The Blog Post That Changed My Trading Life.

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.

See The Complete “Chasing Success” Post (Trader X)

Wall St. Warrior (Trader Jamie)

High Chart Patterns Group (HCPG)

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  • http://twitter.com/BeFullyInformed Teddi Knight

    Absolutely great advice. Overtrading is a problem for a lot of retail investors. When I was mentored back in 1970 (Yikes I am old), that was the first lesson taught. Stop overtrading. Instead set an annual goal, pick large cap quality companies and put together option strategies that work. Then have the patience to wait to apply them. All of this paid off with annual double digit returns since 1973. Even the great bear market of 1974 instead of wiping out my account came close to doubling it and that was when there were no ultra bear funds or many options available.
    Overtrading is a common issue and when an investor loses in a trade he looks back to the same stock and tries to get that loss back immediately. This is a mistake. It’s like a bad date. You know its gonna be bad yet you think maybe we could be friends. No, its a bad date and like a bad stock, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, “rip it off like a bandaid – one rip and you’re done”. Yet I have seen traders so active it’s like they are on hourly espressos. But how much have they made at year end?
    I trade a handful of stocks and do a handful of trades. I rarely move out of those stocks. I enjoy spare time and double digit returns annually. My life is not connected to my computer monitor.
    By the way all my US trades are on my site. Great article and great advice. Love your site.

    • http://bclund.com/ bclund

      Yeah, you have hit the nail on the head. Even today I still over trade at times.

  • Sonomaguy

    Thanks BC. Did you TraderX’s advice regards tradethemove?

    • http://bclund.com/ bclund

      No, unfortunately I didn’t.

  • Ken Long

    Great posts, I’ve only just started reading through them. Stansberry affiliate The Daily Crux posted a link to one of your posts, that I still have to go back and check out, but I’ve been enjoying the writing so far, and this one really struck home. I did a very similar thing in 2005 without anywhere near the experience level. It took me 5 years to go full circle and back to what I originally knew best. It did cost me 5 years of no income, endless study, searching, and experimenting, but I think I’m a far more knowledgeable trader because of it.

  • Al

    Thank you for this post. “I can only wonder what would have happened if I had never found that post.” You had to find it that time because you were looking for it, as well as i’ve found your posts, your blog, because i needed them greatly and i feel it’s just what can help me.
    Thanks also for the detailed videos from “DECONSTRUCTING A TRADE”. I’ve learnt some things about thorough work with charts and using candlesticks.
    There’s one special topic i’m interested in as a quite a newcomer: exit before the stop if the trade failed. Do you have any post on this topic?
    I’ll appreciate very much if you answer.

    • Brian Lund

      That’s a good topic for a video Al, I will try to do one like that soon.

  • dennis

    Hey bclund,
    I also gave trader-x full credit for turning me around as a trader and
    his message on ‘chasing success’ is so important.
    I am a part-time trader now but will be ready to trade full-time when
    necessary ’cause my current job is not stable.

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  • jan

    Thanks for the informative trading information. Losing my job next week, so I need a new career. Enjoy your charts and tweets.

    • bclund

      Thanks for reading Jan, sorry about the job loss.

  • http://www.traderxblog.com Trader-X

    I don’t post much and don’t have the desire to do so, but I still read a lot! I’m humbled by the mention – thank you for the kind words!

  • mrsgiganti

    so what IS your perfected trading style today?

    could you give us a rundown of your trades today? it was NOT a sit on your hands day with so much action on the earnings plays, and bull feel.

    • bclund

      Sure, I am still swinging long BSC, LEH, and CFC.

  • http://traderjamie.blogspot.com/ Jamie

    Thanks for the mention Brian.

    “Minimalist Trader” – I like that term. Maybe I’ll borrow it some time.

    • bclund

      Go for it :)

  • Glibonacci

    Thanks for posting this. I sold my business fairly recently and have turned to trading full-time as a way to A) fill that HUGE void, B) continue making money, C) challenge/hate myself simultaneously. So this hits close to home, and has already inspired me to tweak my little operation.

    Do you have (or plan on writing) any more posts about your transition from business owner to trader?

    • bclund

      I will probably have some posts in the future regarding that. As well as some regarding my time as a business owner (I am sure you can relate to that…lol).

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