Whew, it was a busy year…
But this week has been a great opportunity to sit back and pause before 2017 starts. As I sit here in my office and reflect on the past year, I realize that I made a lot of progress as a trader and as a person.
More progress than I've made in past couple of years, in fact.
In this blog post, I'll show you what I learned…and in case you missed anything, I'll give you the top 10 blog posts from 2016.
This will give you some insight into tools and strategies that helped me and hopefully they will help you too.
The Power of Focus
In our quest to learn this crazy thing called trading, it can be easy to lose sight of what is really important. We get caught up in trying to do more, instead of asking ourselves how we can do less.
Of course, we have to work hard. But we have to work hard on things that matter.
It can be easy to mistake action for progress.
I knew this on an intellectual level, but I didn't realize how much I still had to simplify. So this year, I limited my trading only two systems for the first half of the year, then ultimately just one system for the second half.
…and the result speaks for itself. More on that in a bit.
But I applied the same level of minimalism to other areas of my life and it has made all the difference. I cut out several things that I was working on, which were not trading or Trading Heroes related, and it freed up a lot of time.
So if you are still not getting the results you want in trading, you may need to cut back on that you are doing and focus on just one or two key things. This might be trading strategies, getting your trading journal in order or eliminating other business ideas (AKA Green Fairies).
Shedding the Shackles of Entitlement
This is something that I didn't see coming.
But in 2016, I discovered that one of my roadblocks has been an entitlement mentality. I haven't been putting enough time and effort into trading because I felt that I was somehow entitled to success.
Nobody is entitled to anything.
Of course, I did not understand this consciously. I consider myself a pretty reasonable and reflective person and didn't think that I felt entitled to anything.
But as I peeled back the layers of what is holding me back from trading as well as I know I can trade, this was the biggest roadblock that I discovered.
How did it get there?
The Source of My Entitlement
Well, I'm the first male child in my family. For Asians, that usually a big thing. So I got most of the attention.
I was often praised for being “smart,” not for working hard. So if you tell someone that enough, especially a kid, it will become deeply engrained in their self image.
Now, I'm not blaming my parents for this. They had the best of intentions.
As traders, one of our jobs is to be aware of things like this and figure out how to correct them. I take full responsibility for my entitlement complex and have come a long way in fixing it this past year.
The Entitlement Cure
One thing that I did was read a couple of books on how well-meaning, but misguided praise, can give kids a sense of entitlement. These books really helped me understand what happened to me and gave me clues on how to reverse it.
The bottom line is that you want to praise children for working hard and achieving a result…instead of praising them for achieving a result by simply being innately smart or gifted. The first instills the idea that you have to work hard to reach a goal, the second, you are entitled to a goal.
If you have kids, I would really suggest reading these books. Obviously, I'm not telling you how to raise your kids, that's your job. But this subtle shift in thinking can have a huge positive impact on their development.
If you are struggling with entitlement, this book can help too.
You always hear that you have to work on your mindset to be a successful trader…but what does that really mean? How do you actually do that?
His course takes you through a lot of exercises to help you do this. It may just be the missing link that you need to turn the corner with your trading.
Finally Consistently Profitable
Well, I've finally done it!
After starting this blog in 2007, I have finally reached the point where I feel confident in my trading and have been consistently profitable. Here are my results from 2016.
Yes, they are not terribly impressive from an absolute return perspective. However, the last five months have all been profitable, which is a big accomplishment for me.
More importantly, I was able to come back from being down early in a couple of months. This is something that I have always struggled with in the past.
While I may not be profitable every month in 2017, I finally feel that I have the confidence to get pretty close. Only time will tell, but I look forward to building on this success.
Top 10 Trading Heroes Blog Posts From 2016
- The Power of Forgiveness – If you are not trading up to your full potential, one of the reasons could be that you are too hard on yourself. Learn how to change that in this post.
- How to Avoid Stop Hunting – This post was the result of an email question that I got from a reader. He wanted to know how to place his stop losses, so he isn't the victim of stop loss hunting by big traders and brokers. My answer might surprise you.
- How to Profit From Flash Crashes – This year we saw surprise events like Brexit cause huge spikes in the market. This post will show you how to profit from them.
- The Two Strikes Rule – This is a rule that I created in my first years of trading and it has served me well. As a result, I have never blown out an account.
- The Beginner’s Forex Forward Testing Guide – Forward testing is something that can be overlooked in trading. Learn how to do it here.
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Forex Backtesting – If someone has ever told you to “just backtest it” but you didn't know what to do from there, this course will give you all the steps.
- How the 80/20 Rule Can 2X Your Current Trading System – No, I'm not talking about focusing on the 20% of things in your trading that will give you 80% of the results. It's much simpler than that.
- 7 Things You Can Do to Stop Taking Dumb Trades – One of the biggest enemies of a trader is too much free time. This causes you to take dumb trades. Here's what you can do instead.
- Greg McLeod: Scalping Forex, a Huge Yahoo Trade and His Big Why – This was a pro trader interview that I really enjoyed and I think you will too.
- Embrace the Suck if You Want to Make it in Trading – Many aspiring traders give up when things get tough. Well guess what, some things in trading do suck. Here's how to push past them.
What's in Store for 2017
The goal for 2017 is to keep building on this momentum and to try to hit at least 10% per month next year. This is a challenge, but I feel that I do have the capacity to hit this goal.
I will also be coming out with my first trading course, based on what I have learned since 2007 and the research that I have been doing for the past two years. In my opinion, it fills a lot of the gaps that are currently in trading education and I'm excited to launch that next year.
So regardless of how 2016 turned out for you, take some time to sit back and reflect on what you did well and what you want to accomplish in 2017. I hate New Year's Resolutions, but I do feel that it is important to have goals.
What are your goals for 2017?
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