Think Like A Trader Blog

Thursday, 27 April 2017

T - Model Trader Blog Post 13 - Build Your Trading House

Hello Traders.
 T-Model Trader is back with his 13th blog post today.  
The most prominent part of this post is when T-Model shares his period of thinking - 'I will never be successful at trading'. This happens to us ALL. I can't stress enough that the self-doubt is normal. It happens in every area of life. Simply decide that for you, it is going to be different. Pull yourself a little closer to your goal each day. Treat the setbacks as something to be studied and learned from and you will get there.
I hope you all have a great bank holiday weekend!
 James Orr
I think I get the tortoise bit finally!
I first started trading in the second half of 2015 and during that time I was constantly on the lookout for training courses to help get this moving in the right direction. As I am sure many of you are aware, it isn’t the lack of that is the problem, but one of discernment out of the multitude on offer. It felt more like attempting to find the flowers in an overgrown garden of weeds.
As I had joined a couple of online trading forums, I would receive notifications about training programs that were forth coming and saw that there were face to face workshops on offer here in Melbourne.
These training programs would start off with a free one day get together, which was primarily geared towards getting people to sign up for the main seminars. So I toddled along to several of these free training days with nothing more in mind than being exposed to what was on offer.
Well….so I thought at the time.

The first thing that I noticed is that the presenters deflected questions away from revealing the cost of the training until the very last moment. After I had been to a few of these, I started to see this pattern repeating over and over. Part of the reason I would assume, was due to the amount of money being charged. In some cases it was staggeringly high. 
The second observation was that they had constructed the information release in a very cunning way. After I saw this in other subsequent “free” seminar days, it was plainly obvious that they were playing on the “desire” mechanism within each of the participants.

Over this last week, the memory of these training days has occupied my mind. Given that I haven’t really thought about them at all since I first attended, it has been intriguing as to why they have reappeared.
The first of these “free” days that I attended was the worst. I don’t mean that in the sense that it was worse than the others from a content perspective. I say “worst” in respect to myself. The thing that I have recalled the most intensely this last week, is that I left that seminar that day an emotional basket case.
There were a few intense moments around five days ago, where I just sat here reliving those emotions from that day. I recall walking out from the seminar on what was a cold winter’s day in an area of the city flanked by high rise residential buildings. Everything seemed hard edged, colorless and remote.
As the wind whistled down these city corridors I felt utterly drained and empty. A sense of blankness just seemed to descend, engulfing me in this hopelessness that “they” knew the secret and I most certainly didn’t.
I can now reflect back to that moment and realize that there was indeed an extremely loud and vocal noise within saying… “I will never be successful at trading”. It was in retrospect a very simple equation to understand as I had just spent hours listening to this “judgment” being rammed down into my brain cells over and over. Given that they knew and I was one of the dummies, for whom “this secret” had bypassed, it was obvious that success lay outside of me and I was fundamentally doomed unless I sort this external salvation.
Also in reflection, I can now see that I had been “got” so perfectly. Not 100% got, because in the end I didn’t sign up. Let’s just say a damn good 95% got. Sufficiently enough to feel so utterly demoralized.
In thinking about how the other attendee’s had responded by the end of that day, I also realized that I wasn’t the only bunny on that conveyor belt either. The presenter, on many occasions actually stated “You- will- fail- without- my- coaching”. Creepy stuff!

I had sufficient intelligence at the time to realize what was taking place within that “free” training day. Yet at the same time, my desire to want to be successful at trading was also at large, ensuring this mother of all emotional bombs going off within me. One part of me wanted to get up and slap the guy presenting for being so slippery. The other part wanted to fall at his feet and plead that he tells me now what hell this friggin “secret” is, so as to end my suffering.
The tragic aspect to this is that I fell for this perceived power imbalance. He had it and I wanted it and at that moment in time, my desire out shone everything else. With this taking place, perspective was thrown out the window.

I sense that this has returned to my conscious mind simply for the reason that all these many months on, I can see it now in a completely new light. I do feel a cringing inside at acknowledging these things here. I wanted something so strongly, that I became so blinded to the natural processes of learning and engagement.
If you have read Part 1 of the interview with James, I am sure you will notice how often the “time” aspect comes into play. In what I have been writing here, the “time” aspect was most definitely doing a job on me. I was on all counts displaying the emotional maturity of a 3 year old, but resorting to the adult version of it and falling into despair, frustration, hopelessness and impatience.
Really, all that I can say in regards to those emotional states is…. “Oh dear T-model….hook, line and sinker”.

In that Part 1 of the interview, James highlights what is an important point which helps to shed insight on this story. It is “laziness”. My desire at that moment was so strong that the larger perspective got swamped in the need for instant gratification, completely falling for the belief that this guy had the answer. If it was true then all I had to do was get the formula and hey presto, “I have made it”. Easy.
In all the blogs thus far, I have attempted to offer my trading experiences from a raft of differing angles. If it is that you are reading this and have just started on the trading journey, I would like to suggest giving a great deal of thought regarding the “time” factor. It is something for which has plagued me and turned me inside out. It appears that I am not alone on this issue either.
Build this “trading house” slowly and with care. You will save yourself from a lot of truly unnecessary stress. This is all so very logical, however there really does seem to be some strange chemical reaction that takes place in the brain when stepping into the world of a trading chart, that has a “time” reality of its own.
Till next time

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

T-Model Trader Interviews James Orr Part 2

Hello Traders. 

We are back with the second part of T-Model Trader interviewing me. He even managed to slip in a question that made me incredibly uncomfortable this week!

James Orr 

Interview Part 2

Question 4

I would like to stay focused upon the development of your trading style for a bit longer.
You have stated that you undertook various forms of education, which fundamentally didn't work out.

I would like to know more about the time when you decided to go it alone and develop your own trading plan, in what would appear to be a pivotal time in the overall process.

At this point did you have any sort of concept as to what you were wanting to do?
Did you go looking for something specific in the back testing?
Or did you find what worked due to the endless hours looking in that back testing?

­James Orr

Well, after a time, I came to realise that a lot of the people I had found as mentors and who I thought knew what they were talking about, were full of shit (sorry for the language). I began to see that they were showing me how easy it was in their videos and using clever marketing to pick at that ‘easy money’ part of my brain so I handed over my credit card details.

I went through a range of emotions at that stage, and a lot of them were ‘woe is me’ or very similar. I blamed all of the people I had paid for courses and really harboured a lot of anger toward them.

But then, and I still remember this happening, because an advert popped up for one of the guys I had already paid for a course – I can’t remember if it was an email or online – but you know the kind. Special offer. Extended for a few more days. Don’t miss out.

By this time I had seem them offering that special, extended offer that was only valid for a few more days… for months. I remember I started laughing in a ‘why are you so damn stupid at times?’ sort of way. Because there was a sense of clarity finally. I could see that I had made mistakes in my approach to trading. I had been looking for answers from the wrong people and expecting it too fast. I honestly expected to quit my job after 4 months and be a full time trader.

There was a pretty simple, two option choice to make at that time.

1)    Give up and get back to ‘life’.
2)    Figure out how to make it work.

I chose option two. And it was really was through a determination not to be suckered again and also anger at the money and time I had already wasted that convinced me to go it alone.

There really wasn’t much of a plan at that stage in all honestly. I just began looking at charts. For hours and hours and hours. I tried to forget everything I had learned, because for me, that knowledge was now garbage. Unless I could prove something on the charts, then I wasn’t interested in what someone had told me or shown me.

I started practicing things like support and resistance over and over again. I would look for correlations between the times I marked it up and it didn’t work. I would start to list the things that seemed to be causing the mistakes and then the next time round I would aim at correcting it. If the results were an improvement, I carried it forward. If not, it was back to the drawing board.

I did it for candlestick patterns, entry points, exit points, stop sizes, risk reward ratios, timeframe considerations, trend identification.

I did it all over and over again. I looked at the same charts so many times that I could have probably drawn them candle for candle! And things started to happen very slowly but noticeably. I suddenly had things that ‘worked best’. And I could begin putting them together. When I added two things together, I would again test that as though it were a completely new sample. And then I’d add another and another until I had definite ‘confluences’ I could look for.

Even writing about it now exhausts me. It felt like climbing a mountain, sometimes on my hands and knees, but I could see what I was doing and for the first time it was in my hands so I had to make it work. As I mentioned earlier, there was no one else to blame now. It was on me.

Question 5

I have noticed that this notion of "time" has appeared again in your answers. I really am quite intrigued by this reality that seems so common to any trader who has written their story of their trading development.
A couple of months ago I took up learning Mandarin. Given that it is so foreign to my English speaking tongue, I had no illusion that it would take a considerable amount of time before any level of proficiency took place.
Yet, in a similar fashion as you have stated, I also fell head first into the illusion that I would be up and running in a relatively short time span.

Do you have any thoughts, conclusive or not, as to why people seem to fall for the illusion that they can be trading profitably in a very short amount of time?
Surely there must be something more to it all than just being gullible to doggy marketing techniques?

James Orr

Yes. And it’s an easy answer, but maybe also a controversial one…

We all think we’re special!

Each and every one of us harbours the belief – either deep down inside, or closer to the surface for some – that we are somehow better equipped than everyone else. And it is a persistent belief, one that very few people ever seem to quash.

People overestimate their abilities and underestimate the amount of work that is going to be involved. My attitude and very real belief when I came to trading was:

I will learn this in depth for two months.
I will then spend two months building my trading account.
I will then be a full-time trader.

It didn’t matter that there was a 90% failure rate amongst retail traders; It didn’t matter that all of the professionals were telling me to only risk 1% of account and aim for small returns; it didn’t matter that I had never traded before.

I was going to be different. I was going to make a fortune.

And we all do it, over and over again, with just about anything new we approach. That’s why people give up on things so frequently. They approach it with unrealistic expectations (but they’re not unrealistic to them, because remember, they’re special) and when it becomes apparent that it’s going to be a lot of hard work and take time, they can no longer be bothered.

What amazes me most is that quitting one thing doesn’t change the mind-set. It is carried into the next goal or task and just repeats itself. We really are a very strange species!

I also think that it is worse for this generation and is only going to continue getting worse as time progresses. The reason is that we have everything at our fingertips and are able to achieve almost instant gratification.

You want something but can’t afford it? Well, your parent’s and grandparents knew that meant time and saving. For us? Slap it on the credit card.

Want to buy something your friend has? Order it online and it will be here the next day.

Need to find something out? Google it.

We are so used to getting everything ‘now’, that the thought of waiting for something and working toward it, expending great effort over the long term is even harder to comprehend.

But it will take time. And as I mentioned earlier, the real difference between trading and say learning Mandarin as you mentioned, is that believing you will learn Mandarin quickly is no big deal. You find out you’re wrong and then you either stick to it or you give up. With trading, the belief that you can do it quickly means you risk money before you are ready, and then the trouble really starts.

 Question 6

Lets take a new direction here and give trading talk a wee rest.

So....this is the scenario.
I am sitting at your kitchen table talking to your girlfriend over a big pot of tea. Just to make it really juicy, your sister is there as well. 
And in light of what we have been talking about recently here, we have LOTS of time!

I am asking them.....what is this James Orr bloke really like?
What would THEY say?

James Orr

That is probably the worst question you could ask me! I am not a fan of self-evaluation in the eyes of others. I mean, how do you do it without sounding like a complete idiot?

I really should have known you would ask something like this though!

Ok, here goes.


My sister Charmaine would very likely start by saying something like – ‘he’s an annoying idiot,’ because, well, that’s just my sister.

But I would like to think she would then say that she sees me as someone she can trust and come to with anything that is ever troubling her. She knows I would bend over backward for not only her but anyone in my family. She would say I am a hard worker and driven. I hope she would also say that she is proud of me. After that she would most likely to tell you to pour the cup of tea down the sink and hand her a vodka!


Again, I hope Kirsty would say I am someone she can trust completely and who knows I have her best interest at heart all the time. She would say I am a very hard worker – most likely that I work too much actually! But she is always supportive of me, so I don’t think she minds too much. I am almost certain that she would point out that away from work I am essentially a big kid as well!

There, that is all you are getting from me. And that felt like drawing blood from a stone! What I will do is I will message my sister and girlfriend as well and ask them the question. I’ll ask for a one or two sentence reply and tag it on when I post this to the blog.

Here are there actual answers in a couple of sentences (PS, I will pay you both later)(PPS - thank you Charmaine for most likely having me banned from Peru now!)

Charmaine (sister) - My brother and I are extremely close. If I had to sum him up I guess I'd say he is extremely loyal, dedicated, hard working, outgoing and just a little crazy. I can always count on him to be there when I need him, any time of day. Family is super important to him and we always come first. I have many great memories involving him - from epic nights out and amazing vacations to him carving 'Happy Birthday Sis' into stone on the Inca Trail in Peru just because he couldn't be home for it. I'm extremely lucky to have him and will always be his number one fan.

Kirsty (Girlfriend) - James has found the perfect balance between having fun and working hard. He is extremely dedicated to his career and business and he has conquered every goal he has set for himself so far.

Alongside a busy work schedule, he still manages to have a whole lot of fun, whether it be hanging out with family and friends, curling up for a movie night on the couch with me, sampling his favourite whiskys, or just going on a nice walk with me and his pup Cally.

Question 7

I am guessing that it must be going on close to 2 years since Decisive Trading went public.
I have observed a few people over the years that have started up businesses, with a couple of these being internet based as well.
As much as these people were shaping the business, they were also going thru changes themselves, due to the process of that developing enterprise shaping them.
I am wondering how these couple of years have been for you?
Has the business changed you in any significant ways?
Have there been any great surprises for which you would not have imagined?

James Orr

It is actually very close to two years since I loaded the first video onto YouTube. I believe it was the video teaching people how to read a candlestick chart, and that was at the end of April 2015.

The couple of years in between has been both amazing and also completely and utterly unexpected. When I made the first couple of videos, they were simply intended to reach maybe a couple of hundred people and help them avoid a lot of the mistakes that I had made in the beginning. I was still seeing so much nonsense online that I wanted to at least offer a small corner where people could cut through the bulls**t and get some useful trading knowledge. I can still remember my first 100 subscribers and thinking wow, there’s 100 people out there in the world who have connected with my videos and decided that they were useful enough that they wanted to see more.
I never envisioned Decisive Trading as anything more than the few video views, so I was totally unprepared for everything that came after. However, I found that I enjoyed it that way, because it forces me to be creative and inventive in the ways I do things and what I do, which I really enjoy.

I don’t think it has changed me in terms of my values or how I am as a person. However it has brought me out of my comfort zone, especially in terms of appearing in videos. I am a private person and the fact that I now make videos with me in them and post them online still often shocks me when I stop to think about it.

There are two main surprises that have come out of Decisive Trading for me:

1)    I am amazed at how much I enjoy teaching and how attached I get to the students. I feel a sense of responsibility, especially to Zone Traders. It is like there is a community of Decisive Traders now and to as great an extent as possible I need to steer the boat. That is one of the big reasons I am always thinking of ways to move forward and why a lot of what I am doing in the next six months is happening.
2)    The second thing that really surprises me is how I have developed genuine friendships with a lot of the subscribers. I don’t know if that is par for the course with the trading community and educators, but there are a good sized portion of students who I consider friends. If they message me for advice, even if it is out with trading, I am always happy to respond. I also find that I learn about their lives outside of trading and I can honestly say that if they were in Edinburgh I would be happy to meet them for a drink. Likewise if I was in their neck of the woods, I wouldn’t hesitate to message them and find out if they were free.  


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Do You Ever Feel Lost?

Sometimes, when I come to the computer in order to update the blog, I suffer a 'mental blank'. The reason is that there is only so many topics I can touch on in direct relation to trading. When I write a blog post, I like it to have feeling behind it and know that I am giving advice I know to be true and useful, rather than just filling the page with words for the sake of it.

So with that in mind, I am going to start wandering off the trading path now and again.

Today, I am going to start with a post on something that followed me through a lot of my younger years:

Feeling Lost

I truly believe that everyone, at some point in their life, feels lost. It doesn't necessarily mean you are unemployed and hiding under your duvet because you don't know what you want to do with your life. People in jobs - careers even - are just as likely to feel lost. It's a sense of not knowing what lies ahead, usually with a good mix of fear and belief that whatever is ahead, it won't be good.

This was very prevelant for me just after I moved back from Canada. I had gone over there for a year to 'find myself'. But in reality, for me at least, that statement could have been quite easily translated into 'I was running away'. Because I had felt lost before I left for Canada, and the hope was that something would change when I got over there. However it didn't. What I found was that, moving country I could change my surroundings, friends and experiences, and that was great, but the main character of my story - me - couldn't be escaped quite so easily.

Once I got home, that sense of 'feeling lost' was still there, heavy on my shoulders. The best way I can describe it is that I was always irritated and on edge, but I could never put my finger on the exact reason why. I harboured a belief that I should be doing more, achieving more, striving for better. Everyone around me seemed to be finishing University and stepping into careers, looking to buy their first home. In my eyes, they were 'succeeding' at the life map.

It actually got worse for a while after I suffered a fairly bad injury to my shoulder. I had to have an operation and it really impacted me mentally. I lost a lot of strength in the arm and it meant that a lot of the things I had been able to do before, or had the option of doing before, were suddenly removed. I had always kept myself physically fit, so being told that the shoulder would never be the same again and wouldn't be strong really impacted me. I had been looking at joining the Royal Marines at that time, and the injury basically wiped the option off the table.

It was really through chance that I then discovered trading and found I had a real passion for it. That gave me drive in the sense of a career, but it isn't really the main topic of this post. I want to focus on that essence of 'feeling lost'.

I'm sure some of you reading this know the feeling. Perhaps you're feeling it right now.

The first thing to realise, is that you are in no way unique or alone in what you are feeling. I have just shown you that I felt it for a very long period, and in fact it still creeps in from time to time, even now.

So you're saying, 'Great, other people feel this way. That doesn't really help me though, does it? Get on with it!'

How do deal with it? That feeling that nothing is quite right, that you're lost and don't see a good path ahead of you?

Well let's look at what you're doing at the times when it's at its worst -

- You are projecting your future, imagining what is going to happen/not happen.

Both are causing the problem in a big way.

Have you ever heard the saying 'live in the now'? I am sure you have. But the issue with statements like that is that for me at least, they are very airy, are slapped on memes, read, smiled at and then forgotten as you progress through your day. But it holds the key to helping you with this issue.

What are you doing when you project your future and feel lost? Just stop and think about it for a moment.

You're making up stories. You're imagining things. And you're doing it in a negative way.

Why is that important? Because it is all nonesense! At the very best it is a guess. You have absolutely no idea with any real certainty what is going to happen one year, five years, ten years into your future. Life changes and so do you. The very idea that you know what is going to happen is ridiculous. Did you have any idea that Donald Trump would be the President of the US five years ago? I sure didn't!

When you're feeling lost, you need to refocus your mind away from the 'imaginings' and into the real world. And the truth about the real world is that you only know what has happened, and what is currently happening. You have no ability to change what has already happened, so what does that leave you with?

Living in the now.

Whenever you feel lost, try this:

Instead of worrying about what lies ahead, and assuring yourself that the world is going to come crumbling down around you, ask yourself two questions -

1) What would my future self thank me for doing right now?
2) What am I grateful for right now?

Both of these questions pull you back to what you can control and where you are now. They do not rely on fantasy.

1) As soon as that sense of dread and worry appears, make yourself active. Work on something that you think will benefit you. It can be anything at all. Sit down and spend an hour learning coding. Start the German course you wanted to do. Make yourself study for an hour.

What this does is it focuses your mind on something complex. That draws you away from your wandering throughts and onto something concrete and useful. And let's say your worry about the future is failing your exams... Well, studying now is going to be appreciated by your future self a lot more than biting your nails and crying about how tough things are.

2) Realise that no matter how bad you think it is, there is always something to be grateful for. Again, it can be anything at all.

You have a roof over your head. Perhaps a year ago you never imagined you would be able to support yourself and pay bills.

You have a dog who makes you smile and is always happy to see you.

You just had the perfect cup of tea!

Literally, anything that you can think of that you can be appreciative of. Focus on it. Take your mind away from the negative and onto a positive.

What you will find is that by doing this, you are training yourself to refocus away from that worry and lost feeling. You are also turning that negative into something productive.

I won't lie and say that it is a quick fix, or a full proof fix overall. But I can promise you that it will help.

Stop using so much energy on worry. Allow yourself to live in the now. You didn't see a man with a yellow wig running the White House, so you can't see your future with any certainty either. Be OK with that. Understand that feeling lost is normal, but it is also not an accurate depiction of your life. All you know is 'now'. Deal with that, and the rest will take care of itself.

As always, I hope you found that useful!

James Orr

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

T-Model Trader Interviews James Orr - Part 1

Hello Traders.

I am starting something a little bit different today after speaking with T-Model Trader. I came to realise that I have never really opened up about my own trading (and life in general) outside of the blog posts I create. That means they are always things I think about, rather than allowing someone to interview me and put questions to me that they find useful/helpful.

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting up the interview conducted with T-Model Trader. There were no rules for this, and he was able to ask me whatever he wanted to. Some of the questions naturally lead to others, and some are out with the trading remit.

I hope you enjoy it!

James Orr

T-Model – Question 1

I have made mention recently about my daytime trading activities outside of the evening Decisive trading markets. I  start by doing an morning assessment of the market, which in this case was the major index here in Australia....the ASX 200. I write down very clearly what it is that I am seeing and establish my trading plan for that day. 

However, like "fear and greed" there is that other challenging twin called "trust and doubt". What I am starting to see is a distinct lack of trust regarding my assessments and because of this I am then not following through with that plan.

So I am wanting to ask you about the early stages in your development of the Decisive trading method. In that time, as you were pulling it altogether, I am assuming that the "trust and doubt" factor must have been a present emotional state for you as well.

What did you do to overcome this?

James Orr

I think with trading, we go through cycles of emotional states depending on whether we are having a run of wins or a run of losses. It is very easy after a run of winners to become somewhat euphoric and for the little voice in your head to chirp up with things like – ‘This is easy. I’ve finally mastered it.’

Similarly, it is just as common after a run of losses to think – ‘I can’t do this. I’m a failure. I’ll never make a good trader.’

Both are as damaging as the other. The euphoria leads you to lower your standards and believe that you truly are a master trader and have a secret knowledge of the market… And the market happily punishes you.

After the losses, you begin hesitating and avoiding perfectly good trades. What happens is you skip the ones that would have worked perfectly and you jump in on the trades that lose. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You think you’re going to lose and your hesitation compounds the losses.

There are two ways to overcome this:

-       Develop a very good understanding of what you are doing. I back test until it feels like my eyes are going to bleed. The reason is that I begin to see the natural ebs and flows of the trading system. I can see how the losses come and yes, there can be runs of them and it doesn’t mean it is my fault. I can also see there are runs of winners and no, it isn’t because I am a trading God. This allows me to trust the system and focus on the methods, removing ‘myself’ as much as possible.
-       The second is simply by reducing risk. If you’re suffering stress especially, it is because the losses are too large. Reduce the money you are risking and it goes a long way to helping you relax and focus on the charts, not the money. A lot of beginners fall into the trap of believing they need to risk a lot to make a lot. What actually happens is they lose a lot, and usually all of it. Build slowly. The foundations hold the structure you want to build on top, so make sure your trading foundations are solid.

T-Model – Question 2

It sounds to me then that your personal progression as a trader and by extension the development of your trading plan wasn't the "singular great leap forward" but one of a series of graduations?

You mention the ebbs and flows of the trading system. I am thinking here about those people who become the truly great sport stars. The ones that seem to be able to do things above and beyond the general players (who are very good in themselves). 

I am interested as to whether this trading understanding is purely an outcome of the "bleeding eyes" back testing, or could there be other factors involved?

Do you think that instinct exists in trading? 
Or is that just a term for not following the trading plan?

James Orr

This is a difficult one to answer, because I don’t want to mitigate the hard work that goes into learning to trade, or the very real belief I harbour that anyone can become a trader.

I don’t look at it as though there is an ‘instinct’ as such. I suppose I look at it more in terms of what people describe as ‘natural talent’, but I have a very different way of looking at said ‘natural talent.’
For me personally, I don’t like the way people say things like – ‘I wish I were as naturally talented as him/her’. Or ‘It’s easy for them, they have a natural talent.’ You usually see that associated to sport stars or musicians, but it fails to come close to the reality.

‘Natural Talent’ comes with a heck of a lot of hard work. It is helped because, to develop that level of understanding, you need to have a passion for what you are doing. That in turn helps with the development because like I said with the ‘bleeding eyes’ statement, it takes a monumental amount of work. However, if you have a passion, the work doesn’t seem like work. It’s enjoyable, in a sadistic, want to cry, curl up and make it all go away at times sort of way.

So I don’t think I have a natural instinct, but I do think I have learned and evolved to have a very in depth understanding of what I am doing and what the markets are telling me at any given time.

It’s a series of graduations or small steps, sometimes so small that you feel like you’re standing still. But the more you work, the more of that ‘natural talent’ you seem to develop.

The trading plan is key, because it helps to remove the emotional aspect of trading. If you know what you’re supposed to be doing each step of the way, all you need to do is learn to ignore the internal chatter of your mind. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing at all times, then that chatter mixes in with confusion and you are onto a sure fire way for blowing your trading account.

The reality is that most people are lazy. They don’t like to admit it, but they are. We have a natural tendency for it. We seek the easy way, the one that expends the least energy. So steps are skipped and shortcuts are searched for.

In life we see the result as people giving up on things – ‘I decided I didn’t want to learn guitar’ or, ‘I didn’t study enough for my exams’.

In life you can skip along like that without too much damage occurring. But if you bring it to trading, it will tear you and your balance sheet apart.

T-Model – Question 3

There are so many great points in your answers that my challenge here is to not get tangled up in wanting to explore every theme.
It is thou the last two sentences that seems to encapsulate the essence of the nature of trading development.

As you state, that it is possible to "skip along" in life and manage to not get beat up by the process. However, trading has this immediate effect and the mere whiff of complacency will get the trader clobbered.

You have mentioned bits and pieces regarding your trading evolution, however I would like to understand the period of time prior to the outcome of the present trading plan.....before the bleeding eyes.
Did you go through the usual array of experiences and challenges that most people seem to undertake in their trading journey? Did you get torn apart?

I am wondering if this stage might be a necessary one in order to take that step forward?

James Orr

The answer is absolutely, positively yes!

The markets took me to the cleaners. They left me a jittering wreck and severely out of pocket.

I jumped onto training courses from anyone who made it look easy and who showed large winning trades. I spent thousands on the courses and mentorship and then flushed thousands more down the proverbial toilet trying to follow their methods and their – financial freedom in X days – guarantees.

After that I went it alone and it took a long time before improvements started. I would say a year before I would have called myself competent, and another year before consistency came along.

As sadistic as it sounds, I did actually enjoy that period however. Not at the time, but looking back I can see how valuable it was for me not only in trading but in life in general. I was a servant to my emotions – fear, greed, anger etc. – and that really troubled me. I would sit down with one aim and then do completely the opposite because of those emotions.

Without getting too off track, it really made me evaluate ‘life’ and ‘me’. I began asking myself things like –

‘Well, if I want to do something but cannot control myself and do the opposite, who or what is really in charge of me?’

It was troubling in that I seemed to have no control over myself whilst at those charts and I tore myself up about it. However it also made me more determined to get control of myself.

That’s when the real progress started. I threw myself at the task and worked - really really worked. I realised that there were going to be no shortcuts. No one was going to help me. It was quite freeing in a sense – I felt for the first time that it was all up to me. If I failed it was on me.

I lost all sense of ‘life’ during that time. I just worked. On the charts, studying, reading, meditating, and anything else that I could.

I used to work 10 hour days and then come home, shower and begin my ‘real’ work (that of learning to become a trader) until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

I can’t stress this point enough to beginners – even with that level of commitment, it took me two years. Understand that and allow yourself the time. You either commit to succeeding, or you will become one of the statistics who blow everything.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Blog Post 12 from T-Model Trader

Hello Traders.

We are back with the 12th post from T-Model Trader. I hope you all enjoy it and have a great Easter break!

James Orr

Blog Post 12 - T-Model Trader

Warning: Rude words contained within. For those of you without trading experience, caution is advised, as you probably won’t understand the context and may be offended.
After a lovely summer (which means no extreme heat waves) and a long mild autumn, the first of the cooler weather has finally arrived as a southern ocean cold front blows into town.
The upside to this change is that with the finishing of daylight savings here and the commencement of it in the UK, my trading day starts two hours earlier in the late afternoon. What this gives me is a couple more trading hours into the market before that inevitable body/brain moment kicks in and says that enough is enough and it’s time to go to bed (to then watch the review video’s the next morning and see the missed trading opportunities).
Likewise with the seasons, I feel as though I am going through a change in my development regarding trading. I have been thinking about how to explain this over the last few days, as it feels to be an important step forward.
So here goes.
I had mentioned a while back about wanting to have a daytime market to trade. After much consideration I decided to go with the Eur/Usd a few months back. However, around 3 weeks ago I came to the decision that I actually don’t like the forex market that much. And this is the bit that I have been thinking about quite a lot. Why is this?
In the many articles and videos regarding trading that I have engaged in, it is fundamentally impossible to not run into the forex market. So, when DT came along with the Ftse 100, it was something very new. As I knew no better, I simply followed what was being offered and hence the Ftse 100 became known to me.
So over the last few weeks, I made the decision to stop with the daytime Eur/Usd and the Aussie $ in the evenings.  In doing so, I had this strange sense of relief take place that I am slowly coming to understand. 
Instead of the Euro$, I gravitated back to the Asx 200, which is a major index here in Australia. I say back, as this is attempt number 4 at doing so.
If the Ftse is like living in a faster paced city environment, then the Asx would be akin to life in the country. It is generally much slower and has a gentle trot rather than a gallop to its movement. It also starts at the most civilized hour of 10 am and by around 1 pm most of the trading is done.
I feel really happy about these changes and have this sense of contentment growing that I never felt when engaged in the forex markets. So again, I have been asking myself the question of why? Why these feelings and changes?
The answer kind of goes like this……..
Regardless of the market that I initially chose as the daytime trading, the underlying importance is that I wanted to create something independent of my DT engagement. I couldn’t help but feel that this was a really important step for me to take. This doesn’t take away from or diminish anything regarding DT at all, as I am still very much enjoying and benefiting from that ongoing interaction. In many ways, I am always motivated by seeing how DT is constantly pushing to be better…to do better and likewise aim to push myself along as well.
There seems to be a very natural evolution taking place with what I am choosing to do. As stated in an earlier blog, I like the notion of an index with their open and close schedules. I also really enjoy the energy of price action in that first 60 minutes as well. Without going into endless reasons why, all I can say is that the indexes seem to suit my trading personality.
The Asx is like a little cousin of the Ftse with many similarities, so I feel like I am interacting within a genre of trading styles. As I have just one in the daytime and one market in the evening, I have relaxed enormously about the whole process and feel super excited regarding it all.

There is a catalyst to all this. It was simply triggered by my choosing to start my own independent trading. The key to this took place about a month ago when I realized, in a somewhat delayed slow motion sort of a way, that in choosing to do this without external assistance, I indeed had the freedom to design my own trading plan.
I am going to say that again…. “The freedom to design my own trading plan”.
I could at this point wax on with lots of descriptive words and attempt to explain the significance of that statement however I will reduce it to a few words and say “Whoa….this is a profound moment”.
I am not going to get into the details of what is evolving as that trading plan, because that really isn’t the point. What’s important is that I have reached a time and place with the belief that I can actually do that. This is an immensely satisfying self-acknowledgment to make.
The outcome of this process then opened up the question…. “How do I want to trade”?
Following the recognition of the belief in my ability to trade independently, that question of how was the natural second part to this process gathering momentum. This is self-determination in action. This is the first embryonic stages of that independence starting to express itself.

In a state equivalent to whip lash, my mind suddenly engaged in the full reality of what was taking place with… “Holy Shit, this is MY trading plan….what do I want… do I want to trade….what is it going to look like…..what time frame am I looking at…..and so on and so on”?
This so reminds me of that dirt road up into the Arctic on my motorcycle years ago that I mentioned in the last blog of 2016. It is that simultaneous euphoria of freedom and the terror of the unknown clashing swords with each other.
The Asx trading plan isn’t complete and in reality has far to go in its development. I have thou, an outline of the shape of things to come. I have 15 months of knowing that all thou I have come so very close on several occasions to saying “F#*k this”,  (whilst curled up in a fetal position sobbing on the floor) and walking away from it all, I didn’t.  What this stage is really saying is that I am committed to being a success.

I mentioned above about the Asx and my many attempts at this market. In those attempts I would after many losses abandon the whole process, tail between the legs feeling like a failure. In time I tried again and repeated that process in a grizzly Deja vu like experience. I did consider for a moment or two that I had some sort of strange patriotic duty coming out of me that felt compelled to trade my nation’s index. But in the end, I think the reason is that I just like how it wiggles and does it thing.
I now see this market in a whole new light, which is really nothing more than viewing it with a modicum of experience tucked under the belt.
As to why I don’t like the forex market? Well…buggered if I know to be honest. I’ve just got to go with what I am sensing and so far it really does seem to be the correct decision.
Till next time