Thought-provoking quotes

Yes. That could be. I think for some, when their eyes are on the prize and nothing else, a failure is just a stepping stone. Imagine if Thomas Edison gave up before inventing the light bulb.

From google:

As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times.”

We can use different words, but refusing to quit is a mindset. How encouraging!!

I should have posted Thomas Edison sooner! haha

This is a good question! :smiley:
I don’t claim to have any absolute truths about it but I do have some opinions on the matter. :slight_smile:

One could start with a question:

  • Why does a person work as a forex trader in a bank if he only receives a salary, and maybe a small bonus for achievement, while he is earning a lot more money for his employer?

Clearly, the answer is not the dream of making a huge fortune!

And I think this is a clue to the difference between the mindset of those that persevere and get there and those that rush in and crash out.

A retail trader is a self-employed manager of his/her own business. Those that stay the course are those that want this kind of business and take pride in building it along the same lines as any other successful business. It includes selecting the right products, strategies, targets and risk exposure. It requires a plan and review procedures. It involves continuous education, skills development, and awareness of developments within the industry and relevant markets.

Imagine that you are going to see a bank manager for a business loan to start a new business. What is the bank manager going to ask and want to see? These are the same things that a trader needs to look at.

But that is not enough. The successful trader also needs to have a strong personal interest in the markets and a whole string of personal attributes that match and counter the pressures and demands that occur along the way. Above all, they also need to be able to manage themselves as a sole employer/employee, which takes a lot of discipline.

I would also add that the successful trader is one who can focus on the overall position over time and not just on the current trade. For example, revenge trading is usually driven by irritation over a loss on one particular trade. This is not good business. We all know that losing trades is part of the business just like the overheads in any other form of business. A balanced business trader has already accepted a level of losses and will only be comcerned if they stem from rogue trades or start to total more than planned.

Well, that¨s just a few thoughts off the top of my head. There is certainly a lot more meat on this particular bone… :slight_smile:

Ah but that does not mean he was “obsessed”! :smiley:

He just knew what was possible and had the tenacity and drive to work at it… :slight_smile:

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Do you have any suggestions for when motivation is low?

Do you mean in general or in trading?

With trading I think emotions run the full range and one has to accept that - and I think one gets accustomed to it, too!

I had a low spell only last week. Here is a chart extract of one of my regular markets, the US30. My mainTF is 1H and I tend to look for new brief moves of a few hours driven by fresh momentum, i.e. surfing the new waves (I don’t call these “trends” on such a short term chart). So a quick look at the rectangle in this chart from last week will give a clear guess how my trading went through that period! :slight_smile:

It happens from time to time and is anticipated and recognised - but still demotivates when there is a string of losses.

Some would say that In these situations it is best to walk away and take a break. But I usually just turn to another instrument, usually forex like EU,GU or EG and just punt a few quick trades off the 15min chart. IT doesn’t earn that much but it rekindles my interest.

I think it is important to try to analyse precisely what is causing the lack of motivation in order to judge the best solution. For me, trading is not about making big money, for me it is similar to a game of chess where I have to pick a strategy and choose my moves and anticipate those of the “opponent”, the market. So winning for me is about outsmarting the market and therefore losses means the market was smarter! :smiley: That is ok in general, but if I get a string of losses then… :angry:

But then it is always worth checking why such a situation arises and if there is doubt that the strategy is faulty then one can immerse oneself in dismantling the strategy elements, check and change if necessary. This is also a good time to maybe check back on some of those books that one read and already forgotten about!

But I think one practice that helps avoid a dented motivation is to plan one’s trading in detail. Then one can, and should, compare performance with the plan as time evolves and evaluate the differences, good and bad, and make any necessary changes to the plan. The plan becomes a living component of the overall business and is, in itself, the prime motivator.

All businesses have good and bad periods and it is important to always know where you stand compared with the “big picture”. Each single trade is (or at least should be!) only one small piece in the jigsaw. If it doesn’t fit, try another - just don’t lose sight of the finished picture - a bit like Thomas Edison! :smiley:

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It sounds like you learned what is best for you. Was that a process for you? Did you have times that you did walk away and take a breather?

So true! I’ve gone back to the drawing board so many times! And still do! I like the word you used. ¨Immerse¨. I feel like you can immerse yourself, and try to figure it out sooner, or drag it out over years. Possibly forever. I think just about any strategy can be profitable.
If you gave me your strategy, I’m sure that we would get different results. We are two separate individuals with different brains and different tendencies. Eventually, I’m gonna morph your strategy into something else. But, if I stay at it, I can turn it back into a winning strategy that’s tailored for me.

But to do that, like you said, you gotta dismantle the strategy elements and see what’s going on. It’s a frustrating process. And sometimes you feel like you’re chasing your own tail! haha. That’s when patience and persistence pay off. Keep adjusting and checking results.

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I think it is always a process. I think the question is whether the process is a straight line or a long and winding road! :slight_smile:

As I mentioned to you, my first years in forex trading were in a commercial bank forex dept. If one was having a bad day you didn’t just go home! Actually, the vast bulk of work there was not speculative trading at all. It was mainly customer driven: customer orders and covering the bank’s own related exposures. One had a personal limit to take speculative positions, but there was always a lot of other routine work that had to be dealt with. The day always started with a group meeting discussing markets, orders, exposures, etc. So one’s speculative trading was always only a small spot on the big picture. One doesn’t get emotional about that, especially when it is the bank’s money anyway!

But once I changed employers and started as a retail trader, it was a very different environment. It did actually take several years to fully adapt to small scale positioning and exposures and targets and stops - and risking one’s own money.

But I think the key is still to have a “big picture”, a structured and detailed plan about how one is going to trade, what strategy, what instruments, what risk exposures, etc. Then one is no longer blinkered and “obsessed” with just the current trade. It is only a one step in the plan. And it is the plan that is monitored and adjusted as necessary, or desired, as time unfolds. In this way, the process evolves in a continuous, systematic, and progressive manner.

It is often said that a good trader can profit even with a poor strategy, but a poor trader will never succeed even with the best strategy. And I think the message lies clearly in that statement.

As you say, different people will obtain different results even with the same strategy (unless it is automated). And the clear reason for this is that the result is down to the trader and not the strategy at all. And yet we spend nearly all our time focusing on strategies instead of on the real issue - the trader himself! :slight_smile:

You are absolutely correct that no one would trade my strategy the way I do because it is so discretionary and a lot of the decision input comes from outside the chart itself. I only have a few MA’s on my charts, nothing more. It is enough. But I do look a lot at other external factors as an overlay on top of what the charts are suggesting. This is surely what “discretionary” means?

One of the key attributes of the trader himself is knowing when not to trade. The market does not kindly offer up a trade every day and we shouldn’t force a trade onto it. Then there are upcoming data releases, public holidays, global events, even weekends, when we need to think carefully about what we are doing.

But these are topics that have been discussed many times everywhere. I am just trying to emphasise that the strategy itself is not the answer to success, it is you, the trader. All strategies are built from the left hand side of current price - but we are concerned with what happens on the right hand side of that price. The skill in reading the likelihoods and probabilities on that side is where the money lies - and only then if adequate risk/management criteria are observed.

Just some thoughts, all of which are entirely personal and not intended to influence anyone else. Everyone has their own views on these issues - but they are worth talking about anyway! :smiley:


Happened to see this on a BP page:

“The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.”
Lee Iacocca

Therein lies the value of writing out your strategy in full and in concrete terms and journalling your trades in the light of that strategy.

It focuses your mind, clarifies your intentions, and identifies your successes and errors. You avoid spontaneous and revenge trading, it develops discipline and patience and also provides a reliable source of data with which to evaluate your strategy and results over time.

This is a rather different type of quote - but thought-provoking nonetheless…

I was reading an article on Investing,com which seemed very knowledgeable, informative and well-written…

…and then at the end of the article was the last line:

"Disclaimer: This article was generated with the assistance of an artificial intelligence tool. "

Is this the way we are going to follow the markets in the future? Will the majority of traders be informed and influenced by the output from AI?

I find this rather disturbing :thinking:

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Certainly! Here are some thought-provoking quotes for you:

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve Jobs

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” - Sun Tzu

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” - Peter Drucker

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” - Steve Jobs

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” - Mark Zuckerberg

These quotes can inspire reflection, motivation, and new perspectives. Use them as prompts for deeper contemplation or share them in relevant discussions to spark interesting conversations.

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Thankyou, @KaziTanzib for your contributions to the thread, they are very relevant. :slightly_smiling_face:

From a trading perspective, I would qualify Mark Zuckerberg’s quote by emphasising that we are not dealing with just taking “any risk”, we are working with quantified and managed risk. Just taking a risk, any risk, is gambling and not trading.

The only way we can make a profit is by being in the market. And being in the market means we are taking a risk. Therefore it is crucial that we identify, limit and manage our risk exposure with respect to our anticipated gains and, perhaps even more importantly, with respect to our account equity.

Thanks again for the contributions! :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:

Hello Sovo!
The one by the illustrious Jesse Livermore,

Markets are never wrong; opinions often are.

I accept all my mistakes and losses by just reminding myself of this sentence.

Hey @Margaretwantstotrade! Thank you for adding this one! Jesse Livermore certainly has a lot to offer for today’s traders - although I am not sure that one should follow his personal example too closely! :slight_smile:

Yes indeed, especially if one is a fundamental trader (is anyone nowadays?) This reminds me of the short but very appropriate lesson: " Trade what you see". That might sound a bit obvious but I wonder how often we override what our charts are telling us with our own opinions?

That is a very good approach. I would add a few caveats to it. Firstly, mistakes are ok and acceptable provided we recognise them and learn from them. Its all part of the journey.

But losses are a little different. In any business one has to spend money to make money. Trading is no different except that we call our expenses “losses”. Its a misleading term!

Whatever instrument we trade our product is always the same: probability. And if we are trading probabilities then inevitably we are sometimes wrong. In order to be right we need to also be wrong. The issue then is not to try and avoid losses, but to manage them!

If we are in a car trying to find a certain location we may take any number of wrong turnings along the way. But as soon as we realise we are wrong we stop and turn back. Unfortunately, in trading, when we realise we have a wrong position, we decide to continue with it in the hope it might actually eventually end up being right. It rarely does!

Well, thank you!
You completed my sentences in a way I could not do them on my own!

Actually, I know fundamental traders that trade stocks and even gold! So that’s what you said!

and that shows the importance of controlling ourselves!
You added really great points, and I appreciate that!

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“Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.” - Winston Churchill

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"There is no such thing as cheap. There is no such thing as expensive either.
There is just “the price”. " - Tom Hougaard

“If you put in 10% effort, don’t expect to get 100% of the outcome.”

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I’m glad I read this again. It took me a long time to accept this. Just because I draw a line where 2 points meet, that doesn’t mean price will bounce that. The market doesn’t care what trend lines I draw. It might bounce, it might not.

The best thing for me to do habitually, is to wait for a signal–not just trade anything. Wait for a signal, take the trade, then be patient and see what price does after that.

Don’t close too early over some jitters. Be patient!

One of the hardest lessons to learn is patience. Who would’ve thought that learning analysis is the easier part?

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Yes, sometimes I feel so sorry for the poor old market. All these thousands of traders keep subjectively drawing all these lines and adding various values and types of MA’s etc, and they each expect the poor old market to observe their particular version of S/R. But the poor old market only has one price at any one time so how can it decide who to keep happy and who to offend? Its like how does Father Christmas deal with being in the same place at the same time all over the world? At least Father Christmas has time zones to help a bit. But the poor old market is expected to observe everyone’s personal subjective interpretations simultaneously, and even to the precise pip. It is no wonder that the price wobbles all over the place at times. And then all those that were disappointed with it start to rant and rave at the poor old market and blame it for all their woes.

There was a time, a long time ago, when there was no such thing as technical analysis. And the market was free to go wherever the wind blew it. The shortest timeframe anyone could look at was daily. Intraday was just a price stream.

But then along came personal computers and technical analysis and the poor old market found itself trapped inside a cage built by traders who try to tell it how to behave, and where it can and cannot go. Trouble is, some traders demand it to go one way whilst, simultaneously, others are demanding it to go the other way.

For this reason, I don’t really like the word “signals”. It is too close to the core problem with humans. As a race, we always strive to find logic and reason in everything and search for patterns and order. We need these to reassure our minds that everything is “fine” in our universe. The term “signal” suggests something definite and reliable. This does not exist in markets.

This is the inherent weakness with indicators. They are used to find logic and reason by applying mathematical formulas to market data which is variably irrational and erratic. That is not the same thing as random. It just means that any indicator will only work when the market price movement happens to be in synch with the mathematical formula that is processing it

I prefer the concept of “bias”. I think the core benefit of TA, whether it is indicators or PA or both, is to provide some kind of structural identity to the current mood of the market. “Bias” allows the trader to be wrong, and that being wrong is ok. Reading the current bias gives us a directional edge (but not certainty) whilst managing risk exposure helps ensure that the gains from the right decisions exceeds the losses from the wrong decisions. And whilst that is occurring, we can be happy. :smiley:

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Cognitive dissonance?? What cognitive dissonance?? I’m a trader not a psychologist…

“Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so this conflict causes unpleasant feelings of unease or discomfort.”

“The inconsistency between what people believe and how they behave motivates them to engage in actions that will help minimize feelings of discomfort. People attempt to relieve this tension in different ways, such as by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding new information.”

Have you been there? Your trusted chart set-up is showing a great opportunity but your mind is telling you the opposite? You dither and delay and feel really uncomfortable about it. Why? Because you are basically arguing with yourself, yes or no? Trade or not?

This is a really big problem in trading and needs to be eradicated. Perhaps the most common reason for this situation is linking with the experience from a previous failure. Fear of losing more, a lurking lack of trust in your strategy.

The end result can be very damaging:

  1. You ignore the set-up and the price goes as expected and you kick yourself for having ignored it.

  2. You take the trade and it goes as expected and you close it prematurely in relief at booking at least something - and kick yourself when the price continues in the right direction.

  3. You ignore the trade and it would have lost. The decision was right but trust in the method is further diluted.

  4. You take the trade and it loses. The hesitation and conflict between charts and mind deepens exponentially.

It is so important to learn to disassociate any link between the current trade and previous history. Each trade is unique in itself and unrelated to any previous or future trade. It is one step on a winding road. Some step back, some forwards.

If one cannot disassociate the current trade setup from earlier history then one’s mind is not free to see things objectively and without bias.

Easier said than done…but the first step is recognising the present of cognitive dissonance - arguing with yourself.

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