06 September 2019

The Dirty Little "Secret" To Day Trading Success

Which way to success?
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"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."
-- William Jennings Bryan
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The underdog is a revered character in American storytelling. Whether the story is transmitted via a novel, a television show or the evening news, Americans are fascinated with the individual or individuals who overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve a goal. I'm no different from the average American in this regard.

The underdog, the outsider, the slightly different from the norm... I celebrate them... sometimes secretly. I think they should be held in high esteem. If their cause somehow relates to fairness (i.e., rectifying an injustice), I can barely contain myself.

Some time ago I tried to figure out just what distinguishes those who do when others don't... those who will when others won't (substitute can't or won't as appropriate). I did all manner of reading and listening to experts in an attempt to distill the essence of these extraordinary individuals. A few themes surfaced repeatedly:

Necessity - "Necessity is the mother of all invention." It also helps produce herculean efforts to achieve goals.
Greed - I don't agree with Gordon Gecko completely, however, it's true that self interest is a primary driver of human behavior.

  • Ego/Pride - Some people are driven by their own and/or other peoples' opinion of their aptitudes.
  • Fear - Ever seen an American Football running back "find" another gear when being pursued by an ill-tempered linebacker?
  • Love - Perhaps the grandaddy... has driven behavior since time immemorial.
This list is neither exhaustive, nor are the components mutually exclusive. However, I think it a fair sampling of the drivers that push humans to superior performance. Interestingly, it seems to me that the latter 4 states are the means by which a goal becomes a necessity.

But what's the trigger? How do those who have converted wants into needs (or musts) and carved a path make the impossible possible? Everyone has wants... how do some people make the attainment of those wants an imperative? I think the answer is simple... 


It is a decision...

A choice if you will.

Absent exigent circumstances (the adrenaline-filled mother lifting a car to save her child) individuals DECIDE to win...to succeed...to obtain. Make up your mind to do...the “how” will find you.

Learning to trade is no different. People spend all manner of time, effort, energy and money looking for shortcuts to trading success.

Here's the dirty little secret... there are no shortcuts (despite the implicit promises of some vendors).

There are ways to shorten the learning curve... and ways to monitor your progression, but there is no overnight transformation.

DECIDE to learn how to trade properly and COMMIT yourself to the task of developing the skill set. That is the quickest (and only) way to consistent trading success.

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