Hi friends,
Please post here views,ideas,books videos and opinion related to trading psychology.

I am suggesting very famous book "Trading to Win" by Dr. Ari Kiev.
Success in trading is being always on right side of every trade.

From the book "The Best Networker in the World" from John M. Fogg I read. Not for trading but learning, the starting point for all traders:
“In Japan, many years ago, it was the tradition among Buddhist monks to
travel from monastery to monastery, seeking the teaching of the masters.
As was the custom, the master would serve his guest tea and they would
“One young monk was a particularly outstanding student. In fact, he was so
exceptional, he had made a bit of a career out of showing up lesser masters
with his skill and tremendous intelligence.
“One day, he called at a very famous monastery attached to one of the
most sacred temples in all Japan. The master there was old and most wise.
The young man begged an audience with the master, in hopes of being
accepted as his pupil, to live and study with the great man.
“The young man – whose reputation had preceded him – was ushered into
the master’s chambers immediately. This was most unusual, and the young
monk was greatly flattered.
“The master entered and they bowed to each other. They sat across a low
table on the tatami mat floor and talked.
“The young man told the master of his journeys, of the teaching he had
heard, of the monks he had ‘bested’ in his search for Truth. It was a most
impressive tale. The master listened intently and acknowledged the young
monk many times for his wit and intelligence.
“A teapot and cups were brought in, and the master began pouring tea for
them both. The young man addressed the Master: ‘I wish to remain here
and study with you, for I sense that here, unlike with the others, there is
much you have to offer me . . .’
“And all of a sudden, the young monk cried out in pain and alarm, jumping
up from his place on the floor, shaking his robes and dancing about. The
scalding hot tea had spilled all over his lap!
“The master sat calmly and continued pouring tea – which was overflowing
the student’s small cup and spilling out over the table onto the strawmatted
floor where the young man had been sitting.
“'‘What are you doing!?!’ the young monk demanded. ‘I have been burned!
Stop pouring! The cup is overflowing!’
“'‘Go away from me, young man,’ the master said. ‘I have nothing to teach
you. Your cup is too full . . . overflowing with all that you know and all that
you think you don’t know. Come back to me when your cup is empty and
you are ready to receive what I have to give.’'”

"Understanding the Markets" Bill Williams, p. 20

There was a student in India who wanted to become enlightened. He left his family in search of an appropriate guru
to guide him further on his journey. Stopping at one guru's place of business, he inquired as to this guru's method of be¬
coming enlightened. The guru said, "Becoming enlightened is really quite simple. All you need to do is to go home each night
and sit in front of a mirror for 30 minutes asking yourself the same question over and over. That question is: 'Who am I? Who
am I? Who am I?' " The prospective student replied, "Hey, it can't be that simple."
"Oh yes, it is just that simple," replied the guru, "but if you would like a second opinion, there are several other gurus on
this street." "Thank you very much," said the student, "I think I will inquire down the way."
The student approached the second guru with the same question. "How do I become enlightened?"
The second guru replied, "Oh, it is quite difficult and takes much time. Actually, one must join with like-minded others in
an ashram and do sava. Sava means 'selfless service,' so you work without pay."
The student was excited; this guru's philosophy was more consistent with his own preconceived view of enlightenment.
He had always heard it was difficult. The guru told the student that the only job open at the ashram was cleaning out the cow
stalls. If the student was really serious about becoming enlightened, the guru would allow him to shovel all the dung and be
responsible for keeping the cow stalls clean. The student accepted the job, feeling confident that he must be on the right path.
After five long years of shoveling cow dung and keeping the stalls clean, the student was becoming discouraged and impatient
about enlightenment. He approached the guru and said, "Honored teacher, I have faithfully served you for five
years cleaning up the dirtiest part of your ashram. I have never missed a day and have never complained once. Do you think it
might be time for me to become enlightened?" The guru answered, "Why yes, I believe you are ready.
Now, here is what you do. You go home every night and look yourself in the mirror for 30 minutes, asking yourself the same
question over and over. That question is: 'Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?'"
The very surprised student said, "Pardon me, honored one, but that is what the other guru down the street told me five
years ago." "Well, he was right," responded the guru.

Amazing story and lesson.
But often peoples comes having inverted cup and empty pockets with the only wish to fill the pocket and overlooked cup status.
Indicator is just a tool.

Use it only if it can benefit you. Leave it if you don't know how to use it optimally.

We may learn trading for years, had been reading a lot of books and have also many experience but we can sometimes learn even from a question of a newbie. We take a deeper look a see something we didn't see before - or differently, without synergy to our style. Or we get inspired by advanced traders and experts (not the self-called gurus). But before we can 'see' or can get inspired, we have to learn at lot, otherwise we overlook the real important things.


Some of my readings:

The Disciplined Trader by Mark Douglas
Pit Bull: Lessons from Wall Street's Champion Trader by Martin Schwarz
Market Wizards,  Jack D. Schwager
Way of the Turtle by Michael Covell
Le Chartisme by Francois Baron (in French)

Many thanks to Nas for the links. It's the biography in three parts of a man who had everything and wants to be a trader at all costs. But read for yourself.

16 years trading... My biography

What are the parameters to measure if you are successful in trading ?...

Let me put it like this: what are the criteria to conclude if one is a successful baker or a plumber of lawyer or doctor or housewife …or a trader ?... 

With this topic I would like to share my life as a trader or give my biography as a trader.

I am now 48 years old “young”. When I was 16-17 years I saw that my father red once per week a “special” newspaper that was filled with numbers and numbers and numbers. It looked like a newspaper with numeric coding between special agencies of different countries. I could not understand that one could find information or learn something from the enormous amount of numbers and names that did not mean anything at all to me.
The names were the names of different stock and bourses and the numbers were the quotes of stocks and indices and indexes and currencies.
Fact was that I had the feeling if one can read such a newspaper and find his information in that puzzle of tons of numbers must be a very intelligent person. So my first inspiration to become a trader was more to become someone that can read such a newspaper so I could feel intelligent ;-) . By the way that newspaper was the Belgium equivalent of the Wallstreet Journal.

A couple of years later when I was about 19-20 years I started to have a serious interest in the stock markets. To find information about stocks I needed to buy that very same newspaper (because we were still very far away from the internet and its highway on information).
I started to understand more and more the information that this newspaper contained but also started to have second thoughts on the word NEWS. Because I felt that in the financial world the moment that you read it in a newspaper (the day after what happened) something completely different is happening on that very same moment. When I red in my newspaper that the bourses or stock markets went up or down (the day before) that on that very same moment the stocks were going the opposite direction. So I realized that trading in a very accurate way was only for those who were standing in the pit or had the real time information from the stock exchanges. That made me decide to keep away from that circus where I felt I could not be part of. I still followed what was happening but only from the corner of my eye.

A couple of years later a new information source was born and that was teletext. On my TV I could read information about sport or national or international news but also about the stock markets. BUT with an hour delay. Lets call this information the very first steps that would lead to the internet. Immediately I felt that maybe now I could do some business or become a part of the financial world. My interest became so big now that I also felt that just plain normal stocks would not be the game that I wanted to play.
They felt heavy, to slow, to much capital invested and most important you can only make profit with stocks if they go up. When stocks go down you loos money. Somebody that I knew (which later became a very good friend of mine and I am still managing his money) started to explain that there is also such a thing as options on stocks. He told me that there are call options and put options. And depending if you buy or sell them that one can make money with them even when stocks dropped. That was the moment that some HOLY FIRE started to burn inside of me. It made me realize that I no longer needed to depend on the mass hysteria that pushes a stock up so that I could make money. On the contrary. When I feel that certain stocks would go up I buy myself some call options. When I feel that stocks would go down I close my call options and buy myself put options. Yes yes yes I can also be rewarded for my vision if it would be bullish but also bearish.
The feeling and knowledge that I could be in control of bourses or prices going up but also down changed my whole life. From that moment on ( the year 1995) it became clear to me that this would be the path that I wanted to follow. Be part of the financial world. And the better that I could predict the market fluctuations the better I would be and the more money I would make. But important was that my main goal was not the money. It was the capability to predict where markets would go to. 

The very same moment the internet was born, I immediately felt and knew that this would be a MAJOR thing for people who are traders. Major in finding news in getting quotes in real time. In getting brokers so one can get in and out of a position with the click of a mouse.
Little did I know that this was only the very beginning of a very long journey that would have enormous consequences in my life. I thought that with the internet it would take me only a couple of months to become a professional trader. By professional I mean that I would be able to make a living out of trading. On that moment I was still a real estate agent. I made a good living. I drove a Porsche 911 Targa. I had a relation with a very beautiful woman. I had to 2 fabulous sons with her. We had bought our house 300meters away from the beach and with a open view on the park. In a few words, we were the dream couple and family.
But I had this fire burning in me and wanted to become a trader at all cost. As said earlier, I realized (on that moment) that the main thing was to be able to predict the movements of markets or indices or stocks. I got involved with the first software programs that were able to do technical analysis. Those programs contained technical indicators that opened an other whole new world for me. Names as stochastic and Par. Sar and MACD and RSI and moving averages gave me the feeling that I had some secret weapons in my hand that 99% of the financial world does not know about and if I would study them very thoroughly I would have an edge on the “rest” of the financial world. I also started to buy books through amazon.com about trading and candle sticks and trading techniques.
I started to learn to build my so called own systems…etc etc… I was spending 16 hours per day in front of my pc. And this for 7 days per week. Needles to say that my beautiful wife was not happy with this at all. We had many discussions and heavy fights about the way how I was living. No more interest for her or the kids or social life or friends or family.
I knew and realized what she said made sense but again that holy fire was burning inside of me and it was even getting stronger and more important then all the rest in my life. I wanted and would become a trader. I wanted to become one of the best traders ever. Where at some point she confronted me with the choice: or I continue with what I am doing or we separate. On that moment I was loosing as much money as I made money. Sometimes I made a very big win with a big position but a couple of weeks later I had lost all that money. In short I was not making a living out of trading and was happy to be with my wife who actually paid the bills (because my interest in real estate got to a zero point.
It was a very hard decision for me to take but I went for the quest that I had in my life. To be part of the financial world. To do something where I was better in then the rest or the big crowd. To do something that I developed. That came out of my brain. Not something that people around me would like me to do.
On that very same moment I red a quote from Confucius who said: Find a job that you like and you will never need to work one day in your life. For me that was the answer that I searched in my decision and it was made. I gave up on a beautiful family and knew that from that moment on it was only me and the financial world and no more support from anybody. No more financial support, no more emotional support. Only me against the financial sharks. No mercy, eat or be eaten. 
I lost on that moment an 18 year relationship with my wife, my house and only see my children every 2 weeks.

Part 2

With taking that decision I got 50% of the value of my house on that moment (the year 2000) 125.000€
I was learning very fast because the time that I took to learn was beyond what every other human would do. I slept in front of my pc. Was reading every book on trading. I was even able to write a book. My learning curve went up like a rocket. When someone would have cut open the veins in my wrist there was not a drip of blood that would have come out of it. Only charts, logarithms, systems, charts, indicators etc. And was I making money ?.. HELL YES. I was making an insane amount of money. I was making money like I never dared to dream.
BUT..yep as you expected here is the big but. I was trading in such a way that sooner or later it would lead to a total destruction. I had hardly ever a stoploss on my trades and was continuously averaging down. Every time I succeeded in my averaging down I made a lot more money. Brokers personally warned me (in that time one had only telephonic brokers) every time with the words: Igor, you got away with again but sooner or later you are going to get stuck in positions where you will loos everything in a couple of days.
As said I felt on top of the world (arrogant) and had no ears for what they said. 

The 21st February 2001 ( 1 year after my divorce) my arrogance was stopped abruptly. In 48 hours I lost everything, every penny, dollar, euro that I had made and saved in my life. I had taken so much future contracts on the long side on the daxxetra ( german stock index) by continuously averaging down where on that moment that index (future) was dropping like a meteor that is falling to earth.
My broker called me after the trading session and said to me: Sorry Igor all your money is gone. I did everything to keep your positions open as long as possible. To even go over your margin till the zero point. But tomorrow you can’t trade anymore. Because no more money.
I said to him: Thank you and laid down the phone and got in the most scary trance for 2 days without going to sleep. I kept staring to my chart and to my broker platform. I had the most empty helpless and dying feeling one can imagine. I felt that the sharks had eaten me completely and that on that same evening not one of those shark would feel any compassion for me or realize that somebody has lost his life. Because they don’t know me. They do not see my face. They do not know how I feel. They did not know what I gave up in my life (wife and family) to get to this point.
This feeling got stronger and stronger till I was sure that I wanted to commit suicide. I started to think how ?... I hate pain and violence. So pills were the most obvious key to me to some sort of heaven or hell for traders that had bad luck or did wrong. On that very same moment (not sleeping for 48hours) my son, he was then 8 years, came in my apartment with the most lovely smile and said the most awakening words: Hello DADDY. He came to me and gave me a kiss while placing his arms around my neck and I placed my arms around him and held him so tight that he said DADDY what are you doing? On that moment I realized that suicide is no option at all because my sons need me and love me and I love them with all my hart.

A couple of days later my decision was made. I wanted to continue to be a trader. But I did not had a pot to piss in anymore. I realized to start to trade immediately would not be a good decision because I would only feel revenge and wanted to get my lost money back ASAP. I realized that this would only lead to revenge trading and that this would be the ideal ingredient to failer. I talked to my friend who had invested in me and explained my case. I explained him also my trading style and where I made crucial errors. On that moment we were the month of June. He said to me: I am going to pay you a very small monthly income. With that income I know you can hardly survive. But live like a monk. Trade for 3 months on a demo account and show me that you do not average down anymore and that on every trade you have a pre-defined stoploss and take profit. 

I traded nearly 3 months on a demo account very strictly and with an enormous discipline and at the end of September my friend said to me: Lets go live again!... I felt that this would be my absolute last chance to make it as a trader. I decided that the money I had lost was absolutely lost. I accepted my defeat. I looked with a clear mind to the future and knew that I needed to start from zero again. Humble and modest. I was 38 years old then.
Everything went smooth and well. I started to put more and more of my trading decisions into expert advisors. I knew more and more that system trading is better then discretionary trading. No more feeling like greed and anger. It went from better to good. I started a new relationship. She was again a great woman and had a lot of friends ho had some money to invest. More and more money was added to my account as an account manager. Where at some point I was trading 1Million dollar. I was doing so good that again this dark evil greedy little devil sat on my shoulder and said to me: Boost up your risk. Make more money. You can do it..etc…. I started to investigate my own trading so much or lets say to much that I took again huge risks BUT suddenly I lost 50% of the capital that people had invested with me. Immediately people abandoned my sinking ship. My relationship broke up again and her friends told me that they wanted to stop and before I knew it I was back on the street with nothing. No more relationship. No more money.
I moved to a very small apartment. The right word for it would not be an apartment but a letterbox. When I moved my head from left to right it caused a head injury. I had a very long thought about my live and realized that the path I decided to walk nearly 10 years ago had brought me nowhere. I felt like a trader, I was a trader, but that was it. I had not 1 euro in my pocket. No car. No house. Only my 2 sons that still supported me and also my trading friend that had supported me from the very beginning
I asked him again if he could help me. He was again positive and said to me: You do not need to come to me I am going to bring you every month 1250€. Within 1 year you need to make money. If not then we finish with each other. This can sound strange but he knew and I knew that at some point you need to let go of your dreams. Especially if one is on that moment 42 years.

Part 3

At this moment I was spending a lot of time on forums like strategybuilder.com and the forum here forex-tsd. I knew of myself that I knew a lot more then most of the so called traders or people that wanted to make a living out of trading. I knew that it is the most hard road to walk on. The most impossible job that one can pick up. That one can do very well for several years and suddenly one can loos everything in a matter of days or weeks.
Bit by bit I started to build up a reputation here on forex-tsd and on some other forums. In this way that I knew that many people started to follow me. I had many hits on the topics that I started or the postings that I made. This gave me the final boost or launch in my trading life. I started to realize that I not had only pressure of my friend who sponsored me but also hundreds of people that followed me. And this made me to get my act really and finally together. That was tradin in a NORMAL conservative way. Stick to my systems but don’t get attempted to take to much risk. Making 50% profit is huge compared to Warren Buffet who makes “only” 30% yearly and this for 35 years now and became the 2nd richest person in the world. I said over and over again: forget to make several hundreds percentage of profits because that is always leading to destruction (sooner or later).
It can sound silly but even after all that time I was still learning every day. Not only to trade in a certain way but all the ways how one should not trade. I became on absolute expert in money management , where before I thought that money management is not trading more then 2% risk per trade.
I realized that to stay alive as a trader is to not take to much risk AND don’t place your eggs in one baskets. Trade several pairs. Trade several system. Trade with several brokers. Go for a small but sure yearly profit instead of risking a whole farm but ending up with burning that farm.
Of the several hundreds of people here on forex-tsd, there were people who had serious capital. And from one came to the other. The snowball started to roll and we got in contact with each other. They started to invest also some small money in me. Some of them left me already after a couple of weeks or months because of some normal trading losses I made where they hoped like me before, to only make profit and never make losses. But I did not worry anymore. I knew it was a natural selection between “investing capital” and “risk or casino capital”.
I progressed in such a way that now my best friend is still trading with me (which I want to thank him for very much because he believed in me from the very beginning and because of him I am still a trader) and all of the other people that with the years invested more and bigger capital in me. Also and especially forex-tsd that gave me a forum to make myself public so I could do my thing and give me the opportunity to earn money through trading by teaching developing and helping other people to make money through trading. I survived on giving lessons and having a trading room.
During that same period I continued to develop further and further my systems and placed them in expert advisors that I leased to others and at some point kept for myself because I had enough money that was invested in me.

As I write this I have 1.3Million $ invested in my pamm accounts as an account manager and I am also employed as a trader for an institutional investment company in Eastern-Europe.
One very important thing I know is that I will never get attempted anymore to take to much risk or think that I could get rich in 1 year time. I have months that I don not earn 1 single penny or dime or euro (except my income for the investment company). And I have months that I earn the same amount of money as 10 postmen are earning in Germany. This means that my monthly income is very volatile like the forex can be or that I never know in advance what my income will be. But that is what I want. I could never live with the knowledge how much money I would make every month because that sounds or feels for me like counting the days till I die or that I get my pension.

My investors are very pleased with the return they get on their investment. They get a lot more then on the stock exchanges. And the investment they make with me is not stocks correlated. I still live in my letterbox apartment. I still do not drive a car. But I know that I live from my trading and that this was my quest and ambition from the very beginning. Being a part of the financial world and be smarter then 95% of the financial world. Because 95% of the people who trade need to stop after 3 years. I want to thank the people who believed in me and the people who invested in me. I am glad to be a trader. It is the most difficult job in the world. You need to be more then a shark to survive in this world. Even after several years being profitable one can still stand on a cliff and have the urge to jump from it because you lost everything in your life.
If had the chance to do it all over gain, would I still become a trader ?...That is for me the absolute most difficult question to answer. I really don’t know. It had to give up so much in life to become a trader. I lost 2 beautiful relationships. But it gives me so much satisfaction to be a trader…I live from my trading, I am independent, nobody tells me what to do, I can do my job from anywhere in the world as long if I have an internet connection. And like Confucius pointed me to : I never had the feeling that I worked one day in my life because I love my job as trader enormously. 
So I attempted to say: YES I AM a SUCCESFUL trader. I am making a very nice incomme now. But I would never recommend to someone to become a trader. It is by far THE most difficult difficult thing one can do.
A VERY important detail was that I felt from the very beginning and throughout my whole trading career was that there is the rule that only 5% of the traders can make it as a trader. I told myself from the very beginning that statically I belong to the 95% of the traders that would not make it. Where all the people that I meet on the internet believe from the very beginning that they will be a part of the 5% of traders that will make it.

I make my living as Joe the plumber or the baker, or the lawyer. If they do not have any doubts on being successful then I definitely don’t need to have any doubts on being successful. 

Friendly regards…FXiGoR

The Ten Cardinal Rules

1. Learn to function in a tense, unstructured, and unpredictable
2. Be an independent thinker versus a conventional thinker.
3. Work out a way to handle your emotions and maintain objectivity.
4. Don't rely on hope and fear in the conventional sense.
5. Work continuously to improve yourself, giving importance to
self-examination and recognizing that your personality and
way of responding to events are a critical part of the game.
This requires continuous coaching.
6. Modify your normal responses to certain events.
7. Be willing to face problems, understand them, and recognize
that they are in some way related to your behavior.
8. Know when problems can be resolved and then apply methods
to solve them. That may mean giving up some control in
order to gain a different control. It may mean changes in your
personality, learning self-reliance, or giving up independence
and ego to become part of a trading team.
9. Understand the larger framework in which trading occurs—
how the complexity of the marketplace and your personality
both must be taken into account in order to develop the mastery
of trading.
10. Develop the right mind-set for trading—a willingness to commit
to the kinds of changes in personal habits and beliefs that
will drastically alter your life. To do this requires a willingness
to surrender to the forces of the game. In order to be able to
play at a maximum level, you have to let go of your ego and
your need to have things your way.
Success in trading is being always on right side of every trade.

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