Who we are is what matters most in trading

Question

Hi there Anna – 

Let me start by admitting that I have bought all three of your books, with interest in VPA. And I must also admit that everything that you posit, state and describe makes absolute sense to me and I would like to trade on that solely.

 But, there is a caveat…I have been trying to “crack” forex trading / CFD’s / Equities etc for about 9 years now, trying, what seems to me, every conceivable method that there is. (That is also why I can say that what you are teaching makes the most sense 😉 ) However, one thing that I have only now realised that I have a problem with, and might just explain my failing to make it after such a length of time, is that I ‘might’ have a self defeatist tendency…Looking back on my life, two things jump out and bite me…

1) I tend to not finish things that I start with (that said, it is amazing that I am still trying my hand at Forex after 9 years, just goes to show my belief in Forex to provide, financially)

2) I also tend to sabotage my own success, happiness, self-confidence etc.

Where these tendencies come from I have no idea, but, the fact that I have identified them indicates to me that they are ready to be addressed.

And thus my email to you, according to your invitation in your books to contact you for any help. I am sure in your 16 / 17 years of trading and teaching / counseling, that you would have possibly encountered this yourself in your own journey, or have come across other individuals that have also struggled with the same tendencies. So my question is, have you come across this before, and how do you counter it?

I am sure that if I can counter or remedy these tendencies then the sky is the limit, in forex or life in general!!

So I am hoping that you can either help me overcome this, or then give me some pointers, otherwise I may just be spinning my wheels…

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if so, I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Answer

Hi –  first of all many apologies for the delay in replying, but your email ended up in my spam folder and I have only just discovered it as I was clearing it out – so many apologies. Thank you so much for investing in my books and thank you too for your very kind comments which are much appreciated, and I will do my best to answer your question if I can which really goes straight the key issue when trading, and this the psychology of trading, and perhaps more importantly about us as individuals. As traders we spend a huge amount of time focusing on the strategy, the approach, learning the lessons of trading, studying charts, and trying to understand all the aspects of trading which are so important. However, one area which is almost completely ignored by many traders is in understanding themselves.

Trading success is not so much a battle with the market, but in reality is a battle with ourselves. Trading is all about emotion and understanding how was as individuals are likely to react to the various emotional pressured we face, once we start trading. Not only is it about understand who we are as a person, our beliefs, but also in understanding the psychology of trading. Fear and greed are our constant bedfellows, with each taking a place on our shoulders, one on the left and one on the right. The fear of losing a potential profit is far greater than the fear of a loss. It’s the fear of losing something we thought we had, which causes us to close out too early. As one of the great pit traders of the past once said, learn to enjoy losing money, and you will then discover how to make money from the markets. This is one of the great truisms of trading – you have to learn to lose, before you can learn to win. Learning to lose is hard and this is where we as individuals have to understand ourselves and our how we view a loss. In addition, there are perhaps even more subtle reasons for losing such as a sense of lack of worth. We are not worthy to make money, or indeed making money in this way is wrong. These are some of the belief systems that undermine success which of course is compounded by the drivers of fear and greed which are with us all the time. Add to that additional pressures of family and friends, let alone providing an income as a full time trader, and in becomes a powerful mix. I have a page on my website which explains this in more detail and in addition there is also a link to my good friend Rich Friesen an ex pit trader who subsequently trained as a psychologist, and has developed a training course called Mind Muscles Academy.

You can find the details here and there are some excellent free videos which I hope you will find useful. http://www.annacoulling.com/trader-education/trading-psychology/

Once again many thanks for a very interesting question and please accept my apologies again for the delay in replying. Please do keep going – it I worth all the effort and I hope that VPA will help you to achieve the long term success you are seeking. All best wishes and thanks again Kind regards Anna

By Anna Coulling

About Anna 1040 Articles

Hi – my name is Anna Coulling and I am a full time currency, commodities and equities trader. I have been involved in both trading and investing for over fifteen years and have traded many different financial instruments, from options and futures to stocks and commodities. I write and publish articles ( mostly for free ) for UK and international publications on a wide variety of financial issues, and in particular I enjoy helping others learn how to invest and trade.

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