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Trading Psychology

The Fine Line of Success

I spent some time earlier this week in Southern California w/ a very successful trader and good friend who told me a great story about a time still fresh in his memory when his success or failure hung inthe balance.

It was 1980 and he and his wife had just given up thier day jobs and opted to have him trade their savings full time. Things took a turn for the worse almost immediately, and he was losing money at a precipitous pace — far more then he used to make at his slow and steady pace when he had a day job. At that point he was having trouble concentrating, and eating and, no surprise, sleeping. One weekend they decided they had to get away and try to come up with a plan to help them out of the frightening situation they were in. They drove down to the gulf with thier camping equipment. She asked him what it was he wanted to do for a living. He said, “trade”. She asked him what else could he do if that did not work out? He thought for a moment and said, “I can’t see giving up on trading, and I can’t see going back to the old day job. The answer is still to trade”. She said, “Then that is what you’re going to do. If you lose the last of our money in the account, we’ll both get day jobs and save up enough money to open an account again for you to trade”.


Without her support at that time he would not have made it as a trader, and he would not be living in his beautiful home just north of La Jolla, and he would not have the dream lifestyle — he told me he’s on vacation everyday –and he would not have been showing me his eye-opening statements — trading performance — over the past several years.

I love his story because it really brings the point home of how important our own trading support system is.

Luckily for all of now we have a lot more available to us in the way of educational material, and demo accounts, and mini and even micro mini contracts to try out our strategies and methods in without commiting our life savings. However, the fear of loss and failure is still just as powerful, and we still have to have a supportive environment to operate in, in all regards.