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Sunday, October 28, 2012


There is no holy grail in the market but if I were to select the pair of success-contributing factors that come closest to representing it I'd pick hard-work and discipline. Hard work and discipline lead to the development of self-confidence, one of the most important traits in a trader. Over confidence and lack of confidence can destroy a trader because oftentimes a trader's most important decisions will come down to his ability to be bold but not wreckless and emotional, all under great pressure, while dealing with uncertainty. Why is there no holy grail in the market? For the same reason you can't throw boiling water in a bowl and call it soup. There's a process inolved. In short, a trader striving to be great must work harder than everyone else for the same reason anyone who wants to be great at anything should work harder than everyone else. It is this hard work over time that will greatly contribute to a trader developing two important things: an edge and intuition. An edge is very important. It's your competitive advantage as a trader and most great traders have an edge of some sort, even if it's illegal. Intuition or gut feeling is something most traders can identify with on some level. Some folks, like hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, attribute a good deal of their trading success to their feel of the 'tape.' This sixth sense is nurtured and developed through hard work over time much like an algorithm that goes from the hands of a mediocre engineer to those of a great one, and is greatly responsible for the development of two of the hardest skills to develop in trading: the ability of knowing when to load up a little more on trades that you feel have a much higher probability of being successful, and not exiting a position too early (letting your profits ride).