Independence, Conviction and Breathing Room

  • Privilege to be able to trade my own capital
  • Trading is already hard without outside stress
  • Learn how to think like the bigger players  

LUXURY - The greatest luxury I have as a trader is that I trade for myself. I don't need to worry about anything else when I make my decisions. I don't have to worry about how much capital I am putting at risk, whether or not I have been on the sidelines for too long, or how anyone else is performing. It's just me, the market and my decisions. This is tremendously liberating and I believe has been a major contributor to my success as a trader over the years. Trading is stressful enough without having to worry about other peoples' money.

INTUITION - I have been blessed to be in this position and it is good fun on most days. Even months where it's a bit of a struggle aren't all that bad because it's my money and losing months are par for the course. But I will say, my trading style and methodology is not textbook. I believe something that has really helped with my development is learning to trust my gut and intuition. Sometimes, I am in a position that may be struggling a little more than most would like to see. But if I have that conviction, I am happy to stay the course.

NOTHING FIXED  - So for me, the risk management side of things isn't about a fixed stop-loss on a certain trade. Of course, I will exit and take a loss as you have seen many times, if my conviction is no longer there. But at the same time I like to give my trades time to work and am patient with them. However, the most important thing in being able to do all of this and really just sit back and not stress about anything is leverage. I can sometimes get aggressive with leverage, but never will I be looking to push up more than 10X. For the most part, my positions are closer to a range of unleveraged to 5X.

It's critical when trading to be able to think like the bigger players. Via @joelkruger

SMALL FISH - Trading on lower leverage gives you the ability to let your trades play around a bit before moving in the desired direction, without needing to stress if things initially don't go your way. It's so important when trading that you have an understanding of the type of movements the market is capable of making and that we are each just small fish in the sea. This is to say, many times a market will move a couple hundred points in one direction or another and it will have meant nothing as far as the trend goes. And so, it's important to trade with that in mind. Whenever I see something, I always make myself feel extra confident about the position I'm taking by letting myself know that the trade might not go my way right away and may even move more against me.

THINK BIG - I need to be able to trade like any of the bigger players out there and I can't afford to be scared at every turn in the market. So the answer is to give yourself room and make sure to be trading on lower leverage. Of course, part of doing this for many years is learning how to isolate entries that give you the best shot at seeing an imminent move in your desired direction. But it's also critical you have this added layer of reassurance that you have plenty of room to work with without needing to glare at each and every tick on the screen. 

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