Going steady vs dating vs hanging out vs friendzones. What’s it got to do with trading?

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just get a room and get it done with

Recently I read a post about Singaporean couples dating yet not taking it seriously.

So apparently dating is supposed to lead to marriage, and if you’re not dating, you can’t get married, and if you’re dating, you need to marry. Well, that’s my interpretation.

It’s about expectations. And a good, ethical coach/trainer with integrity will place managing expectations above all else when people engage their services.

Couples can date, sure, it is like a casual relationship that’s fun, and it’s ok to leave it as that. But if the couple is not honest about expectations, that perhaps one of them is expecting marriage while the other isn’t, then there will be unmet expectations and disappointments.

Similarly, aspiring traders who engage a coach or trainer must be honest with the expectations, and the trainer as well, lest there be disappointments and a breakdown of a coaching relationship.

Both parties will have to lay down expectations and discuss what the relationship’ s goals are. Is it about earning a fast buck? Is it about revealing a trading secret? Or is it about a long term commitment to learning, self discovery, walking a path peppered with failures and getting up, a path of dedication to mindful trading and developing right mindset about trading? 

Similar to the article about dating couples not being serious about considering marriage, there are aspiring traders who want the fun from trading, earn a quick buck from playing the market, while the coach expects otherwise. Sure, an unethical coach can play along and fool around as well. And the relationship will simply be going nowhere and end up likely toxic.

Trading for a living is a job. It is not a dating game with mind games and petty quarrels. It is a commitment to make it work, just like making the leap into marriage, making vows and promises, til death to you part.

Well. Hopefully wirh the right partner i.e.coach/trainer, you won’t die.

Happy trading!

 

 

 

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Destructive Emotions will Destroy your trading account. Here’s why.

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I absolutely loved the wisdom in this book. Highly recommended, and applicable to trading

I read this book several years ago. It is quite a deep conversation, but also a highly enlightening insight into destructive emotions that cause a cycle of suffering. Seen below

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Hard to read but very good examples of how it can be applied to trading as well

I have a Masters in Guidance and Counselling, and you probably have no idea what does that have to do with trading. I would say, 90%.

Because when trading, with real money, we are so attached to the value of money, it evokes strong, extreme emotions in us. And, sure enough, “over confidence” has been identified as a destructive emotion.

What is the result of destructive emotions? What is the cause? Well, it starts with having irrational beliefs. In the case of trading, most people think trading is all about getting the market right, predicting the right move, and finding the right guru to tell you where the market will go. It is irrational thinking, because the future cannot be known, hence your belief in the Holy Grail will only result in destructive emotions, such as anger, envy, hatred, which will lead to destructive actions and behaviours, such as revenge trading, doubling down too big, moving your stop loss, and changing your mind when you decided to break even, and when when you see profit, and greed takes over, and decide to add to your profit instead, you lose everything, very quickly.

Irrational beliefs, such as thinking trading can grow a $1000 to a $10000 account in one month consistently, gives you over confidence when it happens once, and then to despair when you get your margin call, and you double down to earn it all back, losing even more, and giving up what could potentially, if you had gone through proper coaching and embraced the rational thinking of trading, lose your dreams of being self employed, enjoying great quality of life, being detached from money, and overall attain happiness you never thought possible.

Which comes back again to my take on being a reflective trader. Do you trade with irrational beliefs? Are these beliefs leading to irrational, destructive actions, which feedback to your irrational beliefs, ending up in a never ending cycle of trading suffering?

Something to think about, and definitely not to be scoffed at. Most real traders will agree with me, that they have learnt more from books on trading psychology than from technical trading books. And that has actually sharpened their edge. At least, that has, for me. Perhaps you can try the same. And start, if you haven’t, read about trading psychology more, than about trading strategy.

Happy trading!

 

One week of meeting folks interested in Smart Casual Trading Forex and I’m the one getting coached

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Over the past week since I’ve officially..hmm. Ok, since making the plan to help and coach aspiring forex traders, I myself have been coached by my potential clients.

Firstly, my targeted demographic would be SAHMs who would like an income instead of going back to work. I had this notion that it was their choice to be SAHMs but want to be independant as well, to earn a side income or even a full income on their own.

So I met a SAHM and was schooled. She wants to work, but cannot find work.  She strongly wants to be independant, but has little resources except pockets of time. I sensed her determination, but I wanted to make sure it was not out of desperation, and to ensure what her intentions were in approaching me. What were her expectations? What pushed her to make the move to meet me?

I felt a very strong spirit in her, a very down to earth personality, weak in resources, yet strong and resilient. I could not help but feel a little bit of empathy, yet I knew she needed none.

So I went through how little baby steps will be needed, since she lacks resources, and it will not be realistic to earn a reasonable side income even within a year with what she has. Nonetheless, she was undeterred. And this, despite her zero knowledge about anything to do with forex, she was willing to learn.

I left the meeting inspired by her determination inspite of the odds against her. She has a good chance to be a Smart Casual Trader.


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The second client I met is basically everything above. And I would never have thought that working in the CBD would be something of a hell, until he explained it to me. Wasn’t it a sign of success? To climb the corporate ladder? When I exited Raffles Place MRT, I took a photo of what I saw, a symbol of success, a goal to achieve…Everyone was so nicely dressed (except me, in berms, flip flops and active wear). I felt so out of place.

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Prior to meeting him I knew he was well versed in investing and had lots of experience with it. In fact, I was wondering, what he had now was perfect. A good job, reinvesting in dividend yielding counters, and growing a portfolio. That’s what I want to do too, of course, after building up a more substantial warchest to invest to gain higher passive income I am earning from my forex trading. Well, that’s if he likes his job.

So it became very clear from the start his motivation was freedom. Freedom to dress comfortably (ok fine. I was sloppy) like me to a place like Raffles Place (I could feel the contempt from the gorgeous ladies…nah it was just me haha). Freedom on weekday afternoons to avoid crowds, and to spend time with family, loved ones. And enjoy weekday lunch specials at weird timings. (Okay this one I added myself)

There was a strong resonance between his motivation to learn forex and my own. And he had the resources. He had plenty of resources. And best of all, only just married, hence haven’t gone through fatherhood hell, and has lots of time to learn. He had the right mindset, about risk, about emotional control. He is possibly going to be able to achieve his aim very fast if I can do my job well as a coach. I just hope that he can find what he is looking for in forex, because if it’s anything else, I cannot coach him. I would have to refer him to others.

I was schooled that it was not money that drove him to look for me. It was the chance of a better, more casual, carefree, happy, content, lifestyle. Well, that’s what I want too, but because I trade for a living and only earn very little as a part time lecturer with a family to feed, I cannot just ignore the fact that I need to make sure my forex trading for a living is not just sustainable. It has to be outperforming. Hence the challenge I gave myself. (Oh God I hope I don’t fail this challenge…)

I hope he can squeeze in as much learning as possible while he can. He’s definitely got what it takes to be a Smart Casual Trader.

Until the baby arrives.

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The most recent client is a young entrepreneur who is happy with his job, no worries about money, knows friends who play forex, and was willing to meet me, offer me a drink, and tell me he wanted to learn forex so he wouldn’t be bored as well as to distract him from smoking.

I told him ok. There are much better tried and tested methods of smoking cessation.

We had a good chat, but I just couldn’t catch what was his motivation. I had a tough time, because I had my own biases and impressions of what kind of demographic would approach me: People who needed money, wanted side income, sick of job etc…

But this young chap was willing to learn, and pay, for me to teach him Forex 101, (Stay tuned for a Forex 101 course for Smart Casual Trading!) to see what it’s like. I guess as a successful self employed person, boredom could be a reason? I told him to go play Clash of Clans instead and as an IT guy, he said it was too easy to “crack” it. So that’s what they call it these days.

It was a good meeting nonetheless. There were deliverables to be done, a plan set up, and, a negotiation for a win-win situation since he can also help me with my blog and coach me in how to improve my blog traffic! In exchange, I would teach him Forex 101 for no charge. (Even after emphasizing and encouraging him to learn on his own.)

Finally I kind of figured out, well, I had to be coached in what kind of clients I would meet, and to be prepared for even more varieties. And in these 3 examples, I think it’s a great experience to meet people from all walks of life, and their motivation to learn about forex. Perhaps to them, forex trading is a mystery, and they are curious. Some of course are conned to think it’s a quick get rich scheme but for these 3 people they are fully aware of it, and thankfully, fully aware of the amount of work and time needed to invest to even get started, let alone become successful.

I learnt lots from just these 3 potential coachees. It will be my honour to coach them. The determination. The motivation. The intensity to be independent.  They all resonate with me, because that’s how I started my own lonely journey to where I am now. My heartfelt thanks to them for letting me post about our meetings.

If you like what you’ve been reading so far, please contact me, and we can learn lots from each other.

Happy trading!

James

Principal Forex Coach

Smart Casual Trading

Attending OANDA’s Elite Trader’s Club event in flip flops

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This is the only type of Elite Trader Club event I will attend. No shirt no pants for me please.

I was identified and invited to be a member of OANDA’s Elite Trader’s Club in 2015. I was asked to fill in a survey, for $50, on trading and the results were published in an article here.

I think that’s quite an affirmation of my success as a retail forex trader. But I don’t know what they mean by “top traders”. I heard it’s got something to do with account consistency, like how long your account lasts above a certain dollar amount. Doesn’t matter. Neither is it that important to me, other than the $50 they gave and the occasional free premium meals and exclusive invites to talks by industry pros which don’t really fit my taste. I’m casual.

That why the only event I attended was their first and so far only family day event which I enjoyed the most!

Anyway back to the survey results.

Here’s an interesting quote.

“Being aggressive was the least favoured option, chosen by only 14% of those surveyed.”

I was one of the 14%. I chose being aggressive as an important key attribute in being an elite trader.

Quite a while back I also took a trader psychology survey by a famed trading psychologist Dr Van Tharp, whose book “Super Trader” I really enjoyed reading, with some pinch of salt. (As he was not a trader himself)

Go ahead, try out the survey. It’s quite professionally done. His courses after all, costs thousands of dollars.

My Trader Type turned out to be the most likely to struggle to succeed. The Adventurous Trader. The survey churns out a nice report to describe your strengths, weaknesses, and of course, how you can benefit by buying his books and courses.

Well, here I am now. The black sheep of the top traders who favour aggression, and considered the type of trader with the least chance of success.

So, I came up with my own type: The Smart Casual Trader type.

Don’t let anyone tell you who you are. You know yourself the best.  You know your edge. Who cares who is the top trader and what are his qualities and how he is trading. He may be unhappy, unhealthy, stressed. Well, of course I’m stereotyping, but what I’m saying is, a very simple:

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Yoda, badass is he

 

It’s your journey. I get invites to the Elite Traders club events, which I really appreciate but I don’t really like, because they are usually held at night (family time), at high class restaurants (ok, who doesn’t like free expensive meals but I’d rather have family meals with my kid), and with an invited expert who talks about stuff I don’t understand nor use for my trading. In fact, I avoid such events, because they may influence the way I trade, and thus lose my edge against the rest of the attendees who are listening to a guru’s advice and therefore second guessing themselves. Or worse, blindly following the guru. (That makes you wonder…How are these people invited or qualified to be in the Elite Trader’s Club? Easy question. Figure it out yourself.)

Without disclosing too much about what goes on in this exclusive club (no, there’s nothing that….what were you thinking huh?) I just want to write about my experience that being recognized as an elite trader is indeed an affirmation, but it does nothing to me. Neither did the survey that told me I have the least chance of success. And neither does the statement about the 14% of traders that chose aggression as a key quality make me feel like it’s wrong.

Who knows, those 14% are the ones making the top bucks, which isn’t surprising to me.

So the bottom line is this: Be yourself. Find your edge. Trade a system you are comfortable with. Don’t let others influence you by saying your strategy is lousy.

The results speak for themselves. Tell them to show you the money, then we’ll talk. If they are not willing, show them the hand.

Or the finger if you prefer.

Happy trading, from the Smart Casual Trader Type R. :DDD

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