Everything I Need To Know About Trading, I Learned From Not Trading

You don’t learn much about trading from trading, at least when you are live trading.

Today I’m in Disneyland. And I am going to tell you, I did not learn anything about trading from Disneyland. There is not one useful thing here, that you can apply to anywhere else in the world. I did not learn about healthy eating. I did not learn about pacing myself and resting when I was tired. I did not learn anything about being patient with my children. I did not learn anything about how much a bottle of water should cost. I did not learn anything about physics, the rotation of the planets around the sun, or how to say no to my children when they ask if they can buy more Legos. Feel free to listen along to this article by the following link.

Learning While Trading? Think Again 

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And in that way, Disneyland is very similar to trading. You see, you don’t learn much about trading from trading. At least, nothing useful – when you are live trading, you are not learning anything. This is contrary to popular belief and by all means, bring on the ridicule. However, save your criticisms for just a few moments while I try to make my point.

When you are in the middle of a live trade, you are not learning, rather you are experiencing. And experience is a great teacher – after the fact. Just like, Disneyland is terrible for teaching you about being frugal and saving money while you are Disneyland, and it’s great for teaching you about that after you get home and look at your credit card bill.

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When you are in the middle of a live trade, you don’t know the value of anything. You think that any small movement is reason for panic or euphoria. Every candle looks like a Viagra candle. Every move seems like the end, for good or bad. At least it can get that way when we are looking at the charts and trying to trade for a living.

When you are in the middle of a live trade, you don’t learn anything about patience. You’re the least patient you will ever be in your life, except for your prom night and maybe the day your first child is born. These two events may be connected in some way, which I find kind of funny. Anyway.

When you are in the middle of the trade, if you are tempted to start evaluating what you’ve done, or think about what you could have done better, you’re already dead. You don’t re-plan a battle when you’re in the middle of it. Set the ground rules in advance, know exactly what it will look like if it is a bad trade, and what it looks like if it is a good trade, and then act accordingly. Know your decisions ahead of time. This is so important I should spend an entire podcast just talking about that. It bears repeating: Know your decisions ahead of time, so all you have to do in the moment is react naturally. No decisions to make, no lessons you’re trying to teach yourself.

Man With A Plan

The reason for all of this is that in the middle of a live trade, you are doing, you are not pondering, thinking, evaluating, reasoning. You are doing actions and reactions. Your amygdala, or the root of your brain, or the lizard brain, or whatever they call it – that’s what is in charge. Especially for those of you crack heads that are trading on the really short-term charts. But really, for all of us. Just two days ago I planned a buy trade on the EUR/NZD – and I sent it out to (and I am not making this up) 43,000 people.

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