Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dr. Brett - "The Daily Trading Coach"

Last month, I read "The Daily Trading Coach - 101 Lessons For Becoming your Own Trading Psychologist" by Brett Steenbarger.  And I'm currently reading "Enhancing Trader Performance" which was the book he wrote prior to "The Daily Trading Coach."  Outstanding books.

"The Daily Trading Coach" was released a few years back in 2009, and only now have I realized what a revelation it was for me.  It seemed like just about every page had examples of things that I either had problems with, or more likely have problems with now.  And there is quote after quote in the book that were nearly identical to the "voices in my head" as I struggle and fight my way through all the challenges and obstacles to become a consistently profitable trader.

What I really appreciate is that Dr. Brett has actionable exercises or strategies he describes in order to help address the various challenges.  I've incorporated a few of his recommendations and exercises, but not to the extent I need to speed me up the learning curve at the pace I desire.

It's really interesting to read the first highlighted quote of the "Daily Trading Coach":
The enemy of change is relapse: falling back into the old, unproductive ways of thinking and behaving. Without momentum of emotion, relapse is the norm.
And the last:
 Let your strengths define your path.
It has been over 4 months since I've started day trading full time (and more), and there's a lot of data I now have to evaluate, both from the actual trades as well as my psychological behavior.  I admit, I'm feeling a bit burnt out, but mostly in a good way.  I still have the fuel of emotion driving me greater than ever, and feel more strongly than ever that I can and will change my thinking and behavior to become an elite trader.

The data I now have will also help me discover and refine the strengths that I have, so that I can better focus and build upon those strengths that will help me excel.  There are certain weaknesses I have that need to be addressed for fundamental reasons, but if the weakness I have is not on the critical path to becoming an elite trader, there's no reason why I need to waste my energy on something that will not provide a good future return.

This week, my goal is to clarify where I am, where I want to go, and how.  I will not be trading this week, especially due to some actions that caused me to call a time out.  So I will dedicate the majority of my time analyzing my historical trades and behaviors primarily through updating my new trading journal, as well as define specific goals (non-P&L related) for the upcoming month and beyond.

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