Monday, August 1, 2011

Make it your own

As I start my way this week of performing a trade review over the past several months worth of data, I can't help but keep in mind the quote of "make it your own."  Trader-X has mentioned this many times on his blog that you can't just take what he does and necessarily expect it to work for you.  You should use what he does as a starting point, and that you eventually have to come up with a trading strategy that works for you.

In Dr. Brett's "Enhancing Trader Performance" book, there are some quotes in the first couple chapters of the book that really hit home for me: 
"The greats do not become great by working hard; they work hard because they find a great niche: a field that captures their talents, interests, and imagination."
This rings true for me, especially given the amount of time I can spend trading and researching without any effort.  If it weren't for other obligations, I'd easily spend 12-14+ hours a day (as I did many many years ago).  And when I'm not actively involved with the markets, my mind is usually not very far away.
"It's not whether you can be a good trader; it's whether you can find the trading [style] that's good for you."
My hope is that after reviewing the trades from the past few months in greater detail, I will be able to identify the type of trades that work best for me.  I already have a pretty good idea, but I need to have quantifiable evidence.
"When you have found your niche, you don't need discipline to do the right things; you won't want to do anything else." 
This would be one holy grail for me, the ability to feel at one with my trading strategy so that I don't care to deviate or go rogue -- I would just execute it properly without much thought or effort.  I can do this now, but not consistently, so I'm not far.  This does not mean that I will stop researching and evaluating new setups. It does mean I would have a solid foundation (confidence as a trader) upon which to build.
"You will always gravitate to your natural style of processing information, and you will always gravitate to what you find most gratifying."
Some enjoy swing trading, some like to scalp.  Some like a lot of trading activity, others like to have minimal transactions.  Some like to hear the news, others don't.  Some like thin crust pizza, others like deep dish.  There's no right or wrong.  I'm still discovering what works best for me, and I'm getting closer to settling down every day.
There's always a chance I'll discover that I'm still not at the point of knowing my trading niche, but that's why I need to spend a significant amount of time looking at the evidence.  It will be interesting to see what I uncover...hopefully not too many skeletons in the closet!

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