Ever since I bought my first stock at the age of eighteen, I always had a job to rely on for my steady income. This meant that I felt no pressure to trade and could be patient in waiting for the right market environment and right setups to arise.
However that changed when I sold my business in early 2005 and decided to trade full-time. I suddenly felt a “pressure” to trade, knowing now that this was my only source of income.
I had just come off of a twenty year run in a business in which sixteen hour days and six-day weeks were the norm. If I was not constantly driving my business on a daily basis, not only would it stagnate, but it would ultimately fail. Because of this ingrained mentality, NOT trading on a daily basis felt counter intuitive to me.
I abandoned the previous style of trading that had worked for me so well and switched over to a “hyper trading” mode. I felt a need to constantly find setups to trade and thus I was continually switching between methodologies in an effort to drive my profits.
As you can guess this added up to a lot of frustration, a lot stress, and a lot of losing trades.
Then one day I came across a blog post on Trader X’s site called “Chasing Success.”
I talk to numerous people through email every week who are struggling to be successful at trading. And, I find two common traits in most of them:
1.) They trade too much – most of the people struggling make multiple trades daily, some as many as 10+ round trips.
2.) They have a lack of focus.
……I call this “chasing success”. The bottom line is the person does not spend enough time on any one method to really understand and execute it properly. They bounce around, and before they know it a lot of time has passed and they are still struggling.
If you pick something and stick to it, you get good at it. Once you get good at it – once you perfect it, THEN you can add something else to your arsenal.
Remember, this was in pre-StockTwits days, and up until that point I had never heard somebody talk so plainly and in such a common sense way about trading. It was as if a lightning bolt struck me and shocked my out of my sinning ways.
It took a while to completely sink in and I had a number of stumbles along the way, but it was the beginning of the transformation of my trading life. I began to take a “trade less, make more” approach and narrowed the types of trading setups I took to just a handful.
Trader X doesn’t post much anymore and he doesn’t seem to want to engage in tweeting (can you blame him), but he was a minimalist trader before it became the trend. And from his site I not only learned a ton about trading, but it was my first introduction to other great trading teachers like Trader Mike, Trader Jamie, and the High Chart Patterns Group.
I can only wonder what would have happened if I had never found that post.