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rxs0005

Gun Shy Cant Pull the Trigger

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Please note that I do not generally promote my services in this forum. My intent is to keep a fairly clean separation between my participation here and my business. These forums provide a great arena to see the struggles of traders as they learn what it takes to trade successfully, both from a method perspective and a psychological perspective. So I participate. I find Siuya an interesting voice, often at odds with my perspective, but also important to my growth as a trader psychologist. His perspective is usually well grounded in experience and performance, so I listen. Whether I like what he says or not. My likes and dislikes are really not important to me. Performance in a domain always trumps my biases (most of the time). And I'm interested in Steve's students performances over time.

Rande Howell

 

Yes I think the key to any evaluation of a method is just that. Consistent performance over time.

and in addition, although I cannot compel anyone to do this, I will suggest to my students that they come back to the forum and talk about their experiences and some of the challenges they had to deal with during their training.

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Please note that I do not generally promote my services in this forum. My intent is ...

 

Rande Howell

 

Don't give me that "Holier than Thou" sweet talk. LOL...

 

Make no mistake, you are promoting your services here, same as a number of others.

Albeit you are doing it in a classy and not "In-Your-Face" manner.

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Don't give me that "Holier than Thou" sweet talk. LOL...

 

Make no mistake, you are promoting your services here, same as a number of others.

Albeit you are doing it in a classy and not "In-Your-Face" manner.

 

Yes Rande why is it that you choose to use your real name on an anonymous forum? If you had remained anonymous then you wouldn't have to run to your lawyer every time you are criticised.

 

I guess it would be difficult to direct punters to your paid for services if you remained anonymous.

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Don't give me that "Holier than Thou" sweet talk. LOL...

 

Make no mistake, you are promoting your services here, same as a number of others.

Albeit you are doing it in a classy and not "In-Your-Face" manner.

 

No Holier than Thou. My statement was "generally". If a person seeks me out, I'm not hard to find. If my intent was primarily to promote, there would be alot more nuanced invitations. I probably get more writing ideas out of these discussions than anything else.

 

One of the ones that really intrigues me currently is how traders break out over their approach to the markets. I see two primary streams. One approach is of personal growth where trading becomes the context that a person learns about himself and changes for a deeper experience of his humanness. Deeper joy and satisfaction out of life come out of this. And certainly this is my primary interest. On the other hand I see traders develop a calloused approach to trading in the markets, where it's really about dog eat dog. I have seen both successfully make money. The invention of the future becomes very different though. People who work with me discover fairly quickly that my work really isn't about trading, that's the context; it's about who they are in the world. The problems traders experience in trading are the same problems they have avoided in other domains of their lives. Trading just doesn't give much wiggle room though. If you're going to become successful, you will have to face your psychological demons. Trading leaves the trader no long term choice about. And that's why I like working with traders.

 

Rande Howell

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No Holier than Thou. My statement was "generally". If a person seeks me out, I'm not hard to find. If my intent was primarily to promote, there would be alot more nuanced invitations. I probably get more writing ideas out of these discussions than anything else.

 

One of the ones that really intrigues me currently is how traders break out over their approach to the markets. I see two primary streams. One approach is of personal growth where trading becomes the context that a person learns about himself and changes for a deeper experience of his humanness. Deeper joy and satisfaction out of life come out of this. And certainly this is my primary interest. On the other hand I see traders develop a calloused approach to trading in the markets, where it's really about dog eat dog. I have seen both successfully make money. The invention of the future becomes very different though. People who work with me discover fairly quickly that my work really isn't about trading, that's the context; it's about who they are in the world. The problems traders experience in trading are the same problems they have avoided in other domains of their lives. Trading just doesn't give much wiggle room though. If you're going to become successful, you will have to face your psychological demons. Trading leaves the trader no long term choice about. And that's why I like working with traders.

 

Rande Howell

 

> The problems traders experience in trading are the same problems they have avoided in other domains of their lives.

 

I agree.

 

People approach their trading problems with the same method they used to "subdue" their other problems,

with decidedly predictable results.

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> The problems traders experience in trading are the same problems they have avoided in other domains of their lives.

 

I agree.

 

People approach their trading problems with the same method they used to "subdue" their other problems,

with decidedly predictable results.

 

Similarly, the methods one uses to successfully deal with other problems in their lives are not always the same methods they can use to deal with problems in trading.

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Similarly, the methods one uses to successfully deal with other problems in their lives are not always the same methods they can use to deal with problems in trading.

 

Very interesting! and totally agree. It is amazing how our trading style becomes a mirror of our inner emotions. The big big difference is that the results of our actions in trading are instantaneous. If we let our emotions take control of us, we more than likely lose money and if this is a pattern, soon we get shut down! The market could become our very best straightforward teacher.:doh:

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Very interesting! and totally agree. It is amazing how our trading style becomes a mirror of our inner emotions. The big big difference is that the results of our actions in trading are instantaneous. If we let our emotions take control of us, we more than likely lose money and if this is a pattern, soon we get shut down! The market could become our very best straightforward teacher.:doh:

 

This is one of the more perceptive posts that I have read on this site...To go a bit further let me say this....I am in the beginning stages of teaching a small group of traders...during the screening process I had to refuse some folks because in my opinion, they did not have the ability to control their emotional state while trading. I know from experience that no matter what system they used, no matter how much personal time you spent trying to educate them, they would at some point experience trading as so stressful that they would not be able to focus, and this would show itself as an inability to enter a position (they would consider it too risky) or the inability to hold a position once they were filled (too much physical tension) and finally over the longer term, they would not be able to tolerate a drawdown. Psychologically they would be beaten before they started....

I agree Bonchi, the market could be an excellent teacher IF the student had the ability to see what their problem was...can a person learn that way? One hopes so....otherwise some folks will never make it in this business.

Thanks for the excellent post.

Steve

Edited by steve46

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Very interesting! and totally agree. It is amazing how our trading style becomes a mirror of our inner emotions. The big big difference is that the results of our actions in trading are instantaneous. If we let our emotions take control of us, we more than likely lose money and if this is a pattern, soon we get shut down! The market could become our very best straightforward teacher.:doh:

 

I depend on this observation. The key is learning to work with emotions. They can teach us much about ourselves if we are willing to listen.

 

Rande Howell

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Very interesting! and totally agree. It is amazing how our trading style becomes a mirror of our inner emotions. The big big difference is that the results of our actions in trading are instantaneous. If we let our emotions take control of us, we more than likely lose money and if this is a pattern, soon we get shut down! The market could become our very best straightforward teacher.:doh:

 

If by emotions one means fear, then there are some very simple and practical things that just about everyone can do to stop letting fear invade their trading. Most won't need medication or to rehash past events. Likely those who do need medication or therapy to deal with fear should not be trading in the first place.

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If by emotions one means fear, then there are some very simple and practical things that just about everyone can do to stop letting fear invade their trading. Most won't need medication or to rehash past events. Likely those who do need medication or therapy to deal with fear should not be trading in the first place.

 

By emotions I mean greed, fear, ego...etc. You name it!! I think trading brings them all out. I agree, I think we should not try to learn how to control our emotions with medication. We live in a society where we are so used to immediate gratification tha we dont want to do the work. As far as therapy, I think that is an approach that a person can take to learn how to deal with all the emotions. I think at some point that fearful feeling could come to us while trading. The point is to know how to deal with it but you cannot deny we all have experienced it at some level while trading.

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By emotions I mean greed, fear, ego...etc. You name it!! I think trading brings them all out. I agree, I think we should not try to learn how to control our emotions with medication. We live in a society where we are so used to immediate gratification tha we dont want to do the work. As far as therapy, I think that is an approach that a person can take to learn how to deal with all the emotions. I think at some point that fearful feeling could come to us while trading. The point is to know how to deal with it but you cannot deny we all have experienced it at some level while trading.

 

Of course! Fear has to be dealt with and for most people it should be easy to deal with. If it's not easy then they are approaching it the wrong way or they should really find another career. I say it's easy because most people do not have the type of issues that would make it difficult to deal with fear. Most of the time it is a misapplied emotion.

 

Unbridled greed is bad. That is the greed that I believe you and most refer to when you consider greed as a negative. On the other hand, greed is what creates excess wealth. There are few people who have amassed fortunes in any field that were not greedy. If you want to make money trading, then you have to trade in small profits for large profits. A lot of times when you make that trade, you would have been better off with the small profit instead of going for the large profit, but you won't know that at the time and then you'll feel anger (maybe violence sometimes). Without the large gains, you greatly impede your ability to succeed. So, I think, a healthy dose of greed is good for a trader.

 

Anyhow there are no absolutes. Things can be looked at from many different angles.

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...Likely those who do need medication or therapy to deal with fear should not be trading in the first place.

 

Funniest post at TL in a long, long time, MM - thanks for putting a smile on my face that doesn't seem in any hurry to go away.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Thales

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Of course! Fear has to be dealt with and for most people it should be easy to deal with. If it's not easy then they are approaching it the wrong way or they should really find another career. I say it's easy because most people do not have the type of issues that would make it difficult to deal with fear. Most of the time it is a misapplied emotion.

 

Unbridled greed is bad. That is the greed that I believe you and most refer to when you consider greed as a negative. On the other hand, greed is what creates excess wealth. There are few people who have amassed fortunes in any field that were not greedy. If you want to make money trading, then you have to trade in small profits for large profits. A lot of times when you make that trade, you would have been better off with the small profit instead of going for the large profit, but you won't know that at the time and then you'll feel anger (maybe violence sometimes). Without the large gains, you greatly impede your ability to succeed. So, I think, a healthy dose of greed is good for a trader.

 

Anyhow there are no absolutes. Things can be looked at from many different angles.

 

You are absolutely right. Greed is good when used correctly and yes in small amounts. A lot of people are looking for the big move that sometimes never comes. It is better to be consistent and disciplined every day.

 

I have found that discipline is if not the most important factor when it comes to trading. Discipline is what makes you or breaks you. Another one is patience, which goes along with discipline teaching you to wait for the right entry and controlling you from acting emotionally.

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Here is a recent interview by Karen Gibbs of MoneyShow.com concerning emotions and trading. MoneyShow.com: Video

 

Rande Howell

 

Thanks so much for sharing this. It is so true! We look at times for personal validation in the market. I am trying to disconeect from this need and it has been extremely hard. I have the intellectual understanding and I know that the hardest is to put all these concepts into practice. It is refreshing to hear reminders like this one.!

Thanks again!

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Thanks so much for sharing this. It is so true! We look at times for personal validation in the market. I am trying to disconeect from this need and it has been extremely hard. I have the intellectual understanding and I know that the hardest is to put all these concepts into practice. It is refreshing to hear reminders like this one.!

Thanks again!

 

It is this brain/mind stuff that creates unexamined habits and patterns that limit the mindset that you bring to trading. It is hard to to observe, disrupt, heal, and reorganize self limiting way of interpreting the world and our participation in this dance. Trading requires this kind of re-attunement as you deepen your committemnt to building the mind for successful trading.

 

Rande Howell

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It is this brain/mind stuff that creates unexamined habits and patterns that limit the mindset that you bring to trading. It is hard to to observe, disrupt, heal, and reorganize self limiting way of interpreting the world and our participation in this dance. Trading requires this kind of re-attunement as you deepen your committemnt to building the mind for successful trading.

 

Rande Howell

 

Well said!!!

I have heard that what you resist "persists." This has been a hard to concept to truly understand since we do not want to give into bad behaviors. Do you agree with this statement? or in your opinion what is the best way to achieve re-attunement?

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Well said!!!

I have heard that what you resist "persists." This has been a hard to concept to truly understand since we do not want to give into bad behaviors. Do you agree with this statement? or in your opinion what is the best way to achieve re-attunement?

 

losing money over an over again might eventually cause you to re-attune :)

 

A friend of mine used to call golf a game of opposites and when its explained in regards many golfing aspects it makes sense - and that is an equally tough mental game to conquer. Hence your what you resist persists comment seemed similar - quick fixes and moving alignment further to the left to fix a slice does not work. (and personally I find golf a far better mental comparison to trading than poker is :2c:)

 

In terms of the best way to achieve it - as a suggestion - recognize that it is an issue (maybe its not :)), and then work out if there is a problem what aspect of your trading it is affecting. You dont want to stuff up areas that work in the pursuit of some fix for some thing else.....do this before you even worry about how to fix it.

 

and sometimes its a simple as this - some people should not be trading - what they are trying to get out of trading is completely in contradiction with their personality or desires - give the money to someone else and get a job you enjoy...

Edited by SIUYA

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Well said!!!

I have heard that what you resist "persists." This has been a hard to concept to truly understand since we do not want to give into bad behaviors. Do you agree with this statement? or in your opinion what is the best way to achieve re-attunement?

 

This is a well traveled moniker. And like all things generalized, there is truth to it. A more rigorous way of describing the struggle behind the statement is that if we resist re-organizing ourselves to higher functioning by some sort of psychological defense that keeps a defined self limiting pattern in place, then yes the pattern will persist. Resisting takes serious courage to confront. And as SUIYA noted, not everyone is built to champion themselves. Some simply will not summon the strength to re-organize self. They shouldn't trade. I agree. It's the size of the universe that we precieve differently.

 

The place where I would differ is that I hold that most anyone, willing to confront the self and the self delusions they have come to believe, can achieve this. I acknowledge that I've worked with a few OCD'ers that I've finally had to realize were not going to change, but for the most of us -- we are not genetically predisposed to these levels of resistance. Most of our resistence is within us. And all trading is doing is shoving our resistance to transformation into our faces.

 

You really do have to decide if you are going to become the person who can trade well. It will not be the person who first starts trading.

 

I am giving free webinar presentations on this very topic over the next two week either from my website or from some of our affiliates who carry our educational programming. If you are interested, seek them out. Otherwise, let's keep talking.

 

Rande Howell

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"The problems traders experience in trading are the same problems they have avoided in other domains of their lives."

 

If the above statement is true (which I believe it to be)

 

then (to me) it would seem the below statement is incorrect.

 

Similarly, the methods one uses to successfully deal with other problems in their lives are not always the same methods they can use to deal with problems in trading.

 

Does our fear know we are trading as opposed to starting a new business, bidding on a new project, asking that women at the bar out on a date?

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"The problems traders experience in trading are the same problems they have avoided in other domains of their lives."

 

If the above statement is true (which I believe it to be)

 

then (to me) it would seem the below statement is incorrect.

 

"Similarly, the methods one uses to successfully deal with other problems in their lives are not always the same methods they can use to deal with problems in trading."

 

 

:2c: one statement does not make the other incorrect but more along the lines of .....

the first statement is about avoiding problems, whilst the second statement is in dealing with problems.

 

Trading usually forces you to deal with problems that you CANNOT afford to avoid and the methods you have previously used to deal with other problems in life dont necessarily work as effectively when it comes to trading....should you choose to employ them rather than avoid the issues.

 

as to your second thought......

 

Does our fear know we are trading as opposed to starting a new business, bidding on a new project, asking that women at the bar out on a date?

 

it is related to the first statement as I feel that the whole fear/ego thing to do with trading shows us up in the clear fresh light many other endeavors fail to do so so glaringly (if that makes sense)

When it comes to trading your PL is all that matters at the end of the day. Whereas starting a new business takes time and a myriad of issues can cloud why its successful or not, like asking someone out for a date......what constitutes success in this arena? The instantaneous PL in the red or the black is like an immediate reminder of right or wrong, and applying the same problem solving techniques to getting a successful date may not work in the market.......however viewing the whole thing as a numbers game might :)

 

Either way keeping to the thread topic - you have to pull the trigger to participate and being gun shy (or trigger happy ) both in dating and trading parlance usually ends in embarrassment.

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"The problems traders experience in trading are the same problems they have avoided in other domains of their lives."

 

If the above statement is true (which I believe it to be)

 

then (to me) it would seem the below statement is incorrect.

 

 

 

Does our fear know we are trading as opposed to starting a new business, bidding on a new project, asking that women at the bar out on a date?

 

The mammalian brain works on an instictual level rather than a thinking level. It is born into circumstance and adapts survival patterns to manage the business of staying alive in a dangerous world and to procreate. The problem is that it tends to keep on re-creating the circumstance to which it is born. This is adaptation. That's why people keep finding themselves doing the same ineffective things over and over again. A familiar pattern is created and that pattern takes over the creation of our lives -- totally out of our awareness.

 

The next piece is that the mammalian brain does not distinguish between uncertainty, worry, and fear. So the uncertainty of pulling the trigger or being in a trade triggers a fear response to most traders. This is what has to be decoupled.

 

Other people come into trading with very successful patterns from other domains where aggressiona and assertiveness have served them well only to find they really blow themselves up in trading. They have to change patterns to match up with what brings success in trading.

 

Rande Howell

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"The problems traders experience in trading are the same problems they have avoided in other domains of their lives."

 

The problem with this statement is that it doesn't differentiate between problems dealing with actual trading (what can be called "trading problems") and problems experienced by someone sitting in front of the screens thinking what he's doing is trading.

 

Here is the original poster's problem as he describes it:

 

i need some advice i have been paper trading on a strategy i have had quite a decent success with about 76% wins

 

but i just cant seem to pull the trigger in the real market

 

what do i do

 

What is being described is really not a "trading problem" per se. I liken it to the novice chessplayer who has no trouble at all playing casual blitz games on the computer or against his pals but when he goes to the park and plays against a stranger for $20 per game, he forgets all his preparation and goes into a panic. Is what he's experiencing a "problem of chess"? It is mental for sure, but does he need a shrink to fix it or start delving into his history and how it was full of lack and limitation? What if the stakes were 25 cents and he had been going to the park for a year playing all comers? What if the person across the board from him was a familiar patzer he had beaten many times before? Then maybe he can focus on the game itself and the problems on the board and make what he understands to be the best moves to win.

 

Some examples of trading problems are the following:

 

How do I determine the current sentiment and its strength?

How do I determine when the sentiment changes?

How do I determine a retrace from a reversal?

How do I know a breakout will fail?

How do I know a breakout will continue?

What precedes a breakout?

What is the difference between an expansion of the price boundary on the left side versus the right?

Etc.

 

Most people who sit at screens thinking they are traders are unaware of actual trading problems. How can they be expected to find workable solutions that would vastly improve their game? These people go bust without ever discovering what the game is.

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