Think Like A Trader Blog

Monday, 30 January 2017

Stop Projecting Your Happiness Into the Future

Hello Traders.

I’ve been a bit quiet on here of late. However I want to start posting in the blog once again – I enjoy writing and the process of getting thoughts down onto the paper. I’m also going to continue on with the recent motivational videos I have been posting on the YouTube channel, so hopefully the blog can work alongside that.

Stop Projecting Your Happiness Into the Future

You struggle with happiness at times. Yes, it’s true. You find yourself down, you lose your drive and you don’t know what to do. I am the same. And apart from a very small percentage of the population, we all face the same struggle.

Sometimes that despondency is like a nagging voice at the back of your mind, and other times it takes stage from and centre. Things seem difficult, they are difficult, and if only you could make a change, it would get better.

And that change is always just ahead of you, like the carrot dangling from the stick held just in front of the donkeys nose, leading it onward in its struggle to reach the reward.

And there within lies the issue. The big old problem that works like a secret dagger twisting into you without you ever realising where the issue comes from.

You’re projecting your happiness into the future. It’s always a destination, somewhere and something you will one day arrive at:]

-       You just need that promotion at work. The extra money will give you more freedom, and then you’ll be happy.
-       You need a bigger house. Everyone you know has moved into detached houses with nice big gardens. If you had that you would be so much more content.
-       If you could just get that new car, you would be happy.

They are all there, peppering our lives. We use them as destinations, things we need to reach in order for us to become content and happy. They are those carrots, dangling just in front of us and leading us on.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals and having ambitions. In fact, doing so is extremely healthy and can keep us from becoming stagnant. However, attaching happiness to those goals, ironically, creates a situation of unhappiness.

Because when we reach that destination – say the new house – we come to realise that we are still the same person. Nothing has changed. That lingering unhappiness is still there. Our answer is to project the happiness forward once again – I’ve always wanted to hike the Himalayas. That’s what my life has been lacking and that’s what will make me happy.

A lot of people go through their entire life like this. And it’s a problem, because they are always chasing happiness as though it is a destination they will one day arrive at.

That is not the case. And the big, glaring problem, is that what you are allowing yourself to accept, is that whilst on the journey to the destination of happiness, it is ok to be unhappy.

Insert big mental siren sounds and warning strobes.

That is not ok and it is not how you should journey through this big mystery of life. I don’t even know you, and I do not want that for you. Because one day you will be sitting there, looking back on your life, and suddenly the picture will clear and you will realise all the opportunities for happiness that you ignored whilst you were on that never ending journey.

Speak to elderly people. I am at a slight advantage in that through the charity work that I do, I am in regular contact with those people who are at the latter stages of their life. And I listen to what they say, because they have already trotted through all of the stages in life that I have, and also the stages that are yet to come for me.

All of them have one common thread – Do what makes you happy. Don’t wait. Don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t hold yourself back.

There is no destination you are going to finally arrive at one day and suddenly think – great, now I’m happy, I’ve completed this thing called life.

Happiness starts with you, wherever you may be right now. Make the decision that you don’t need to achieve anything else, you don’t need a bigger house, you don’t need that million in the bank before you will allow yourself to be happy.

You may never be one of those people who just seem to radiate happiness wherever they are and whatever time it may be. But you can allow yourself to be content and enjoy what is around you. And that can be enough.

If you take nothing else from this blog post, simply know that I want you to be able to be happy. A big Scottish trader who has never met you before.

Each of us can feel that happiness and contentment in our own way. Here are some of the ways I stop and allow myself to realise that hey, I don’t need to keep walking after that dangling carrot, because there’s an apple right there in my hand:

-       Be around friends and family, including the 4 legged furry type (I’ll insert that I may have been referring to my sister in the second part of that statement, just because I know it will make her smile and annoyed at the same time)
-       Drink good hot coffee and read a book when it’s stormy and cold outside
-       Go hiking. Six hours of pain and struggle for views that last forever
-       Meditate. Not because I expect to meet some glowing deity, but rather because it teaches me to quiet my thoughts, which are the main reason for not feeling content

Find what you enjoy doing and spend more time doing it. Allow yourself to feel happy, even if you’re simply curled on the sofa watching TV. Realise that there is no destination, only the journey. And try not to take it all too seriously.

And here's a picture of my dog dressed as a Jedi... just because.

I hope you all have a great week.

James Orr

Friday, 27 January 2017

Forex Pair Aud Usd Live Day Trade - Allowing a Retrace - 26th Jan

In this live trade I take a short position after the Forex pair Aud Usd seemed to move into a short term downtrend. After we set a lower low I allowed the retrace back to test the previous swing low, letting the market move against me in the process. It was only after the second test of the low showed support that I exited the trade. It is always important to make decisions based on your analysis rather than your emotions in a trade.

Forex Pair Aud Usd Market Review and Subsequent Opportunities 26th Jan

The Aud Usd is still within strong levels of support and resistance on the daily timeframe. After breaking the previous swing high on the daily, I have become neutral on this market until it gives more evidence of its next move - either trending or ranging. Until that happens I am happy to look at the keys levels both to the bullish and the bearish side.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

T-Model Trader Blog Post 7 - Beginner Blog Series

Hello Traders.
 I hope you've all had a great trading week. 
 T-Model Trader is back with his 7th blog post in our beginner trader series. As always, I hope you enjoy it and can take something from it that will help you on your own journey. 
 For me, I enjoyed this one simply for its reference to a WW2 experience. Sometimes we really do forget how lucky we are.

James Orr

DT Blog 7
I was out having a walk, watching the sunset on a cloudless clear evening when Bill came to mind. What followed was rather intriguing I thought. So, I would like to tell you all about him and the thought.
He was my neighbor some years ago and would have been in his early 80’s when I got to know him. Before the war, Bill was a tea blender, to which he continued once it was all over. So visits to his place were always accompanied by the most extraordinary pots of tea, flavors of which I can’t even begin to describe.
He was one of the kindest and most compassionate persons I have ever met. There was something so lovely and gentle about him. He also happened to be one of England’s most decorated and successful WW2 spies. If you spend time with him, this fact seems incredulous. It just doesn’t fit. Interestingly, it is one of those perception things again.
As I love reading true life stories and watching movies depicting actual events, I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm to want to know what he actually did as a spy (wouldn’t anyone want too)? The great thing was that he had no problem about telling me his experiences.
Some of stories were just mind boggling and so hard to put it into a schema of reality. I was really interested to understand what makes a person want to be a spy and also to what personality types would be drawn to doing that sort of work. Then one day he explained about being recruited as a spy.
He told me that they didn’t really want the “alpha” male type persona. In fact they wanted the opposite. He said that they recruited him because when asked what he enjoyed doing, he flippantly replied “watching the clouds drift by”. Perfect and he got the job.
The thing about being a spy he explained was that you spend a truly large amount of time just waiting. The “alpha” types tend to blow their cover because they can’t sit still long enough. Being a spy is 90% boredom and 10% sheer terror he said.
As Bill explained to me, that they recruited people who could simply just dream away the day. Given that you may be in a coffin size room under the floor boards for long periods of time, being self -contained whilst staying mentally and emotionally calm was of prime importance.
One of Bill’s passions was poetry and he could recite long passages at will. He said he could just go into this inner world and recall verse when having to bunker down for long periods of time as the means to keep him occupied.
Considering he survived for nearly 3 years off and on behind enemy lines, then his self-management skills must have been excellent. He would tell me that after a while he just developed this ability to wait and wait till the right moment upon which to fulfill the orders.
I got thinking about Bill and all that he told me. I have often wondered about Bill’s life as a spy and to how I would have coped in those situations. He would have his orders, to which he has to follow. There was no question of doing otherwise. There was thou, his own discernment and judgment that he could apply. I thought that this sounded just like a trading plan, but taken to the max. It also occurred to me given Bill’s general disposition and great patience that he may have made a damn excellent trader.

One of the things that truly amazed me over this first year of trading is how intense the emotions can be regarding losses. Rationally, when I have entered a trade, I know that it is a probabilities game. This is pretty basic to comprehend. However, when losses occur, that notion of probability somehow gets swamped by the onset of feeling.
Bill would often say that carrying out his duties was a game of probabilities. What I found extraordinary is that from all that I told me, it appeared that he had accepted that there was every possibility of being caught and executed. The point here is that he didn’t just rationally “know” this to be the case, but had somehow fully accepted this reality at a much deeper level as a possible outcome. It also appeared to me that this acceptance allowed him to remain relatively calm and hence safe. By fully accepting the probabilities game, he then allowed himself the space (or freedom) to then survive.
With this in mind, he then stated it was his task to be as astute as possible to lessen those chances.  As he kept saying, “It was a very black and white world and somehow I traversed thru that by staying in the middle”.
I remember once saying to him in response to a particular engagement that he had undertaken (it was more like picking my jaw up off the floor)…. “How did you not just freak out”? He said that there was no place for the emotions to gain control. Absolutely none. That was just what you did. That is how you had to be. Allowing oneself to be emotional from what I had gathered seemed to equate to wanting to choose death in those situations.
Whilst pondering Bill’s wartime life, the thought occurred to me that maybe I’m not taking trading as seriously as I had led myself to believe. If “not” following the rules was a life and death situation, then I would surely do so. If becoming emotional was going to get me killed then surely those emotions would be jettisoned.
The thought that entered my head was that those who become truly successful at trading have in their own way crossed over into the zone, that place where commitment to achieving isn’t a question anymore. It is simply something that you have become, that has been fully embodied without question or deviation. It is as though it isn’t even thought about, as it is so much a part of the fabric of who you are. And like Bill, they will survive (trading) because of this engrained process.
This is what he was illustrating regarding the “alpha” types who seek to impose upon that reality. I feel that this is just another way of expressing what I was referring to in an earlier blog, about having spent the year “trying to not be a failure’ as opposed to “working to be a success”. In Bill’s case, he just waited calmly for the right set –up to fall into place. As for the “trying to not be a failure”, it would be correct to say that my more “alpha” side wants to make itself known through imposing that willfulness upon the chart, in order to prove something…to make a statement so to say.
In the “working to be a success” scenario, it is just the commitment to keep on doing what is necessary in order to achieve, beyond some sort of arbitrary timeframe. I see this in Bill’s past work of just waiting and waiting for that right moment. It was this skill of his that kept him alive for all those years. If I use Bill as a benchmark, then I have to admit that I have some way to go in my self- discipline regarding trading. I think I am only now beginning to see how immense and far ranging this truly is.
Just some thoughts…….
Till next time…

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Live Trade FTSE 100 - Exiting a Trade When The Market Resists - 24th Jan

In this weeks live trade I take a short position on the FTSE 100. Looking to take the market down toward previous support the market holds strong and as per my trading plan I exited for a 0.5% profit on account. A lot of traders find it difficult to get out of trades early, fearing they will 'miss out', but the most important thing is to follow your plan. 

Ftse 100 Pre Market Analysis Review 24th Jan

In this weekly analysis video we look at the Ftse 100 on the day of the course decision on Article 50. I wanted to wait until that decision was out of the way before trading, and afterward the key identified resistance area produced a number of selling opportunities.

Wednesday Quote Hour

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

My Short Story That Became a Short Film For the Brisbane Film Festival - Croyden

This is a bit of a different video today. One of my other passions beside trading is writing. I have been lucky enough to have a couple of those stories published and one of them was subsequently picked up and turned into a short film for a Brisbane film festival. Some of the longer term subscribers and blog readers asked if I could post the film when it became available - so, here it is! 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Aud Usd Forex Market Analysis For Trading Week Ahead Sun 22nd Jan

Now that the Aud Usd has broken the previous swing high we need to pause and consider the downtrend over. That means we are looking for more evidence as to the next likely medium term move on this market. In this video we go over the main things I am looking for in the coming trading week, including high probability pullback areas.

Ftse 100 Market Analysis For Trading Week Ahead Sun 22nd Jan

Now that we are seeing the weakness enter the Ftse 100 I am expecting most of the price action from the bullish rally to retrace. In this analysis video I take you through the key levels moving forward and what I will be looking at next week.

Friday, 20 January 2017

How to Stick to and Achieve Your Goals Using the 4 R's

In this video I take you through the 4 R's I use to stick to and achieve my goals.

A lot of people give up on their goals too easily, allowing themselves to push the goal to the back of their mind and settle back into the natural 'rut' of life. In this video I show you the methods I use - the 4 R's - that allow me to maintain my focus and determination until I reach my goals.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Blog Post 6 - Beginner Series - Craig Sanders

 Hello Traders.

I'm being incredibly lazy today and not working since it's my birthday. Instead I am spending time with family... mainly walking around like a lost puppy, being reprimanded every time I mention 'charts' or 'I'll just check how the Ftse is doing.' 

One thing I didn't want to skip however was the latest beginner blog post. I enjoy reading them and I know some of you do also. So here we have it, Craig's latest post.

Now I can stop hiding, climb out of the cupboard and pretend like I simply fell asleep for ten minutes. Back to all things cake for me!

I hope you've all had a great trading week.


Blog Post 6 - Craig Sanders
Motivation Method.

Hi all and welcome to the start of the year ahead of 2017. I hope you have all had a superb Christmas and New Year break and are now re-energized and re-focussed for each of your trading journeys into the unknown year ahead. Be warned as you read on as I’m suffering from jet lag and I hope you get where I’m aiming at with this post and not completely confused like I’m currently experiencing.

I spent my xmas break back home in England with my family, it was a well needed escape back into the cooler climate England has to offer and I’ve just recently arrived back into 30-degrees sunshine in Australia and looking forward to setting up the charts for the first time this year.

I’m going to explain a method, that I put together myself mid last year. It’s something very basic I came up with that I found to self-motivate and keep me on the straight and narrow through the good and bad trading days and if it helps others also then it’s a job well done. However, for those of you that don’t choose to give it a try that’s fair enough as it’s not always a 1 fit all approach and I’m sure many people out there can motivate themselves in many other ways away from physical exercise.

It was around the middle of last year when I transitioned from what I thought at the time to be a ‘demo pro trader’ into a ‘scrotum newbie live trader’ or (trainee) for better terms. There was a point that I had decided enough was enough on my demo account and I was over the moon with what I was consistently achieving month by month and that was the time to transfer real funds into my brokerage account and have a crack at real time trading the FTSE 100 on the 5-minute timeframe.

After a few days of trading with real money and beginning to get a feel of trading with my own money, out of the blue I seemed to hit a downward spiral with a string of 5 losing trades. Trying my hardest to stay positive and re-confirming to myself that this is perfectly normal and I had stuck to my plan. This was beginning to prove more difficult than I had ever imagined.

Day by day a few more days past by and I seemed to be in a sort of ‘lock down’ mode, attracting losing trades only, so frustrating it gives me shivers reminiscing. Eventually leading to excessive over trading, trying to win back all the losses and eventually onto the occasional emotional trade here and there which as we all know can result in huge damage to one’s account!  
The nightmare had finally become real, all the previous moments in the past where I had told myself

‘I’ve got this mindset stuff down pat’ … ‘I’m cool with my own phycology and understand that I can’t win every trade’ … ‘when I come across losing trades, I’ll continue with my plan no matter what’ … ‘I’m different to the 90% so it’s all good’

they didn’t seem to matter or be working anymore alongside my belief system. My Head space had shattered; the emotions were flooding me from the inside out and they had taken on a path of their
own, resulting in more wreck less trading with no clear solution of how I could override it. The frustration was so immense and I felt I had no one to turn to for advice.

The above situation eventually made me stop in my tracks and begin educating myself on ‘self-development’. I read so much material and watched countless YouTube videos and slowly but surely began understanding that the problems I were experiencing were quite common traits and they were being created within myself and if I wanted to turn my trading around then I also had to turn my mindset around but firstly by admitting it, acknowledging it and then actioning it.

Before the above mindset gap is noticed and confirmed it is highly common that we as individuals tend to go through a system blaming process and start to point the finger towards either the brokerage or the course we learned to trade from. This of course is a skewed outlook but in that particular moment you are convinced otherwise. As an example, like myself did once or twice, ‘you get stopped out again right before the market turns and goes in your original desired direction’. This creating frustration and anger and making you question whether the broker is potentially ripping you off?!! (you know the thoughts I’m talking about).

Over a period of weeks, I had soon found a new routine that I learned to tweak and work in with my trading, it involved several personal development strategies and had started to be a proven turning point for myself and in fact today is fine tuned to suit my daily approach.

Without diving into the fine detail as it’s not always necessary to do so, however I will explain the main motivational aspect that I feel works in well for me before the market opens at 8am UK time. It’s what I call my 10km flog out! I’ve always been a keen runner and love staying as active as possible and at the best of times I like to keep in as best shape as I physically can be depending upon
my lifestyle at the given time.

So, alongside my new found daily meditation practices, motivational audios, hot yoga and a few other activities I like to participate in, I have this strong desire to be sure to run my 10km consistently before the market opens and trading commences each and every day Monday through to Friday. Remember, this is only something I’m explaining that I choose to do and I personally have tested and proved it to work for myself. It must be the endorphins from high intense physical exercise that puts me in a particular positive state of mind.  You could be a keen swimmer or a keen meat head in the gym, either way if you set yourself a goal mentally and make it beyond your physical capability then this is where I have found running to work for myself with the ‘mind over matter’ approach, meaning set the goal and don’t stop until you reach it or exceed it!

I basically set off for my run 2 hours before market opening, the run itself is a distance of 10km, 5km 1 way and 5km back. This routine basically ‘flogs’ my body and mind which is another saying for pushing my body and mind past what it thinks it can achieve physically and mentally (MIND OVER MATTER).

Hopefully I haven’t gone to far off subject as this isn’t a post about how to run 10km but merely a daily ritual I set myself before trading the markets each day. The reason I felt the urge to discuss it is due to the ‘high’ that it gives me after completing the full 10km and the fartlek training without quitting half way through or cutting short either the run, press-ups or slacking on the speed I choose to run. I choose to use it as a practice of motivation, a sense of fulfilment as well as the primary motive being a sense of achievement. If I complete my run to the best of my ability each day and then go onto trade, it somehow has proven to help my mental state whilst trading and experiencing either winners or losers. I also mix in swimming when needing to take a rest from the running and again, set pre-determined goals before I begin and always make sure I succeed in meeting my end aim!

Underneath the gruelling exhaustion I sometimes find myself in whilst in mid-run with the Australian sun beating my ass whilst I choose to run at some ridiculous times most days just to make it even harder. I tend to have a set of self-esteem affirmations I read out to myself whilst running. I personally find that being under such intense exhaustion and then focussing on repeating my affirmations, whether they be goals or motivational quotes to do with trading, they help me tremendously with feeling positive and on top of my game mentally and physically for the remainder of my day. This of course I find highly beneficial for when the time to trade comes around after a hot shower and freshly dressed to commence studying the markets. All a while I’m constantly self-analysing myself and my thoughts and mindful of any euphoric states I could potential slip into and become over confident whilst trading.

I guess the message I’m trying to convey is anyone can exercise in any particular way to suit themselves, whether that be running, swimming, walking, cycling or whatever you wish… Try it! Find your sense of satisfaction, choose something you enjoy, it doesn’t even need to be exercise it could be an interest in something else, being artistic for instance and attempting each day to draw something if that’s your thing…. Basically, find your thing, your interest and then consistently attempt to exceed at it each day before or after the markets, whichever time suits your lifestyle.

Win or lose in any particular trade, what I have found from sticking with my daily exercise routine is that I manage to push through the negative trading days and run another day…. which leads to trading another day, keeping risk management strict and sticking to the plan! It seems to keep me balanced and intact, yet before the running the losing spirals were overcoming my logic and setting off emotions which eventually if occurred repetitively could cause self-doubt to creep in and blur my vision. So naturally I have continued my running routine alongside other routines which clustered together have created a daily ritual I guess you could call it, it works for me so I shall continue to do it over and over again!

I believe it’s called ‘BALANCE’ I’ve began experiencing, or I’m just more experienced today, or a mixture of the 2. The trick is to find your ‘THING’ and that it gives you the clarity for the right frame of mind.

So, going into 2017 what could you apply if anything to your daily trading routine that could potentially set your mind at ease? or could add extra confluence for calmness?

Is there a particular hobby you could be involved in that would give you more of a daily balance/peace of mind? Overall, giving you the extra mental edge to add to your trading success.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Live Price Action Trade FTSE 100 - Reading The Market - 17th Jan

In this weeks live trade I take a blind sell from key levels. Lining up with the morning analysis from the review video, I was looking for the Ftse 100 to break below a strong level of support and resistance. Once I seen that I was looking for sells and when the market began to squeeze I was looking for a blind entry.

Ftse 100 Pre Market Review and Subsequent Opportunities 17th Jan

In this weeks Ftse 100 review we look at the signs of Ftse weakness following on from the Sunday analysis video where we talked about the spinning top on the daily timeframe. Today we were looking for a break below key levels which would open up a move to 7265, with 7222 identified as the next target to subscribers. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

AudUsd Forex Analysis For Trading Week Ahead 15th Jan

In this weeks analysis video we look at the key levels of support and resistance in the Aud Usd. I go over the potential for the market moving forward, including the support areas below that could see a head and shoulder pattern form, turning the market bullish.

Ftse 100 Market Analysis For Trading Week Ahead 15th Jan

The Ftse 100 continued its strong bullish rally last week. We have seen potential signs of sellers stepping in up at the 7300 - 7340 levels and in this video we look at potential pullback levels as well as the confirmation we need to see to confirm weakness in the market.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Live Forex Trade Aud Usd - No Trader is Perfect - 12th Jan

In this live trade video I take a short position from a key resistance level identified from the daily timeframe. The trade completes for just less than 1:1 risk reward. I also take you through the previous entry which took me out at break even. I do this so that beginners can see that we all make mistakes in trades (for me it was choosing too great a profit target). If that's not enough... There's also a picture of a Ferrari!

Forex Aud Usd Market Review and Subsequent Trading Opportunities 12th January

In this weekly market review video we look at the previous swing high on the Aud Usd from the Daily timeframe. The pair has made a strong bullish rally right into the previous level and we look at it as key resistance for the day. 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

T-Model Trader Blog Post 6 in our Beginner Trader Series

Hello Traders.
Now that the holidays are over - and I hope you all had some great down time! - we can get back to the beginner blog posts.

T-Model Trader - Blog Post 6
The Journal(s)
The eminent essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emersion once stated that in relation to his young son’s death, that he could not “hold it any closer to his heart”. He was saying that to the best of his ability, he was attempting to feel the intensity of this experience to the fullest. The key to this statement is that he was “actively engaging” in ways to find the means to feel it more so. He wanted the anguish and sorrow to not just disappear, but to penetrate as deeply as possible in order that he could allow the emotion to reach the greatest of depths. What he didn’t want was to push this emotion away and banish it from his personal experience.

As we all know, trading can trigger a vast array of emotional responses. Successful trades trigger emotions that we are all too happy to allow flood our being. We like this feeling. Losses on the other hand, would be best if the accompanying feelings could somehow disappear over the horizon.
This is where the journals are a great asset. 
Firstly, I attempt to see what took place on the chart. This is the technical journal and the practical side of trading. The questions are asked… “What did I miss”….. “Was there in retrospect, certain factors that would have tipped the balance and stopped me from entering that trade”…… “Did I miss a trade management point”….or…. “Was it a good loss and just part of the trading paradigm”? If it is a successful trade, then it is a matter of analyzing what I did correctly by asking the mirror image of those questions… “What did I see that was correct” etc. If it is a successful trade then try to emphasize this correct procedure within me.
I do this part of the journal writing these days by placing a folded piece of paper over the computer screen at the point of entry so as to block out “everything” to the right of that trade in my following morning review. On that piece of paper I have written down several questions. Although I know what unfolded after the trade entry, my attempt is to go back and relive that moment of analysis to discern my thinking, beyond what I wrote down at the actual time in the live environment.
This first set of questioning arises out from the trading plan. It is fundamentally an analytical undertaking and in a perfect world, should be without emotion involved. These responses go into my technical journal. Although I now know these questions off by heart, it is good for me to see them again and again as these questions are continually driving home some very fundamental points about trade set-ups.
The second aspect of my review writing is to probe my feelings and I do this mainly at the café and in a separate journal, so I am away from not only the computer (no trade screen) but also out of the house completely. I find this different location to be truly valuable in gaining some clean emotional air.
This is the hard part really. Like Emersion, I want to get as close to the feelings as I possibly can in this part of the journaling. Questions like… “Do I feel like a failure”…. “Am I just destined to screw this all up”…. “Why can’t I get consistency” and so on are usually on the menu. I don’t have these questions written down like the other ones, but in a similar way, they are all highly familiar and repetitive.
These emotional reactions are usually lacking in perspective and fall into a doom and gloom reality very quickly. I know that it is important for me to get inside of them, because it can feel like a thick fog and a total black out. But like all foggy mornings, a beautiful blue sky (insight) usually awaits the clearing.
If it is that I have a voice within me stating that I am a failure, then I really want to go about exploring what that actually is. In my experience, the more that I question these “self- defeating statements” usually the less impact that they have. But in order to do so, it is necessary to get as close to them as possible. So now, regarding losing trades, I go do an “Emerson” and don’t push the feelings away.
One of the great fallacies people have regarding coming to a counseling/therapy session is that someone is going to provide them with a magic formula that will instantly remove the issue at hand (Oh yes, that Holy Grail thing…again). The reality is that the closer the troubling emotion can be held within, the less impact it will have. There is that saying about “keeping your friends close and your enemies even closer”. It is the exact same thing. I try to keep those emotions related to losses as close as possible. .
I would also suggest that this aspect of the journal be written by hand. I have seen this over and over that those who write by hand seem to be able to connect with the feelings better. I can only speculate and my thought is that there is a physiological/somatic relationship in the action of handwriting, hence we all have highly unique styles. Regardless of the “why”, I know that I can express my feelings better when I hand write. When I type at the computer, my brain/mind function kicks in more so and likes to play editor. Pen on paper is non erasable. It is more primitive an action, which I believe has a greater connectivity to the emotions. It is also more non-linear, in that we can change the size of the writing easily, emphasizing certain words, writing on angles, drawing pictures and so on.

Over the last month of 2016, I literally saw my trading account go up and down repeatedly that it appeared to be jogging on the spot. Frustration was one of my great trading companions during this time.
Yet, if I step back a little, I can also acknowledge that when I have had some losses, I have also been able to rebound promptly and recoup my account. This in itself is a truly worthy point to “hold as close as I can” inside me, as I can feel the development of trading resilience taking place. Although I can be tossed about in that trading storm, I can now see that I’m able to keep my head above water and not drown. This is really important as I know I can easily fall prey to intense doubt over my ability to trade successfully.
I had read many times the need and benefits of a trading journal, yet it took me around 7 months or so to truly begin to use this medium wisely. However, I also see that this is a part of a natural evolution and now take comfort in the progression taking place.
In looking back, the first half of 2016 journal entries were indeed quite thin in expression. They were all rather lacking a depth of feeling. It was around October last year that the journal writing began to find its groove and fell into place.
I have pondered over this change that took place, as it is quite evident from the journal entries that there was a major shift. I would attempt to describe losses in the first half of last year as thou wearing a protective anti-contamination suit, trying to get in and out as quickly as possible to avoid contact with the reality taking place.
Then something changed. I became more involved with each entry. I took more time. Maybe like Emerson, I can only say in retrospect that I allowed those losses to sit within as I attempted to find the words to describe the feelings. 
A few weeks into this stage I realized something highly important. I could see that my writing volume had increased simply because I was seeing so much more on the chart. There was no Ah-ha moment as such, but just a steady accumulation of insight based upon the number of hours spent watching those candles form. With each and every trading day, I had also been participating emotionally as well and the signs of repetition were beginning to show. It was during this month that I began to realize that I had taken yet another step in an ongoing deepening of the trading experience. It is a time and interaction outcome.

The following took place about 5 years ago.
I was attending a Loss, Grief and Trauma counseling workshop/training. As part of the week long process, we would do these interactive sessions with people, who were all past clients of the workshop facilitator. They would come in, introduce themselves and briefly explain the situation that they had experienced. As a group we would take turns in creating a counseling scenario.
From the general chatter afterwards, we all thought that we were doing ok. Then the final client arrived on the last day.
She sat down and introduced herself and continued with the following….. “Several years ago I got into my car to go do some shopping, reversed out of the driveway, running over and crushing my 2 year old son to death”.
At that moment, it was like all the oxygen had been sucked out of the room as everyone struggled to breathe. There hung this silence that no one had any idea how to penetrate.
Thankfully….. the facilitator stepped in.
This session didn’t turn into a “demo” counseling, as they went on to explain how they went about working through the loss, grief and trauma.
The women then told us  the singularly most important thing that took place between them in those sessions, which also happened to be the very first thing that the facilitator had said to her. That was…… “Tell me about your son”.
What the facilitator was doing was allowing the women to hold the experience of her son as close as possible. It wasn’t about erasing. Nor about pushing the memory away, but creating a space in order to “hold as close as possible her son”, even if that memory is linked with pain. The woman stated that it was a truly profound and life changing question to be asked.
A trading loss is obviously not in this category, however it is still a loss and emotionally impactful, especially in the developing times. The closer I get to these losses the more I can disarm the emotional content that goes with it.
When I open my big thick emotional journal, it is like I hear the words asking me in a similar way…. “Tell me about the trading experience”.
The better I can get at doing this battle in my journal the less likely I will do it on the trading chart.
Till next time…

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Live 5 Minute Timeframe Trade on Forex Pair Aud Usd 10th Jan

Live trade on the 5 minute timeframe. The Forex pair AudUsd spiked up, breaking out of a short term downtrend. As it did so it spiked into a key resistance level where I took a short trade back down to the previous swing high. This trade was counter trend and one of my confluences was the market reverting back to mean.

Ftse 100 Pre Market Review and Subsequent Opportunities 10th Jan

In our the first week back to trading since the Christmas holidays the Ftse 100 is trading at all time highs. Although this makes identifying support and resistance levels more difficult, we can still look to other clues for what the markets likely moves will be.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Aud Usd Forex Market Analysis For Trading Week Ahead 8th January

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year! Now it's time to get back to trading (admit it, you missed it as much as I did!)

The Aud Usd is still in a downtrend and has recently bounced off of our key support level as identified before Christmas. In this video we look at the strong resistance levels above to watch for potential further bearish price action coming into the market.

Ftse 100 Price Action Market Analysis For Trading Week Ahead 8th January

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year! Now it's time to get back to trading (admit it, you missed it as much as I did!)

In this weekly analysis video we look at the recent rally in the Ftse 100. I am not expecting sustained price action past the 7300 level next week before we see a correction in this market.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

2017...Let's Be Having You!

It's almost time to get back to work. Weekly analysis videos will be returning tomorrow! Wishing you all a great 2017!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

January Discount + The Plans for Decisive Trading in 2017

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year!

The YouTube channel passed 20,000 subscribers just after Christmas. As a big thank you, both Decisive Trading courses now have a 20% discount until the 20th of January. Thank you again.

In this video I also take you through the plans so far for Decisive Trading in 2017.