Psychological Journal

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Pension_Admin, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. I would like to start off a journal regarding my journey to become a successful trader. In this path, I will strive to achieve the Zen state of mind. This journal would be pure psychological. I will not post profit or loss because I do not care anymore.

    I would appreciate others to contribute to this journal rather they are profitable or not. It would be great to know what others are going through or have gone through in this journey.

    A little about me:
    I am in my late 20s and I have been trading on and off for about 7 years. I first began my trading career at a proprietary trading firm after my college graduation. My trading career lasted about 3 months in that firm. It was the worst 3 months of my life. Not only did I lost my job, I lost my confidence and my self-worth. I decided to give up trading for good and never look back. I took a turn to the accounting profession. It was a lot of work, but in no way compare to the emotional stress that I felt when I was at the trading firm. About a year ago, I obtained my accounting designation. It was suppose to be something to celebrate about but I thought differently. While everyone was celebrating their success in the convocation, I pondered if this is indeed success. I know I have gained my confidence back, but it is not even close to what I (and most of the traders out there) considered to be successful. It was then; I realized that I should go back to the market where I belong.

    I opened up a trading account with a fresh view and started trading. I had a little initial success, and I thought that everything “clicked”, but it was far from it. I traded for awhile but with no success. Then I started to wonder if my strategy work and if success is really possible in trading. In addition, I realized that I am getting older and I felt that I am stuck in a stage of life while everyone are moving forward and leaving me behind. As well, the failure rate in trading is just too high and I was losing the will to survive. I made up my mind to never EVER trade again. I gave up trading for good, but after a few months, I couldn’t resist to trade again. Trading is on my mind all the time. I think about trading so much that when you see me not talking, you can be sure that I am thinking about trading. While I was trading, I felt another “click”. This “click” is different from other any other “clicks” because it aligned all my previous “clicks” and made sense of them all in a chaotic way.

    Now, I will begin this chaotic journey while trying to achieve the Zen state of mind in my trading, my full-time job, and in my social life.

    Now, it's your turn!

  2. bighog

    bighog Guest

    Stress can be a motivation tool for the right person. Some people can not deal with stress. Personally i love stress, it makes me thing a lot harder and faster. Stress works.
  3. OK, since we are on psychological journey in a psychological journal. My goal is to trade without numbers. Exploring the value route and the t/a route, numbers defeat us. They are our enemy. How can I trade without numbers?

    Obviously at first glance, it is a numbers game and I should be so foolish yet when you apply/seek psychological effects of what moves a price, the number is insignificant.
  4. Interesting journal. I'm just starting off too, and taking a string of losses is the hardest part of this trading stuff to me. I've lost alot of my earlier confidence now too. I switched over from online poker to online trading, and most of the psycological aspects of it are the similar. It helps me to think about it terms of odds: If you're doing a bet you KNOW has 65% probability to make you $100. You wouldn't care if you lost once, twice, or three times in a row. You know long-term you're going to come out on top. $65 goes to you, and $35 goes to the house and players, every single bet, whether you win or lose. Part of every win will go back to paying for losers, no way around it. We just have to stay focused and have confidence in our system, and not deviate just because we hit a string of losses.

    I want to point out something like stress, something that motivates us, is just a tool to get us to where we want to be: a completely unemotional robotic trader, unconcerned about short-term results, executing each one as if we were doing systems trading.
  5. Beautifully transcribed. The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that this is a key factor why so many traders fail. Money affects us deeply and success often times is represented in wages or wealth. While the newbie trader is struggling to make a profit, others are already starting a career and making a nice living.

    The trader is under constant pressure to make money, yes even more money than anybody else. He thinks he has to earn an above-average income. Why else did he choose this path? He asserts that becoming wealthy as quickly as possible is inevitable to live the life of a trader because otherwise there are no resources to live off of while continuing this trading endeavour. Our mind is focused on the wrong thing and misleading us. We have to find this inner voice that misleads us and speak with it. Convince this voice that a comparison with others is counter-productive.

    Seeing others blossom in their careers puts us under time pressure and makes us trade huge sums that a rational approach would never allow. It begins with small losses. They become bigger and bigger the less money is left in the account. The balance is in a degressional curve down. Emotions should play a role, but not a role so big that we fail to make objective judgments. Start small. Be an independent thinker and success will follow automatically.

    No rush! We have plenty of time.
  6. Nice post.

    I've been trying to get my head around this one also.

    Not quitting while I'm ahead? ... probably my biggest flaw.

    Nice Journal
  7. Stress is a good thing. It messes up a lot of people because they instantly equate stress is bad. Thats not always the case. If you accept it and focus on it, it can help you.

    Usually when I feel stress it makes me think about what I need to be focusing on. Ask yourself "what is the stress trying to tell me?"

  8. Thanks, I seldom put that out here ( the trading without numbers comment). I think in one of Brights q/a in a magazine he made a comment that it is impossible to trade intraday without a chart, obviously that is a true statement but I was always challenged with the concept. Can you trade without a chart. Not that I could go anywhere with it but the fact to consider other influences with the greater emphasis on what is not number related.

    Re, quitting while one is ahead. The opposite being "missed" or "lost" opportunity. It is hard to quit while you are ahead. I did that ONCE lol, it was the extraneous factors that led to my decision. That being said, I suppose when you are ahead, it might be best to look outside the box for when to pack it in, as opposed to wether you met your goals or not.
  9. Thank you for this post! You are absolutely right, we have plenty of time. I will relax and enjoy the journey while I am at it.

  10. I find that trading without numbers and charts could be very volatile. This morning, my chaotic system gave me all counter-trend trades. I knew I was gonna get my butt kicked so bad if I follow it, but there was nothing else I could do, because that was what my system told me to do and I had to follow it. All the trades turns out to be losers, but to me, it is absolutely alright, since I don't care anymore. I found out that one bad day doesn't not equal failure and one good day does not equal success.

    #10     Apr 1, 2008