Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Review: Main Idea - Trading in the Zone

I am reading this book right now.

Now many trading books out there provide strategies and techniques. 

But this book does not discuss strategies, you won't even find charts.  It's purely about the psychology of trading and it's certainly an excellent read for struggling traders.

I think most people struggle and ultimately fail precisely because they never develop the correct psychology to handle the complete freedom of trading.  Trading is simply unlike any other job.  There are almost no hours -- especially if one trades futures.  You make your own.  You decide when to enter and exit. And you must be able to overcome your own fears and rein back your exuberance every day.

One key idea is that becoming more aware or more intelligent about the market will not help you.  Struggling traders sometimes think they just need to study more, learn more, they will get better.  But extreme intelligence is not required to be consistently profitable (CP).  Becoming a CP trader means being able to execute without hesitation.  CP traders trade without fear and therefore they can execute their trades and listen to the market effectively.  Struggling traders, are, in contrast, listening to their emotions half the time.  So they enter late, take profits early, let losers ride... etc. 

If you feel like you are dealing with a lot of fear, if you sometimes make money then give it back in one or two bonehead trades and then can't believe how you could have been so dumb -- then this is probably going to be worth the cost.  I've bought quite a few trading books and I would say 75% were not worth it.  This book may not actually seem like one of the good ones.  But as I said this is an important book for those struggling to be consistent and who feel they are constantly sabotaging their own efforts by acting out of fear or greed or seem to be frequently taking trades off plan.

As traders, we must constantly strive to improve our game.  And mastering your own psychology is pretty much THE game. 

Hope this helps.

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