Trading Lessons I Learned the Hard Way, Part 23

08/31/2012 8:00 am EST

Focus: STRATEGIES

Ron Wagner

Principal Partner, RevolutionaryTrading.com

Ron Wagner of Revolutionary Trading discusses the lessons he learned from his early days of trading, and how his trading has evolved to become profitable.

Find the previous article here. Start at the beginning here.

Last time, I talked about noise. This edition is about “crutches,” which go hand in hand with the noise we are all subjected to. 

We can control the noise as much as we want to. Really, we don’t have to have all our gadgets on. It comes down to how successful you want to be in your trading and investing. We each have to decide how much we want to take control of our financial future.

When I first started trading and investing, I thought it would be easy. After all, how hard could it really be to open an account and push buttons? I was naive and uneducated, and I needed to follow anyone with any opinion at all about trading. Sure, I read some books and went to a few free seminars at hotels. I bought some short programs and thought, OK, let’s go!

I needed some crutches to blame my losses on. I didn’t know enough to blame myself. I think this is how most aspiring traders begin—a few books, a few free seminars or webinars, and let’s go! As I discussed last edition, I had to do my due diligence to find out what worked best for my personality and situation.

Once I did that and started to cut out the noise, I felt like I was losing my crutches. At first, I wanted to blame the brokers, blame the news networks, blame the newsletters, and so forth. After all, if the so-called "experts” couldn’t give me winning trades each time, how could I possibly be successful? I’m chuckling as I write this.

You see, I couldn’t accept the imperfection of a losing trade. My background, and I have to admit my ego, was not prepared to accept failures. Each losing trade was an attack on me. So of course it was easier to take a trade that someone else suggested, and if it was a loser, I could blame them. What a concept.

The funny part is that when a suggested trade did work, I couldn’t take credit for it either, and this made me feel unfulfilled. With losing trades, I lost money, but sympathy loves company after all. With winning trades, I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing my ultimate goals to be an independent trader. It was a catch-22.

I finally figured this out and took corrective action. I had to fix my attitude and take a different approach. My first step was to track my own trades against those that were suggested from other sources. It took me a while, but soon enough I was taking more and more winning trades from my own selections. I have discussed over the past many editions how I accomplished this.

I finally figured out that no one trading today woke up as a perfect trader. I had to remove one crutch at a time. No more blaming the brokers, a network advisor, newsletter, or chatroom. Although I had cut most of this out of my life anyway, it was still a psychological barrier to deal with.

Over the years, more and more trading products and programs have become available for different reasons. The temptation to try many different programs is actually overwhelming, and they can become crutches.

Lessons learned:

  1. Most aspiring traders start collecting a number of crutches!

  2. Realize you can be the trader you are aspiring to be!

  3. Understand that no one trading today woke up one day and was magically a great trader or investor!

  4. Start to eliminate one crutch at a time and replace that with a “can-do” attitude!

  5. It’s OK to try different things at first, but quickly rule them into your trading plan or eliminate them before they become crutches that don’t help you get where you need to go!

  6. Learn to take complete responsibility for your own trades and investments, and that you can make great choices!

Ron Wagner can be found at Revolutionary Trading.

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