The trader in this category here has probably been trading for five to seven years. In NLP terms, he ranges from consciously competent to consciously, unconsciously competent. Most of your good trainers fall into the latter category.
At this level, the trader is now or has been producing consistently profitable results. It’s not that his ‘rat brain’ doesn’t from time to time seize control and cause damage to his account; but the effect of the impulse trade (i.e. a trade that breaches his rules) is limited. Rather than causing a blow-up, the impulse trade may cause a loss of one or two percent.
A trader in this category is continually honing his skills. Some of the areas of improvement include:
- Decision-making skills. Here I have found mindmapping and decision tree analysis a great pairing of the right and left-brain. A great resource for mindmaps is (http://mindmapping.typepad.com)
- Self-awareness. I am interested in anything written by Dr. Brett Steenbarger (http://www.brettsteenbarger.com/weblog.htm) and Denise Shull (http://www.traderpsyches.com/trader_coaching_companyfounder.htm). Dr. Steenbarger coaches only institutional traders but has a great blog (http://www.traderfeed.blogspot.com); Denise Shull coaches and runs courses for retail traders. She also produces a free newsletter (http://www.traderpsyches.com/trading_psychology_worthreading.htm).
- Money Management. Little by way of free information. There are some good books. One is: Trading Risk: Enhanced Profitability through Risk Control by Kenneth L. Grant
- Market Structure. This is difficult because there is so much that is not useful. One set of books I did get value from was Jim Kane’s series (http://www.kanetrading.com). I found Jim great deal with – one of the good guys in the industry.
- I am currently studying a course by Alexander from Trade With Pride (http://www.tradewithpride.com). So far, I have completed week one of an eight-week course and I like the content and teaching style. Alexander’s sincerity is very evident and so far I am comfortable with all that he has taught. I also learned something new, an interesting twist to target projection – so all to the good.
The point I am making is we never stop learning about ourselves and about the market. One of the benefits of teaching is it hones my trading skills forcing me to articulate some instinctive trades. I can’t tell you the number of times a question from a student has led to a profitable line of thought, research and validation. Dad taught me the moment we start thinking we can stop learning and improving, that’s the moment we start our decline.