these didn’t require a diploma. But yes, I still finished school to appease my parents and to justify the money they spent.
I cut lots of my classes because I was excited with the idea of making MONEY everyday. Who wouldn’t right? I remember, when I was starting.. it was an emotional roller coaster.
When I gained 6 digits my face would be like:
Then when I experienced losing 6 digits my face was like:
I’ll describe to you how I was when I was starting:
1. I didn’t have a personal system / strategy
2. I thought there was a magic indicator / formula. I was mainly studying Technical Analysis
3. I spent a lot of time listening to
EXPERT OPINION. Forums, FB, analyst views, etc. to come up with my trading decisions.
4. I was concerned with what other people were doing. I was looking for comfort and approval.
5. I was emotional. I ‘sighed’ every time I miss a big move, and I ‘cried’ every time I had a loss (metaphorically of course.)
6. I was always in a rush to bank in profits, fearing that it may go away. I was more tolerant in holding down to my losses as I was hoping that it will still recover.
7. I was focusing on being right, instead of making money.
8. I was always on the look for that one big trade. trying to go ALL IN–aiming for the jackpot.
9. I was too focused on the short-term fluctuations.
While I was generally a profitable trader, there were times when I thought my world was about to end because of some losing streaks. And to tell you the truth, I am really thankful for these losses–it is in this phase that I was really able to hone myself as a trader.
Every time I had a significant draw down, I always went back to the drawing board.. “study, reflect, refine, re-arm, and try again..” this is an ever-going cycle, even up to now. What’s cool about the market is you can never be complacent due to its dynamic nature.
Through the years here’s how I’ve changed:
1. I now have defined my personal system. This is my bread and butter as a trader.
2. I’ve realized there is no magic in the market, no single perfect method. All these methods whether FA, TA, quant, hulahoops, darts, shabu etc. are mere tools to increase the probabilities of your decisions. Keep it simple.
3. I now don’t give a shit about so called “
EXPERT OPINION”. There is no GOD in the markets, the only way to be consistently profitable in the markets is to develop yourself and your EDGE.
4.I realized that it didn’t matter whether you’re the only one believing in a certain stock. Your profitability won’t be affected by the number of your allies or compadres. The only ally that you need is the MARKET itself.
5. My emotions have now been subdued. If I make money cool. If I lose money, or miss an opportunity, I just curse for a while.. then snap, the burden is gone. I learned to take away emotions from things I can’t CONTROL.
When you develop your edge in the market, you’ll understand that all of these are merely fluctuations of the probabilities. Even if you miss a few plays, even if you lose some trades… End of the day, if you really have an edge over the market, sooner or later you will be able to identify new profitable plays in a matter of time. Stick to your game plan.
6. I now prefer to hold and stick to my winners up to the extent of their potential. I don’t hesitate to cut my losses, there is no room for hope, when my system says sell, or if I feel uncomfortable I immediately take action.
7. I realized that you don’t have to be right to make money. Yes, I may come up with a ten thousand page analysis of why stock XYZ should go up, but then if the market does not agree with me, my opinion is as good as trash. I’ve learned to detach my pride away from the markets. If the market is telling me otherwise, I can easily shift stances. Go with the FLOW.
8. As I’ve increased my size, I do not go all in.. (except in very special circumstances). I always take into consideration my exposure levels and my position sizing. Rather than aiming for one-time gains, I focus on CONSISTENCY. In effect, this clears the concern of any single trade ruining my whole portfolio. If one of my ideas screw up, I just move to the next candidate, with no emotional burden.
9. I realized the importance of PATIENCE. The biggest profits take TIME to materialize.
So back to our question….
When do you mature as a trader?
Suma total, for me, you’re a matured trader when you can stand on your own feet (INDEPENDENCE), because you’ve honed yourself in the ff aspects:
1. Trading Strategy
2. Risk Management
Nowadays.. whether I’m making money or losing money, you’ll probably see me with this reaction.