It took me years before I became a competent trader.
I didn’t so much, blow up my account as suffer a death of thousand cuts.
I had stunning wins, handled my losses well – but over traded like it was going out of style
After 8 years finally, I was forced to take a trading hiatus – which turned out to be the best thing I ever did.
My weaknesses as a trader are many – I probably shouldn’t even be trading at all.
I am ADHD with all that that entails, I’ve an addictive personality, and I’m indecisive much of the time, or maybe not - lol.
Together that’s a part of the reason it took me so long to get my crap together.
The other part was sheer ignorance, stubbornness and an unwillingness to keep records.
Despite all that I have an insane ability to keep getting back up after being knocked down, and stubbornness to be a trader no matter what.
Anyway, here is a list of the top five lessons I have learned on the journey so far.
Silver is not going to da moon anytime soon
For about 3 years all I ever did was trade silver – and from the long side only. Looking back it was a miraculous feat because I was the ultimate patient trader.
Sometimes waiting weeks – even months for setups.
But I was convinced it was going to da moon. I followed every gold and silver website, guru and news report related to the metal.
I knew every conspiracy theory of how the evil bullion banks, particularly JP Morgan were artificially holding down the price so the even more evil Federal Reserve could inflate away the currency a la Weimar Republic.
These days I am much wiser – the Fed and JP Morgan are, probably evil in some way but there are much better markets to trade – rather than wasting years hoping JP Morgan would have to cover its shorts.
When I stopped trading silver I wanted to make up for all those wasted years and I thought day trading was the way to do it.
But as an impulsive, impatience, indecisive, trader with an addictive personality, you can imagine how that went.
For the record, I think day trading isn’t suitable for most people, its hard real hard. But I was not cut out to do it for sure.
Sometimes I’d have big wins, and think this was going to be the new normal – it never was. I always returned to stupid impulsive trading, and just couldn’t stick to any trading plan for more than five minutes.
Trading non-farm payroll
While as I was day trading, I kept finding myself with open positions on the first Friday of every month. It was like groundhog day.
After losing pretty much every trade that day, I vowed I’d never trade NFPs again, only to be caught doing the same a month later.
I was too lazy to look at the economic calendar.
I swear I would still be getting killed by non-farm payrolls today if I hadn’t switched to a daily timeframe. As an end of day trader, economic releases just don’t trigger stops that much.
So many problems stem from a lack of patience and I was the most impatient person I had ever met.
I was also the most impatient person everyone else I knew had ever met.
The only thing that taught me patience was losing the money in my account; followed by a year in exile trading on a demo.
I am much better now, but patience is one of the hardest trading lessons of all to learn – especially if you are in a rush to make money.
Doing other things
The best advice I can give to a budding trader is don’t start – seriously.
The second-best bit of advice I’d give is to get a sideline business, calling, or mission in life - that isn’t trading.
The less interested we are in trading results, the better those results tend to be. It’s like when a guy gets oneitis for a certain female, she runs a mile. But the moment he has more than one option things get interesting.
You will do much better as a trader when it’s not a central focus of your life.
I just wish I’d learned that a lot sooner.