Article Making Trading Journals Work for You

commanderco

Well-known member
363 7
Psychology & the Consistently Profitable Trader.

Successful trading means to me that you are a consistently profitable Trader ( CPT)
When you sit down to trade your plan, you expect to make consistent profits.

If you cannot see the simplicity in this statement, if you say "what about this", "what about that"
then you are not a CPT and will never be one until you open your mind.

Did I hear you say that you would ABSOLUTELY DEFINATELY like to become a CPT!
Good, that is a very healthy manner in which to start
"I ABSOLUTELY DEFINATELY am going to become a CPT". Oh, and by the way, if your lips cannot form these simple words, then you are wasting your valuable time....commitment
Next, try to think of other high paying, high performing careers that require enormous discipline
to perform routinely under immense pressure, because that is exactly what a CPT does.
Maybe a Pro Golfer and a Surgeon would be two that come to mind, but you can think of others.
They need to be of a passive nature because dynamics ( ie tennis) introduces factors not available to a CPT.
The European golf circuit accepted 500 new trialists last year of which 35 made the final cut.
Each one of the 500 needed $50,000 minimum to survive the first year on the circuit in the event they were among the selected 7%
A Surgeon needs a minimum of 11 years training and an enormous sense of reality when he/she have their hands inside your chest cavity.... no room for dreamland there.
Imagine the pressure on Greg Norman when he needs a simple 3 foot putt on the eighteenth to walk off with a million dollars. He can do it easily. He knows it, the crowd knows it and if the ball had a brain, it would know it as well. In other words "it is common knowledge"
Just try to imagine what could be amassing in Greg´s imagination, if during his rise to the top of golf he had NOT conditioned himself to pass beyond doubt, beyond fear, and into the calm place where he lives. AND off course he sinks that putt. It never occurred to him not to do so.
No wonder he is known as "the great white shark" ... if you do not know why, then look it up.

Back to trading.
If you think that none of this applies to you; if you think that you are very clever; if you think that you are good with numbers; in fact, if you are thinking at all about anything, then you are not paying attention. This inability to focus on NOW will cost you all your money in trading.
NOW do I have your attention!
The reason why most of you are going to fail miserably is because you cannot focus on NOW
and the reason you cannot do this is because it is too painful to penetrate the borders back to reality from which you have become seperated.
For you; in trading (and we are only interested in trading, nothing else) you never gave yourself a chance when you drifted into the highly disciplined arena of trading without commitment,
without a timetable, without a plan, without ....... Perhaps, you thought "someone else will do it for me", and with that you bought courses, you bought books, you read the net, always looking for something that would give you "the edge"
Well mi Amigos, I have news for you .... YOU ARE THE EDGE.
If you dont believe me, then put your hard earned cash into the market.

If you hunger to become a CPT then you are going to need to address this separation with reality that prevents you from the NOW.
Give yourself a break and start by being honest with yourself.
How badly do you want this and how far are you prepared to go.
If you say " This is what I want and I will do whatever it takes" then these are the words of a brave person or someone who is still fooling themselves. The Army will just love you.
This where a lot of people live who feel that they are commited, but never feel calm.
Hope has replaced commitment without them knowing it and a sense of anger & frustration is in the air.
These are not the feelings of a CPT
Like hyenas around a wounded Buffalo, this site & others similar, are ring fenced with Vendors offering products, many of which are good, some very good.
By all means go shopping, but take a moment to think that "if the product does the work" why am I so lucky as to be offered a 33% discount. Perhaps there is more to this game.
While you are in thinking mode, give some thought to the vast array of product available and yet all we know is H / L / O / C & volume.... public knowledge. In the case of glbx, the O is not much use to you and in the case of Forex, you would be suspicious of Vol even if you knew how to use it.
Yes, you can learn about timing of Opens and timing of glbx markets, in fact you can learn so much that eventually you could write an ebook and join the ring fence.
But, you said that you want to be a CPT and move through that invisible barrier, beyond pain, beyond doubt, into that state of calm.
If it means that you work from 4am to 9am before your normal day starts and you do not work in the evenings because it destroys your family time, and if this continues for 6 years or more.
and if this is what it takes for you, then you have no choice if your goal is to be a CPT.
If you think that this is extreme, trust me, it is not.
A T2W member PM ed me asking my advice on fx as he was struggling after 3 months.
I told him "Turn off your programme and each day for the next 2 weeks collect the EOD figures and draw a daily candle chart with a 4 period stoch to match and at the end of 2 weeks compare your chart with your programme...... never heard from him again. He must have known that in the following 2 weeks I was going to ask him to construct a MACD.


The heading of this post is "Psychologist & the Consistently Profitable Trader."
Can a Psychologist help you become a CPT?
In my opion this thread has addressed the question.
If you cannot see the answer, you have 2 choices. Carry on deluding yourself or take two steps back away from any trading contact and wait until your head clears .... maybe soon, maybe never.
For those of you from OECD countries who astutely ask the question " can people from other cultures trade more effectively", please take a moment and think about this.
A beginer Trader in England funds his/her account with BP and begins trading in the US market, thus reducing the impact of initial losses.
At the same time a Beginner in Jakatta funds his/her account in rupiah and trades the US market.
Who is under pressure? Obviously, they both are in their own ways.
This is a solo game. There is no one other than you pushing the "submit / confirm" button.
Are you a Solo player? now there another a good question to ask yourself.
 

SOCRATES

Veteren member
4,966 136
commanderco said:
Successful trading means to me that you are a consistently profitable Trader ( CPT)
When you sit down to trade your plan, you expect to make consistent profits.

If you cannot see the simplicity in this statement, if you say "what about this", "what about that"
then you are not a CPT and will never be one until you open your mind.

Did I hear you say that you would ABSOLUTELY DEFINATELY like to become a CPT!
Good, that is a very healthy manner in which to start
"I ABSOLUTELY DEFINATELY am going to become a CPT". Oh, and by the way, if your lips cannot form these simple words, then you are wasting your valuable time....commitment
Next, try to think of other high paying, high performing careers that require enormous discipline
to perform routinely under immense pressure, because that is exactly what a CPT does.
Maybe a Pro Golfer and a Surgeon would be two that come to mind, but you can think of others.
They need to be of a passive nature because dynamics ( ie tennis) introduces factors not available to a CPT.
The European golf circuit accepted 500 new trialists last year of which 35 made the final cut.
Each one of the 500 needed $50,000 minimum to survive the first year on the circuit in the event they were among the selected 7%
A Surgeon needs a minimum of 11 years training and an enormous sense of reality when he/she have their hands inside your chest cavity.... no room for dreamland there.
Imagine the pressure on Greg Norman when he needs a simple 3 foot putt on the eighteenth to walk off with a million dollars. He can do it easily. He knows it, the crowd knows it and if the ball had a brain, it would know it as well. In other words "it is common knowledge"
Just try to imagine what could be amassing in Greg´s imagination, if during his rise to the top of golf he had NOT conditioned himself to pass beyond doubt, beyond fear, and into the calm place where he lives. AND off course he sinks that putt. It never occurred to him not to do so.
No wonder he is known as "the great white shark" ... if you do not know why, then look it up.

Back to trading.
If you think that none of this applies to you; if you think that you are very clever; if you think that you are good with numbers; in fact, if you are thinking at all about anything, then you are not paying attention. This inability to focus on NOW will cost you all your money in trading.
NOW do I have your attention!
The reason why most of you are going to fail miserably is because you cannot focus on NOW
and the reason you cannot do this is because it is too painful to penetrate the borders back to reality from which you have become seperated.
For you; in trading (and we are only interested in trading, nothing else) you never gave yourself a chance when you drifted into the highly disciplined arena of trading without commitment,
without a timetable, without a plan, without ....... Perhaps, you thought "someone else will do it for me", and with that you bought courses, you bought books, you read the net, always looking for something that would give you "the edge"
Well mi Amigos, I have news for you .... YOU ARE THE EDGE.
If you dont believe me, then put your hard earned cash into the market.

If you hunger to become a CPT then you are going to need to address this separation with reality that prevents you from the NOW.
Give yourself a break and start by being honest with yourself.
How badly do you want this and how far are you prepared to go.
If you say " This is what I want and I will do whatever it takes" then these are the words of a brave person or someone who is still fooling themselves. The Army will just love you.
This where a lot of people live who feel that they are commited, but never feel calm.
Hope has replaced commitment without them knowing it and a sense of anger & frustration is in the air.
These are not the feelings of a CPT
Like hyenas around a wounded Buffalo, this site & others similar, are ring fenced with Vendors offering products, many of which are good, some very good.
By all means go shopping, but take a moment to think that "if the product does the work" why am I so lucky as to be offered a 33% discount. Perhaps there is more to this game.
While you are in thinking mode, give some thought to the vast array of product available and yet all we know is H / L / O / C & volume.... public knowledge. In the case of glbx, the O is not much use to you and in the case of Forex, you would be suspicious of Vol even if you knew how to use it.
Yes, you can learn about timing of Opens and timing of glbx markets, in fact you can learn so much that eventually you could write an ebook and join the ring fence.
But, you said that you want to be a CPT and move through that invisible barrier, beyond pain, beyond doubt, into that state of calm.
If it means that you work from 4am to 9am before your normal day starts and you do not work in the evenings because it destroys your family time, and if this continues for 6 years or more.
and if this is what it takes for you, then you have no choice if your goal is to be a CPT.
If you think that this is extreme, trust me, it is not.
A T2W member PM ed me asking my advice on fx as he was struggling after 3 months.
I told him "Turn off your programme and each day for the next 2 weeks collect the EOD figures and draw a daily candle chart with a 4 period stoch to match and at the end of 2 weeks compare your chart with your programme...... never heard from him again. He must have known that in the following 2 weeks I was going to ask him to construct a MACD.


The heading of this post is "Psychologist & the Consistently Profitable Trader."
Can a Psychologist help you become a CPT?
In my opion this thread has addressed the question.
If you cannot see the answer, you have 2 choices. Carry on deluding yourself or take two steps back away from any trading contact and wait until your head clears .... maybe soon, maybe never.
For those of you from OECD countries who astutely ask the question " can people from other cultures trade more effectively", please take a moment and think about this.
A beginer Trader in England funds his/her account with BP and begins trading in the US market, thus reducing the impact of initial losses.
At the same time a Beginner in Jakatta funds his/her account in rupiah and trades the US market.
Who is under pressure? Obviously, they both are in their own ways.
This is a solo game. There is no one other than you pushing the "submit / confirm" button.
Are you a Solo player? now there another a good question to ask yourself.

Very well put, commanderco.

The problem for nearly everybody is a problem of dealing with unfamiliar intangibles.

This makes it very difficult to pin down for most people within the framework of an abstract concept and a percieved artificial construct.

For them the "NOW" gets warped into " perhaps later...and then according to my ideas about this....I can make this work....because I am perfect / clever / good looking / educated / streetwise / etc.,...and for these reasons.....I am the exception....and I.....do not... have to do or go through all this hassle....which according to my life experience.........seems ...........arcane...irrelevant...so...I will pretend....at least for the moment....because it secretly suits me..........(ha ha ha).....
for the moment............ to go along with it ...but ....perhaps later...", and what comes out of the pipe at the other end is completely different to what went in. If it were not so grave it would be funny, and this the first step that people take to set themselves up to fail, so I agree with you as I have seen it happen many times.

And this is the general rule because only a few are able to go through what we call the glasswall by avoiding these temptations induced by merely being human and having a personality.

Now, the really tough ones are able to isolate themselves and concentrate. These are the ones that crack it, whilst all around them fail.

They now remain as quiet as mice, and don't let on for fear of being pestered.

The longer this goes on, the more secretive they become, and finally when they do acquire a true edge, a razor sharp one, they guard it jealously.

The untrained observer remains baffled as to why some are successful and others are not.

The unsuccessful ones are very vociferous. The successful ones smirk and keep quiet and do not enter discussions which may threaten them into revealing their hard earned edges.

At this juncture the scene is totally polarised, with on the one hand the ones that succeed and on the other the ones that fail.

The ones that fail squeal loudly for help, but not accepting the fact necessarily, or indeed consciously that they are the architects of their own failure.

Now the real comedy starts, because the house psychologist is called in to help.

As my original question, in the light that the house psychologist only has experience with failing traders as the successful ones do not need any help of any kind and remain stum, WHAT does the house psychologist do or try to do to make the unsuccessful ones successful?

I hope that on this occasion this post will not be deleted, as this time, the question is backed up by a reason for asking it in the first place.

I await with very keen interest to see what answers we get, if any, and this time from an experienced relevant entity, with relevant frontline psychological counselling experience in a
prop house riddled with such problems engendered by the scenario as I describe above.

I will be making further comments on the other matters you mention in a later post to follow this one.
 

commanderco

Well-known member
363 7
As stated earlier in this thread , I do not keep a trading journal. The thought of mulling over yesterday´s business provides me with nothing useful today.
I do however write notes to myself for the next day or beyond, based on some discovery or notion that I have had today; but I do not carry forward an analysis of my trades.
They are on my account if I ever need to refer to them.
If I did something wrong in a trade, I would stopped out by my bracket. After all that is one of the reasons that I put it there in the first place.
This is a natural evolvement from my trading style a while ago and provides me with a solution to a problem that has long bothered me.
However, if I screw up, I know it, in every piece of my DNA.
I do not need to wake up next morning and reinforce the lesson. It is a brand new day, it brings brand new things and amongst everything new is the need to consistently apply my trading plan for a few hours that morning ... I can do that ... it never occurs to me that I cannot.

I know there are highly respected Trader/ Authors who state enfactically that they have never meet a successful Trader who does not keep extensive notes, graphs, charts of their trades.
I cannot comment on this because I do not know any other Traders, good, bad or indifferent;
and I never have; with the exception of one man who deemed the task impossible after 4 - 5 months for reasons it seemed to me are outlined in my previous post.
I cannot imagine working in an Arcade full of people, many trading different instruments and some trading EC dec 05 and offering suggestions when all I want to do is trade my plan.
I just cannot imagine that.
And so, I just do what I do. Often breaking rules & practices that I never knew existed in the first place.
I cannot offer you anything with authority to make you a Trader, because it is a part of me, paid for in pain, fear and anxiety.
How can I give you that and quite frankly, why on earth would you want it.
If you can see an easier way, then God bless you; and if you can see that you must push on through all that lies ahead, then it is your pain,fear and anxiety that you must acknowledge and rise above, not mine. But you know that.

I never set out yesterday to post to this thread. One minute I was reading the thread while my trusty machine was doing its weekly ablutions and the next minute my fingers were moving.
The grammar & spelling are short of my preferences, but this is hot off the press.

 

SOCRATES

Veteren member
4,966 136
commanderco said:
As stated earlier in this thread , I do not keep a trading journal. The thought of mulling over yesterday´s business provides me with nothing useful today.
I do however write notes to myself for the next day or beyond, based on some discovery or notion that I have had today; but I do not carry forward an analysis of my trades.
They are on my account if I ever need to refer to them.
If I did something wrong in a trade, I would stopped out by my bracket. After all that is one of the reasons that I put it there in the first place.
This is a natural evolvement from my trading style a while ago and provides me with a solution to a problem that has long bothered me.
However, if I screw up, I know it, in every piece of my DNA.
I do not need to wake up next morning and reinforce the lesson. It is a brand new day, it brings brand new things and amongst everything new is the need to consistently apply my trading plan for a few hours that morning ... I can do that ... it never occurs to me that I cannot.

I know there are highly respected Trader/ Authors who state enfactically that they have never meet a successful Trader who does not keep extensive notes, graphs, charts of their trades.
I cannot comment on this because I do not know any other Traders, good, bad or indifferent;
and I never have; with the exception of one man who deemed the task impossible after 4 - 5 months for reasons it seemed to me are outlined in my previous post.
I cannot imagine working in an Arcade full of people, many trading different instruments and some trading EC dec 05 and offering suggestions when all I want to do is trade my plan.
I just cannot imagine that.
And so, I just do what I do. Often breaking rules & practices that I never knew existed in the first place.
I cannot offer you anything with authority to make you a Trader, because it is a part of me, paid for in pain, fear and anxiety.
How can I give you that and quite frankly, why on earth would you want it.
If you can see an easier way, then God bless you; and if you can see that you must push on through all that lies ahead, then it is your pain,fear and anxiety that you must acknowledge and rise above, not mine. But you know that.

I never set out yesterday to post to this thread. One minute I was reading the thread while my trusty machine was doing its weekly ablutions and the next minute my fingers were moving.
The grammar & spelling are short of my preferences, but this is hot off the press.

Yes, another very good post Commanderco.

Though you may not realise it, this journal you keep is not a journal at all.

It is something completely different, the main element being a blow by blow logbook of mistakes.

Making mistakes is crucial to the learning process we all have to undergo in everything in life, not just trading. But in trading it is particularly important because its infrastructure does not allow for the mistakes to be repeated again and again, you see.

Now this process of making mistakes is not a bad thing, IF (which is the smallest word in the English language and for the purpose of this profession is the one that means the most).
"IF" these mistakes are recognised and not repeated.

Now given that all of us have to start somewhere and we have to undergo this tedious process of learning which finally evolves into experience, are there any shortcuts to this ?

Can a House Psychologist wave a magic wand and make the process evaporate in order to exonerate everybody from having to experience it ?

Because, if that could be done, all the unsuccessful traders could be made to be successful in an instant.

I am very interested to hear (on your behalf, not mine, as I already have the answer) for the benefit of the membership and visitors how this magic wand can be waved, and by whom, I respectfully submit.
 

commanderco

Well-known member
363 7
QUOTE=SOCRATES
Though you may not realise it, this journal you keep is not a journal at all
Can a House Psychologist wave a magic wand and make the process evaporate in order to exonerate everybody from having to experience it ?
Because, if that could be done, all the unsuccessful traders could be made to be successful in an instant.
I am very interested to hear (on your behalf, not mine, as I already have the answer) for the benefit of the membership and visitors how this magic wand can be waved, and by whom, I respectfully submit.QUOTE]

Please reread the first part of my post Soc, I do not keep a Journal.

As for The House Psychologist , he just a part of the Ring Fence trying to make a living.
He has no chance what so ever of turning a miserable failure into a profitable Trader on a consistent basis. The raw material is not there to start with.
If a novice Trader has the raw material but does not understand the journey, he/she will in time, come to the realisation that the understanding is in fact the journey. Still no shoe in for the House Doctor to make an honest buck.
When you stop to realise the industry that has been spawned from HLOC & vol, it is like balancing an elephant on a cotton reel. It is all in the elephant´s head I suppose.

My parting thought would be; that it takes as long as it takes; it costs what it costs and the best path to profitability is the one you are on right now. If you disagree with me, then simply change any thing that you are doing ....... it´s your trip, not mine.
 

SOCRATES

Veteren member
4,966 136
commanderco said:
QUOTE=SOCRATES
Though you may not realise it, this journal you keep is not a journal at all
Can a House Psychologist wave a magic wand and make the process evaporate in order to exonerate everybody from having to experience it ?
Because, if that could be done, all the unsuccessful traders could be made to be successful in an instant.
I am very interested to hear (on your behalf, not mine, as I already have the answer) for the benefit of the membership and visitors how this magic wand can be waved, and by whom, I respectfully submit.QUOTE]

Please reread the first part of my post Soc, I do not keep a Journal.

As for The House Psychologist , he just a part of the Ring Fence trying to make a living.
He has no chance what so ever of turning a miserable failure into a profitable Trader on a consistent basis. The raw material is not there to start with.
If a novice Trader has the raw material but does not understand the journey, he/she will in time, come to the realisation that the understanding is in fact the journey. Still no shoe in for the House Doctor to make an honest buck.
When you stop to realise the industry that has been spawned from HLOC & vol, it is like balancing an elephant on a cotton reel. It is all in the elephant´s head I suppose.

My parting thought would be; that it takes as long as it takes; it costs what it costs and the best path to profitability is the one you are on right now. If you disagree with me, then simply change any thing that you are doing ....... it´s your trip, not mine.
You are right, my error. I will rephrase:~

Though not consciously realised, a journal kept is not a journal at all, etc., Better ?

I like the elephant and the cotton reel analogy very much. It goes some way to indicate the manner in which misdirection takes place away from real effort and towards comfort.

The problem is that the comfort sought is only eventually found in the direction in which the search ought to proceed, and it does not make itself manifest until the whole journey has been completed.

The journey itself is the important part but very few are willing or able to make it, as it requires a lot of effort and it is not percieved as necessary.

One of the difficulties with it is that it appears as if in a state of mirage, in which the horizon is not fixed but keeps on drifting away, until one day, suddenly, it stops.

So in contrast, comfort is sought as a matter of expediency with all the inescapable problems that it brings along with it.

That is part of the reason for endless discussion and dissemination.

This need for comfort provides a living for providers, or percieved providers of that comfort which is itself a mirage, but of a different sort.
 

scrappy

Junior member
41 2
Agreed that a psychologist cannot make a unsuccessful trader into a successful trader.
Can a successful trader make an unsuccessful trader into a successful trader. By successful trader i am referring to someone who is not part of the ring fence and does not need to make a living by teaching people how to trade. (Supposedly).

I had for sometime in my early days moved around the ring fence, trying to find someone who could show me the holy grail. It was only when i was mentored by a trader (who charged no fees for his help) that i realised the holy grail is within me.

Excellent posts Commanderco.
 
Last edited:

SOCRATES

Veteren member
4,966 136
scrappy said:
Agreed that a psychologist cannot make a unsuccessful trader into a successful trader.
Can a successful trader make an unsuccessful trader into a successful trader. By successful trader i am referring to someone who is not part of the ring fence and does not need to make a living by teaching people how to trade. (Supposedly).

I had for sometime in my early days moved around the ring fence, trying to find someone who could show me the holy grail. It was only when i was mentored by a trader (who charged no fees for his help) that i realised the holy grail is within me.

Excellent posts Commanderco.
I am pleased to hear of your success.

Are you a psychologist, Scrappy ?

I am waiting for a psychologist to answer my questions that I posted above, and not a successful trader, but thanks all the same. Let us wait and see....
 

commanderco

Well-known member
363 7
scrappy said:
Agreed that a psychologist cannot make a unsuccessful trader into a successful trader.
Can a successful trader make an unsuccessful trader into a successful trader. By successful trader i am referring to someone who is not part of the ring fence and does not need to make a living by teaching people how to trade. (Supposedly).

I had for sometime in my early days moved around the ring fence, trying to find someone who could show me the holy grail. It was only when i was mentored by a trader (who charged no fees for his help) that i realised the holy grail is within me.

Excellent posts Commanderco.

Scrappy,
I imagine that a successful Trader can help a novice Trader "tune up" their act.
Just a thought here and there opens up the doors of our minds.
The "grunt" as always comes from the Learner.
 
 
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