Trading is a way of life that can saturate our existence. We live the all consuming market and our positions. Everywhere I go, I relate my observations, experiences and insights to my trading life. Years of trading experiences develop an intuition, an insight into processes, decision making, human behavior, pattern recognition, emotional drivers and more. The value of an experience lies behind what is seen. The foundation of wisdom lies within the internalization of the profound elements of the experience, which are unique and personal. When an experience is internalized, it becomes core to understanding, and assimilating, future experiences at a deeper level. To say that we learn from experience is a shallow perspective. Our aim is to train ourselves to routinely find the relevant value in the experience and use that information for future reference in all areas of our lives. The internalization of an experience should become an automatic process that relates to previous experiences and refines our comprehension of the present within a structured framework.
Sport was the medium through which I learned process thinking and internalization. It is a repetitive physical and mental process that becomes further refined with every experience. The learning can happen naturally, or be accelerated when you build reference points upon which to grow. Reaching the highest level in your field of play will require some work and deeper understanding of how you are likely to respond to unforeseen and spontaneous circumstances. The “natural athlete” will adapt comfortably, just as one with an exceptional aptitude in mathematics can solve complex formulas more easily.
What is unique about trading, is that with whatever skills you have been personally gifted, one can work with such gifts to develop a structured approach to succeeding as a trader. Some are more natural and have the ability to convert previous experiences into the new space, while others require more discovery in certain areas.
I recently attended the entirety of the London Olympic Summer Games. I watched a minimum of three live events a day, and some days, as many as six events . My favorite events were gymnastics, weightlifting and athletics (track and field). Prior to my bobsledding career, I was on the Canadian track and field team in decathlon, and for both sports, we would do Olympic weightlifting as a training component, so I understand the events and can relate to
the athlete experiences at a deeper level. For those of you not interested in sport, I apologize if I’m boring you. Be it sport, or whatever your area of interest, the endeavor requires a process of development that pushes one through your fears and beyond your limits. If you are not challenging your fears, intellectual and/or physical capacity, then you are probably not achieving progress in your field of interest and growing.
As I observed athletes and competitions in all sports, I was most interested in how the athletes responded to circumstances that challenged their mental tenacity. I would watch their body language and their eyes. I saw a weightlifter give away a gold medal getting caught in their competitors game (yes, there is strategy in weightlifting). A pole vaulter had control of a competition when his competitors made surprise clearances, then he came back for the win. I saw the Brazilian volleyball team change their game after being ahead two games and match
point for the win, and end up with a silver. Five athletes were pushed beyond their personal best in a race that saw the men’s 800m world record destroyed. In the men’s gymnastics all around, the Japanese boy who only had to finish his final routine on the pommel horse without major error, had fallen, giving up a medal and ended up fourth. He’s been to major world competitions, world championships, and been successful, in the past. He has performed the routine hundreds of times without fault. Unique circumstances that bring out victory or defeat. One can be victorious, and still lose. Trading is like this. One can competently and successfully manage a
trade (risk), while it results as a loss.
Prior to the 100m sprint final, I saw an interview with a former world leader in the event. He was asked if he gets nervous. He replied; “I think about what I have to do to run a perfect race. How I’m going to come out of the blocks. Reaction time to the gun. The timing of the transitions in the race.” Notice he is not thinking about his competitors or whether he will win or lose, rather the task at hand. If a bobsledder or skier thinks about outcome over execution of the task, they could face severe injury (as I did) or early death (as I nearly did), as seen in this video .
This crash occurred one year before my first Olympic games, many years ago. The track, at the foot of the Matterhorn (Italy/Switzerland), was removed from world cup circuit, due to its extremely high risk.
I receive a few emails a month with Pro Traders Club members sharing their positive progress. The stories are fantastic. Per email below, long time PTC member Vittorio, from Singapore, has been to a few workshops, and a guest speaker on one occasion.
Good Morning Chris,
i imagine you’re still in London, enjoying life (as all good hedge fund managers should do…).
I have just passed my interview with a hedge fund manager and I am looking forward to start working with them from the 1st of September.
This is something i have been dreaming about for years and i like to thank you as your training has been critical in building my results and confidence to achieve this goal of mine.
Thank you again and i look forward to our next catch-up,
with kind regards
Congrats, Vittorio! This is fantastic news! It is rare that I openly share the stories of traders coming to fruition, but we hope it serves as inspiration to all. Vitorrio has diligently followed the path of successful traders.
Notice this story is about a trader who has gone through the process of development into an independent thinking trader with a high level of proficiency in the FX space. This takes time and effort.
Note this is NOT a story about a trader who is trying to copy and follow a “system,” of another trader and made a few pips today or this week following the promoted “system.”
Traders who achieve success did not do so by copying “systems.” For more details on a framework for success, see our free video series in the chrislori.com free members area titled, “Essential Qualities of Successful FX Traders.”
It is the success of our members that motivates me to share knowledge and insights, when possible.