The Holy Grail of Trading

One of the biggest misconceptions about trading is that it is all about finding the perfect trading system. Like a true spiritual narrative the novice hacks away at moving average cross-overs, Elliot Waves, candlebar patterns and the much loved Bollinger Bands, just as if they were Siddhartha searching all the teachers and paths he could find for enlightenment.

The moral of both of these stories is the same. The answer is within you.

Linh Ung Pagoda, Da Nang

The truth you seek is not external. There is no perfect system just waiting to be uncovered. Trading is a messy world of contradictions, exceptions, shifting landscapes and black swan events…or at least plenty of bruised dark purple swan events.

Every proprietary trading firm with a dozen market veterans of 5 years who came in through its in-house training program has hundreds who failed along the way. And every technical trading book you pick up — promising to have all the answers — is haunted by the ghosts of millions of failed retail traders, and a chorus more of the maimed and brutalised.

The holy grail of trading is your own psychology. It is a state of mind. A set of beliefs. An attitude. Vision. Direction. Purpose. Motivation. Core Values.

This is what trading is: You are trapped inside an old scary house. It is filled with all your favourite horror movie stars. Jason, Freddy and Chucky. And let’s throw in the bad guys from Alien and Predator. They all want to cut you up piece by piece. A few marbles on the floor is not going to cut it. You are going to need every feint, slide and twist you can muster. And let’s hope you didn’t come into the house as token black guy or ditsy hot blonde.

You MUST adapt. To be a successful trader, you have to change who you fundamentally are as a person.