Please note that I will be traveling for the next month (I need a break too) and so from the week ending 12 May to 16 June, these posts will contain articles from the Forexistentialist archives along with my usual trading results. – Alan Vertue

Equity 170428

THIS WEEK’S ROBOS STRATEGY RESULTS

Trades: 7 / Winners: 2 / Losers: 5 / Break Even: 0

Weekly Gain/Loss: -2.54%

ROBOS 2017 AUDJPY M15 Progressive Results at 2% Risk

ROBOS 2017 AUDJPY M15 Fully Verified Results at 1% Risk

 

 

Click here to see screenshots of every trade position from last week…

News from the trading desk… (from 24 March 2014)

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you’ll be successful.

– Herman Cain

HermanCain

Herman Cain is an American author, business executive, radio host, syndicated columnist, and was a candidate for the 2012 U.S. Republican Party presidential nomination (source: Wikipedia). He is also a Tea Party activist, which in my book, places him firmly in the political looney bin, alongside other anti-humanist miscreants such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz and latest contender, Donald Trump.

Those closest to Cain describe him as a devout Christian, and on the face of it, his statement gels well with his faith. Cain’s quote captures the essence of what it means to be a vibrant, active, successful participant in the life of this planet. It’s an observation as insightful as it is obvious, but there’s a catch: It’s also an existentialist viewpoint, coming from a man I can’t imagine being further removed from existential ideology! To make it appear even more contradictory, Cain’s quote fits hand-in-glove with one by celebrated atheist, Richard Dawkins’ (The God Delusion) that “…there is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.” I find it almost impossible to believe that these two men could be philosophical roommates, but there is obviously some overlap in their beliefs. Both comments find their roots in the concept of personal responsibility; Dawkins states this in direct terms, while Cain is more implicit. Regardless, the idea that success and happiness is directly within our personal control is captured exquisitely by both statements.

A huge number of people attempting the transition from newbie to super-trader make the financially fatal mistake of believing the markets are a path to Nirvana. The unfortunate and paradoxical fact however, is that the markets can frequently represent the road to hell. A financial black hole into which traders’ money, hopes and self-esteem are sucked, never again to see the light of day. Aspirations lost, egos battered and confidence destroyed. A cynical mind-set is the usual result, which feeds into the delusion and exacerbates the problem. Panic often sets in, along with a need to find something, or someone, to blame. Worse still, clear, logical analytical skills that are so necessary to root out the underlying problem and develop a plan to recover, go AWOL. It happens time and time again. The trader’s equivalent of perpetual motion.

Why is this so? How do otherwise intelligent men and women get themselves into such a twist? Trading is deceptively simple. Assuming a plan of action exists (i.e. a well-reasearched strategy), all one really has to do is push a button to enter a position. Once that’s done, a trader’s job is effectively over, until the next trading opportunity arises. As a job, nothing could be easier!

Ah, but therein lies the answer. The shiny veneer produced by the prospect of easy money obscures the reality. Traders aren’t sliding into a safe, calm swimming pool – they’re plunging into a raging torrent of whitewater and piranhas, and most have undertaken only rudimentary swimming lessons prior to entry. The result is highly predictable. They drown, or are eaten alive!

But for every ten traders who become market victims, there is at least one who makes it a success. So, the outcome doesn’t have to be disaster! Some people manage to find the secret and live enviously rewarding lives. Are these individuals just born to trade? Do they possess skills which, through luck of the draw, provide them with an inherent advantage? Well, that’s always a possibility, but Richard Dennis and his motley crew of Turtle Traders would vehemently dispute that assumption. Dennis proved to the trading world (and his good mate, Bill Ekhardt) that traders could be nurtured. Non-traders were be taught the skills which eventually made them fabulously wealthy. However, they still required a certain human quality in order to succeed. They needed desire, and of course, desire is often equated with love. Which brings me back to Herman Cain…

Herman Cain is successful, of this there can be no doubt. Regardless of how you view his politics and personal beliefs, he is indeed successful by most recognised standards. He is successful because he loves what he does, and his passion is evident by the volume and diversity of his output. He provides a clear example of why love and passion is so important to the pursuit of success. Work becomes play. The satisfaction gained from doing something one enjoys, effectively minimises the need for monetary reward. Work itself becomes the reward! As psychiatrist turned trader, Alexander Elder explains, “…the goal of a successful trader is to make the best trades. Money is secondary.” Of course, money can only take a backseat if you love the challenge of trading.

But having a passion for trading does not in itself guarantee success. Such passion must be accompanied by a willingness to accept responsibility. Shifting blame for losing trades is self-defeating. If it wasn’t your fault, whose was it? Somebody has to take the rap, and for the majority of traders, the fault isn’t going to rest with them.

Now, nobody would deny that winning is every trader’s goal, but losing trades are an inevitable fact of life, and actually a cost of doing business. Traders who love what they do find it much easier to ‘get back on the horse’ after a string of losing trades. Traders whose sole motivation for trading is to get rich, suffer when when they lose because their focus shifts from the act of trading, to the need for financial gain.

Beware! If you marry for money, it’s a pretty sure bet that wedded bliss will end in an emotional and expensive divorce.

 




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