I have developed a friendship with an old pro trader who sends me regular insight. A recent email in:
Hello again everyone-due to other commitments today will be my last “morning market comments”. As most of you know several months ago I was invited to be a ghost analyst for a well-respected daily newsletter writer in the futures industry. For a number of reasons I decided not to get involved but in my trial period I found a number of things about myself I had never recognized before. Some things I learned are not necessarily about me per se but more about trading and I learned a few things about some of you. My readers included two successful commodity trading advisors, a surgeon, a real estate developer, a successful businessman, a successful salesman, and a federal law enforcement agent. The point here is that people from all walks of life have an interest in trading on some level.
A few of the things I learned are as follows:
#1 there is a huge gap between market analysis and trading markets to make money.
#2 There is no relationship between being “right” and making money.
#3 While markets are not predictable people are.
#4 Anything can happen in the markets so how worthwhile is a market opinion?
#5 Having a definable game plan and following it will overcome poor analysis.
#6 I know some very rich traders but I have yet to meet a rich analyst.
#7 You should never give out market advice because readers don’t need your bad advice and they will ignore your good advice so don’t give them any advice.
#8 A correct market opinion does not answer the questions of how and when do I place a bet, when do I know I am wrong, how big is my bet in terms of dollar or percent risk, and most important how do I manage my trades when they are working.
#9 Some very smart people think the stock market is going up. Some other very smart people think the stock market is going down. Since I don’t have a clue what the stock market is going to do I totally agree with both opinions.
#10 Managing the money and more importantly managing the trade is more important than being “right”.
#11 A good trade is a trade which was entered and exited following one’s rules regardless of the dollar outcome be it a gain or a loss.
#12 Most newsletters offer both sides regarding market direction. Whichever way the market goes will then be highlighted in subsequent newsletters as if the writer new what was coming.
#13 The more negative email you receive regarding a market opinion the more you should bet.
#14 If you receive emails endorsing your view you might want to re-think your opinion.
#15 You learn very little “watching” someone else trade and you might very well harm yourself as a trader by following the advice of others. Be your own man or in one case lady!
#16 Keeping a trading diary on a daily basis will teach you how you think. Be honest and don’t edit your diary in hindsight. Again trading is not about right and wrong but it is about doing and not doing.
Good trading to everyone!