Though I didn’t know this would be my career path, becoming a trader has been a very fulfilling part of my life. In the beginning, it was a way for me to independently provide for Leo and me, but it’s turned into so much more.
I feel lucky to have found something I love to do. But no one starts out knowing how to trade. It’s a skill that needs to continually be assessed and scrutinized in order to be successful. As we wind down this whirlwind of a year, I’ve found myself reflecting on the biggest lessons I’ve learned thus far in my career.
So I decided to put them into a concise letter here…
1) A trading career is not linear.
This lesson is a big one. Often, people think there will be a magical point in time at which you cross a finish line and therefore reach ‘success.’ That’s incorrect. It’s better if you understand that trading’s a lifelong journey and there will be mountains to climb, avalanches you get caught in, and many times when there is smooth sailing (and sometimes it’ll be all three in one day!). There’s no threshold you’ll cross in which you know everything, so coming to peace that there will be good and bad days indefinitely is key.
2) The market’s always changing and you have to be a chameleon.
Like the weather, the market’s always changing, and you have to be ready to turn on a dime with its every whim. Even if you learn a specific pattern, it’ll appear under different circumstances. Traders must learn how to recognize a change in the market and make adjustments accordingly. The market will most certainly not change on your behalf. No matter how badly you want the market to act a certain way, sometimes it doesn’t pan out that way and it’s best to be with the current than against it.
3) Don’t focus on money.
When I first got into trading I only focused on the dollar amount, but that was a big mistake. This lesson was difficult for me to learn because of course, we all want to make money trading, isn’t that the point?! Well yes, but I’ve found that when traders only focus on how much they can make, it’s actually what causes them to lose. Instead, traders should focus on being the best trader they can be — and then the money will follow. Being too focused on money causes mistakes. Don’t be focused on how much money you can make on a trade, but instead focus on whether it’s truly the right set up for your trading style. Trust me, this approach will save you lots of money in the long run!
These are my biggest lessons learned, but as I mentioned, trading is a lifelong journey. I’ll continue to collect these lessons along the way and I’m excited to see what the next five, ten, and beyond years will teach me as I continue doing what I love.
Tell me, what are some of your biggest lessons learned throughout your trading?