Think Like A Trader Blog

Thursday, 22 March 2018

What's Coming to Decisive Trading?

Reading Time - 3 Minutes


Hello Traders.

A little bit of a different blog post today. I want to keep you all up to date on what is coming from Decisive Trading in the near future, medium term and even a bit longer term!

Some exciting stuff is in works… well, I find it exciting… but then, I find charts exciting…

Free Subscription

I have been working on this for a long time but have never been able to get things quite ‘right’, whereby I am happy with the structure of it and also who was going to be taking the other end of the ‘deal’.

I am very close to being able to offer Zone Trader Subscribers – current and past – a full six months of subscription, for free! I have a few more calls to make, but a fully regulated, UK based, Spread Bet and CFD offering broker is almost ready to take the other side of that ‘trade’ and pay for your subscription.

Hopefully within the next couple of weeks, I will be able to get the information out to you all through the newsletter. It will save you £240 and mean as a beginner, you can just focus on trading, without having to worry about any recurring cost.

Completely Free Beginner Course

One of the things I notice most about people learning to trade, is that they don’t really understand WHAT they are doing. They know about support and resistance, candlestick patterns and different markets, but don’t understand what a CFD is or what leverage is. If I ask them what a market maker is I just get a blank stare and then usually something like, ‘the people who take out my stops!’.

This course is going to be completely free and will include at least 14 lectures covering everything you need to understand to be a proficient, confident trader.

I am working on it now and hope to have it finished in the next week or two.

Decisive Motivation

This is something I am also looking at and have been working on. Throughout my life I have been faced with and overcome a lot of difficulties. Would it surprise you to know that as a teenager, I was crushed by severe shyness and was unable to even hold a conversation with a stranger? Or that I once had to live for a week by eating out of date protein powder because I couldn’t afford food?

Well, along the way I studied a LOT of ways to work on self-improvement and build the mind-set and discipline of the person I wanted to become.
I am going to start sharing the ways I did it, as well as offering lots of help on building discipline, confidence and drive.

I am moving house (again! But this time to a ‘forever’ home for my girlfriend and I) on the 1st of June and once that is out of the way, I am going to start getting my teeth into Decisive Motivation, most likely into the last quarter of the year.


Last year I held the first Decisive Trading seminar. Next year, I will be hosting another one. Right now, I am just trying to figure out how to fit all of the information I want to get across into the day!

There are more things in the pipeline, but for now they are still ‘ideas’ rattling around inside my head. But rest assured, there is a lot coming!

Well, that’s it for this blog post guys. Lots of stuff coming from Decisive Trading in the next year. Thank you for being a part of the Decisive Trading journey and as always…

I hope you’re having a great trading week.

James Orr

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Who's In Charge?

Reading Time - 5 Minutes


Who’s in charge?

It’s a straightforward question and you would think that the answer would be relatively simple.

Someone turns to you and asks, ‘Who is in charge of the decisions you make and the actions you take?’

The answer that springs to mind, of course, is ‘I am in charge’.

And yet, if you stop to think about it, you might start to doubt yourself.

Learning to trade involves discipline, patience, and the ability to follow a well laid out plan. When it is written like that, compacted into one sentence, no more than sixteen words, it appears almost simple. And yet, dare to tell someone who has been learning to trade for any length of time that it is easy, and they will likely pick you up, turn you over and dispose of you through the nearest window.

When we write down what we need to do to learn to trade effectively, it really does seem like an easy path. Plans are written out, schedules are created, goals are set for the future. It’s exciting and yes, it is possible. Now, all you need to do is start walking the walk, following your plan and your rules.

You sit down at the computer and sure, some of the time things go well. You make some progress. And then… wait… what the hell just happened?

You abandon your plan for no good reason other than you suffered a loss and it annoyed you. The market isn’t playing ball and none of your setups are appearing, so frustration pulls you into random trade after random trade. You skip multiple trades that you should have taken for reasons you invented in your head and then when you finally take one, it’s a loss.

Afterward you sit there, dumbfounded. Perhaps you go for a walk, annoyed and yes, even
depressed. But as you walk, your spirits pick back up again. You assure yourself that it will never happen again. You commit to your plan of action once more and when you push back through the front-door after your walk, the markets better get their asses out of the way, because you are ready.

And you are. Things go well. You follow your plan. You maintain your discipline. And then, all of a sudden, it happens again. The walls come crashing down. You erase your progress in one angry attack on the computer, through one raging episode of greed and envy and fear, taking your anger out on a market that doesn’t even know you exist, hammering at a computer, determined to ‘win’ when all that is happening is that you are losing and making sure that you lose in a big way.

Again, the simple question – ‘Who is in charge of the decisions you make and the actions you take?’

The walk. The assurance that it won’t happen again. The reset. The pushing it to the back of your mind.

Well, you are right, of course. You ARE in charge of the decisions you make and the actions you take. There is no escaping that. Our minds aren’t designed or suited to trading, sure, but YOU are in charge of what you do. So why the hell are you self-sabotaging? Why are you ruining your opportunity to work toward your goals?

That question is aimed at you, the person reading this post. If you suffer from this problem, then you need to consider it. The only way to address what is going on is to shine a light on the problem, set up six big, generator driven spotlights until you can see every corner of the issue.

Most people in the world follow this route. It doesn’t have to be in trading. It can be in any walk of life. Anywhere you see people setting out to ‘achieve’ something is where that self-destructive trait will lie and wait.

Want to get fit so you join the gym and go for a sum total of one month?

Want to start your own business so you buy the books and do the research online for three weeks and then give up?

Want to learn a new language but don’t even attend all of the classes you paid for?

That is the reality of life for most people. It is an endless cycle of setting goals and then giving up on them. It is wanting to do something, knowing how important it is to you, and then tossing it aside.

The problem is that no one likes when things get hard. And with whatever you want to do in life, if it is out of the ordinary, then it is going to be hard. And by out of the ordinary, I mean it doesn’t involve going to work, coming home and sitting in front of the TV because you’re too tired to do anything else.

If you want something different, you need to be prepared to do what others won’t do.

Get that spotlight out and decide if you are self-sabotaging yourself. If you have read to this point, then I am confident that you are doing it.

Stop it.

Stop fucking doing it.

Simple, right?

Well, the words are (just like explaining trading, funnily enough). But there is no way to sugar coat it, no way to wrap it up into fancy sounding ‘tricks’ that will solve the issue for you. All that you need to do is to stop self-sabotaging yourself in whatever it is that you are trying to achieve.

Decide if the effort is going to be worth it. Do you want whatever it is that you are aiming for enough? Is it so important to you that you are willing to work at it when the going gets tough? Because it WILL get tough. If it didn’t, then guess what? Everyone would be doing it.

Now, mistakes are ok. We are all human, and sometimes things go wrong. But you need to be focused on correcting those mistakes. You need to be able to jump on them as soon as they appear instead of letting them spiral out of control. When they come, stop brushing them to the back of your mind and allowing yourself to repeat them a week or two down the line.

You can achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve. But it is going to be hard enough without YOU standing in YOUR OWN way. So, get out of your way.

It is difficult to be alert to it because our natural tendency is to revert back to being lazy and comfortable. But if you want to achieve anything worthwhile, you are going to need to do it.

For trading, make sure you keep a ‘negative diary.’ Tear yourself apart in that thing every time you allow yourself to slip and damage yourself. Do it even if the slip leads to profit. Really pour the negativity and anger onto the page, explain to yourself why it is so stupid to do and how it is going to stop you from achieving your goals. And then, every single time you need to add to that diary, make sure you ready EVERY page of it. The bigger it gets, the more you have to read.

What that will do, is drill it into your mind. And really feel the emotions on each of the pages as you read through it. Remember how it made you feel having to fill in the page and understand that it is holding you back. Keep the diary near your trading computer so you can see it every day. Glance at it before every trade you take and remind yourself how important it is to keep that side of you in the book and away from the actions you are now carrying out.

Be in charge of you.

James Orr

Thursday, 8 March 2018

That Voice in Your Head Isn't You

Reading Time - 5 Minutes

In this blog post I want to step back from the subject of trading somewhat. I want to get a bit more personal, although everything in the blog can just as easily be attached to trading, as well as anything else you are going through in life.

It is a personal insight into me, and something I haven’t shared with a lot of people. But hopefully, by doing so on here, it can help others who go through the same situations.

I am talking about the voice in your head. The one that wants to pull you down, force you to the ground and hold you there. That voice that chirps up and assures you that you aren’t worth a damn, that life is too big for you and everything you do will either fail, or in short order fall apart.

For some people, that voice barely ever speaks up. But for others, it can and does play a big part in their life. It can be the dominating force, if you let it. That voice followed me through most of my youth, and still at times it comes roaring back, shoving its way forward until it is front and centre on the stage of my mind, a lone-concert with no apparent exit in sight.

The problem with that voice is that is comes from within us. And because of that, we believe that it is us. We readily believe the things that it tells us, because it frames them in such a way that it is very difficult not to. We reason that it is simply our summary of the situation at hand. It appears when we are already low and our defences are compromised. It vaults the wall you have built around it and comes slamming down on you greater than any hurricane.

What happens for a lot of people, is that they continue to allow that voice to chip away at them. It picks the battles and continues to attack when those defences are down. Over time, it completely breaks down the wall around it that was holding it in check. And what it does is it starts building a wall around you, until it is the dominant force in your head. Until it has convinced you totally and completely that it is you.

And what happens? It locks you into a very narrow path of life. You lose the belief in yourself and the drive to do better. Your head feels like a weight and you struggle through the days of your life. You do not try to achieve new things, because you believe – no, you know – that you will fail. Mistakes are magnified so large in your head that you fear making them so much that you never try again. Life becomes a mundane march. Around you are windows through which you can see those who do not appear to be afflicted by this voice. But you cannot reach them, nor understand how they do it.

That voice will ruin your life. It will flay the very skin from you, over and over again. It does this because that is how it feeds. It needs to stay in control, and the only way to do that is to make sure that you are weak enough to listen to what it has to say.

But that voice is not you.

It is not you.

It is a grouping of all of your fears and negativity that has been allowed to snowball.

It isn’t an easy thing to deal with. In fact, it is probably the hardest thing that I have ever experienced. It held me back from doing so many things when I was younger. But worse than that, so much worse, is the quality of life it leaves you with. Life is tough enough without your head being bombarded with negativity, the culprit living inside your own head, no rent being paid.

So, what can you do about it?

Well, the first and most important thing that I ever did was to make a distinction between that voice in my head and me. By coming to understand that it is not you, but merely a grouping together of negativity, you can start to separate yourself from it.

Look at it this way: If you knew someone who was in an abusive relationship, would you speak up and try to help them? What if you were at work and your boss was verbally abusing you daily? Would you just continue to work the hours and decide that it was just a part of life you had to accept?

Of course, you wouldn’t. So, why would you accept that sort of treatment from inside your own head? You are allowing that voice to treat you in the exact same manner that you would reject and rally against if it was coming from an external source. Do you understand how little sense that makes?

You live with you and you alone. As I mentioned, life is tough enough without that home being full of negativity and hatred. Your internal voice should be there to help and encourage you, not hold you down.

So, the first thing to do is to realise that the voice is NOT YOU. The next time you find your head becoming a mess of negativity, identify it and detach from it. Imagine that voice as a person, standing in front of you in the room. Really spend time building the picture of it as a physical body. And then have that person say the words that the voice is whispering in your ear.

By doing this, you start to see yourself not as the voice in your head, but as someone separate. And you come to realise that you are in fact under attack.

Now, the next stage. Every time that voices chirps up, externalise it into the physical body. But don’t just make it into a person in front of you. Imagine the voice coming at you from someone who you don’t respect. Make them ridiculous. Really have some fun with it. The more ridiculous, the better.

Maybe you imagine it as a high pitched whine coming from an overweight troll sitting at his computer; perhaps you want the voice to come at you from someone who is six inches tall with their fists bunched in anger, throwing a tantrum and screaming the words at you in a pathetic display from the floor; maybe you see a skinny, frail and frightened person trying to project their fears onto you, so ridiculous it makes you want to laugh. The possibilities are limitless. But make sure you spend some time constructing the body for this voice. Make it ridiculous and someone you don’t fear or respect, make it someone you find ridiculous.

The next time you find yourself being pulled down by that voice, throw it outside of you and into the externalised body. The more you do this, the easier it will become. When life seems to be getting on top of you, listen to it from the screeching, six-inch tall tantrum throwing person on your desk. Understand that it is not you. See the fear driven display for what it really is.

What this does is it allows you to think. To rationally think. It allows you to make decisions based on what you want, not what you fear. And each time you do it, you become stronger and it gets a little easier. The wall starts being rebuilt around that voice, higher this time, so high and so strong that even President Trump would be proud of you.

Keep moving forward and don’t let anyone – especially yourself – hold you back.

James Orr