Now this question may seem incredibly obvious to most people reading this right now, as you would probably say that anyone’s real goal from trading the markets is because they want to make money right? I am not going to argue this point because it is obviously true, but in my experience if that is the reason which you put on your own trade plan and you simply “do it for the money,” then you are probably going to experience more ups and downs in your trading than you would like to have.
You see it is important, no vital, that a trader knows exactly why he or she wants to generate consistent profits from the markets, before they even click a button or place their very first trade. Why? Well simply because while trading in its rawest nature is pretty much a simple process of buying low, selling high and implementing solid risk management skills at all times, as you may or may not know it can also be one of the most emotionally exhausting things in the world too! When your own money is on the line it is amazing how mentally imbalanced we can become, thus the need for a detailed trading plan to remove all emotion and keep us on track for the course ahead. Knowing your goals upfront will give you a massive anchor and reason to trade in the best and most disciplined manner you can. In essence they will give you the grounding so badly needed during those emotional times of winning and losing. I have said time and time again that I understand that we can’t just flip a switch and become a robot when we trade, yet we must do as much as we can to get as near to this state of mind as possible.
If your goal is simply to “make money,” then every decision you make in the market will be based around that. On the other hand if you are doing this for say, the ability to generate a second income to fund your children’s education, then you will be entering the market each and every day with a very different perspective. What better way to keep you motivated and disciplined than the future of your offspring after all? Without knowing exactly why you are putting all that effort and dedication into your trading, you won’t have the drive and passion there to keep you going during the tougher obstacles which the market will happily throw at you from time to time. It amazes me how so many novice market speculators come to the market each and every day fueled by nothing more than their burning desire to make money, without even really knowing why they want the money for. Sure, I know that most of us would love to stop working for someone else and and call our own hours but believe it or not that is simply not enough to drive some people. The real question I would pose to someone is, “What are you going to do with your life when you have the freedom and can maintain a living through trading?” That for me is the real key to motivation. It is all well and good to have an idea about what you want to do but to know what you want and why you are doing it in the first place is a completely different mindset altogether.
A colleague of mine and a wonderful instructor in Online Trading Academy by the name of Ryan Cook once shared with me his grandfather’s philosophy on building success in what we do and that it all boiled down to a simple five step process:
1 – Know your business by getting the right education.
2 – Be committed to what you are doing.
3 – Want it.
4 – Love doing it.
5 – Just go do it!
When I look at this outline it puts a big smile on my face each time I think about it. No matter what you are striving to achieve in any kind of business or venture you may be hoping to get going, trading or otherwise, it is near impossible to deny the logic in the above steps. Of all the thousands of people I have taught worldwide, one thing that I know for sure is that the most successful of all students I have worked with have always been totally clear in their goals and aspirations from the very start of their trading journey. In fact, many times it seems that they focus on getting to their goals more than tinkering with a complicated trading plan, instead just keeping things as simple as possible and following the rules of their plan to the hilt. I hope this article has sparked that inner level of focus for you and made you think about your reasons for wanting to trade, beyond simply money. In two weeks, join me as I look into how FX trading can become the source of someone’s new found independent, or maybe dependence. See you then.
Written by Sam Evans, Online Trading Academy Instructor. After leaving University in 1999, Sam thrust himself into the media world, working as an executive producer and part-time presenter for London’s Capital FM. Roles in the record and film industry followed, where Sam conducted many promotional interviews and honed his presentation skills for nearly 7 years. With a strong desire to work for himself, Sam left the media industry behind and spent an intense 18 months studying to become a professional Life Coach, embarked on various property investments and gave in to his childhood fascination with the money markets by training to become a trader with Online Trading Academy. Since his graduation, he has been a full-time trader, specializing in Stock Index Futures and Forex. Under the guidance and mentorship of some of Online Trading Academy’s best instructors, Sam himself joined the teaching roster and forged his own unique style of trading. A devoted student of the Market, Sam’s focus is on strict risk management discipline, combined with a realistic approach to understanding the true nature of Price Action. Fueled by a passion for the markets, Sam now teaches and presents for Online Trading Academy, welcoming and helping others into the rewarding world of trading.