Over the years I have made many mistakes trading myself and also see other people make the same or some variations of the same mistakes over and over. Somehow trading is a counterintuitive activity for our human hunter-gatherer mindset. We are wired to believe that the most we work the better results we will get.
We are wired to believe that If we work harder we will get more success, if we push our limits and accomplish more in the lesser time we will be better rewarded.
When we are in elementary school we learn that the kid who puts more effort to do draw, or to count or to do homework is the one who get better grades. If we go to college we also know that the one who stays home and don’t go to parties and write the longer essays, or do the better research or don’t miss a single lecture is the one who get better grades. In most working fields it’s the same, if you get a job at a car wash you need to wash more cars to get more tips and maybe your boss will give you a productivity bonus.
But somehow with trading it’s not exactly like this. Why is that so? Because trading is not about the “work” you do, but about the markets. You don’t really get to influence the markets with your trading in any way (well, unless you are a huge multinational or a Central Bank exchanging a few hundred billions). So it’s really pointless to “work” the markets, the markets will do their thing wether you are there or you aren’t, so somehow you need to approach the problem from a different mindset.
The benefit of working doesn’t relate to the actions you put into trading itself. Of course you need to put sweat to it, you need to work and learn, read books, talk to experts, listen or atend to courses, try, fail, stand up, but all this work shouldn’t be focus on to the trading itself but to the developing of the SYSTEM you are going to use for trading.
After your system is developed and ready to go, you just basically need to focus on applying it constantly and flawlessly, even if it is a system that is discretionary, you need to focus on the execution. Some systems require you to be idle for long hours, even without watching the markets, and they can be very profitable, although you are barely making any effort once the system is in motion.
If you are new to trading you must learn that you will NEVER know what the markets are going to do, no matter how long you watch the charts or for how many long nights you stare at price action. If you are struggling on making constant profits or any profits from the markets at all. If you don’t know where to start to improve your trading, start by your system.
If you have the right system for you, fit for your personality and your personal needs, you will be more than half way there to become a profitable trader and achieve the forex lifestyle.