Developing Your Mind To Trade Profitably by Rande Howell, MEd
The Never-Ending Story
You may not give much thought to self-discovery, but it plays a role in trading,
especially when it comes to managing uncertainty. Find out how.
Up and down, up and down.
For Phil, trading has been
a roller-coaster ride for
years. “Almost there. I can feel it.
Why do I keep shooting myself in
the foot every time things start falling
into place?” he wonders. “With all the
hard work I’ve put in over the years, I
shouldn’t be having these problems.”
But here I am. Despite how much
I know about trading, I’m still not
achieving what I know is possible
for my trading. When I sim-trade
[simulate trading], I execute and
make good money. But when I
go live, I can’t produce the same
consistency. I’m still profitable, but
marginally. I’m certainly not trading
to my potential.
Phil thought he was doing all the
right things to achieve consistency
in trading success. He set goals. He
wrote out a plan that lays out financial
goals by year, by month, and
by day. He reads them over every
day and then sets out to make those
goals happen. He keeps his will
focused on achieving those goals.
This strategy had worked well in
his previous career and it should be
working for him now — or so he
thought. Phil believed earnestly that
prosperity thinking would manifest
in the results he was looking for, but
time was running out.
The illusion of
Phil’s goals are about controlling
outcome and what that outcome
looks like. Before he started trading,
his belief was that he could exert
his will and make things happen.
He had made a lot of money in his
previous career using this strategy
for success, and he believed forcefully
that it would prevail in trading
as well. But his trading account was
not cooperating with the beliefs he
was projecting on the markets.
Consistency hangs in the balance
between Phil’s dogged commitment
to his beliefs about what creates
success and his inconsistent trading
performance. He is projecting his intentional energy into the future (that is, all those goals he
plans to achieve) rather than holding it in the here and now
as he executes his trades. Not that having goals is bad, but
the future-oriented goals Phil has set for himself become the
barriers to the success he seeks.