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The golden rules of a successful trader


This article contains 3 rules that will reveal to you whether or not your mind is conducive towards successfully trading the stock-markets.

Golden Rule Number 1: Be process-orientated not outcome-orientated

The opposite mindset to one which is driven by the ego, is one which is driven by processes and actions.

A process-orientated mindset is one that is not focused on the outcome of an event (like making a large sums of money), but one that is focused only on the processes behind the outcome.

There is a subtle difference between these two mindsets, one that could result in making or breaking your professional career.

Every successful person that I have worked with ranging from world class athletes to top traders and pioneering businessmen, all have one thing in common; an understanding of the importance of process-orientation.

In a world where results mean everything, it is understandable that you can end up becoming consumed with hitting targets and reaching goals.

Whether these goals are meeting financial figures in your trading account, or generating targeted profit margins in your business, your world constantly inundates you with the importance of achievement.

Although goals and targets are useful in helping to add direction and focus in your life, it is important that you don’t become obsessed with these outcomes and end products.

Let me ask you this question; ‘Does thinking about a particular goal you want to reach, help you achieve it?’

The answer should be no. Although we have discussed the importance of developing an understanding of the internal shift that will take place when you reach your target, you still need an intrinsic understanding of the key processes behind your goal.

You do not have direct control over outcomes or goals, however what you can control are the building blocks behind the outcome.

These are called processes. Behind all outcomes are key processes, and it is on these key processes that your focus should lie.

If you can embrace this approach then you will recognise that outcomes are just a reflection of a set of processes. If the processes are correct then the outcome will also be positive.

In trading, results are everything. You trade the markets with the goal of making money; there is no escaping this.

However if you become overly consumed with making money, you will lose your focus on HOW to make money.

Remember; you cannot directly control the outcome of making money, but you can control the processes that instigate the creation of money.

Try to relegate the goal of making money to the back of your mind, and just concentrate on focusing on the trading processes that you are in control of. You will find that embracing this mindset will bring about the synthesis of large sums of money quicker than you know it.

If you can’t describe what you are doing in terms of processes, you don’t know what it is that you are doing.

The case study below comes from a colleague of mine, pays testament to the importance of process orientation.

Case Study: James Locke

When I began trading I made some fantastic trades. I used strict and effective indicators to tell me what stocks are good to trade, I had effective money management principles in place, and as a consequence my account balance grew quickly.

However over time the more money I made, the more my focus would drift to the outcome becoming filthy rich. I began dreaming of all the things I could buy and do if I was able to maintain these levels of profits.

Consequently all my focus was directed away from how to make money and onto the end product of having a bulging bank balance.

Instead of researching and developing effective market indicators, my mind was occupied on the new house I was going to buy with all my profits. Furthermore in the space of three days I had lost all of the profits I had made, simply because I took my focus off my key trading processes.

Don’t make the same mistake that I did and keep your mind on the processes and not the outcome.

Let me summarise the points as to why an outcome-orientated mindset should be avoided, and a process orientated mindset should be adopted.

  • Focusing on the outcome does not help you achieve it, while focusing the processes provides you with an action orientated approach to obtaining your goal.
  • Thinking about making millions of dollars on the markets will not move you any quicker towards this goal, while a process orientated mindset will help to ground your lofty visions, moving you closer to your target.
  • Outcomes are merely a reflection of the quality of the processes that precede it. By focusing on the correct processes the outcomes take care of themselves.
  • We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds” Warren Buffet

    Onto Part Two

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