My mission with Psychtrader is twofold. First is to help you find your place in the financial markets as efficiently as possible. Second is to help you improve your trading. Over the last decade I’ve developed a process that helps individuals discover which market, time frame and instrument matches their abilities, characteristics and traits. I also provide cognitive training and emotional development components to help with #2 above. Below are more detailed descriptions of what I offer.
The first, and most important, step to being successful in the markets is understanding yourself. That’s why the tagline of Psychtrader is “Find yourself, then trade. Being successful in the markets is measured by performance. You are successful if your profit curve is positive at the end of a defined period; whether it’s a day, week, month or year. Why is it that so many fail at trading then? Because they try to trade the wrong market, the wrong time frame or the wrong instrument. Oftentimes it’s a combination of all three.
I designed a personality profile report, geared towards trading, from a well known and highly researched personality assessment. The report is called the Market Awareness Profile (MAP) and is the starting block for success.
Knowing which characteristic traits can help your trading, along with those that can hurt your trading, is powerful. This knowledge provides you with insight into which style of trading is most complementary to your personality.
Oftentimes the titles of coach and mentor are used interchangeably. I prefer to separate the two as I believe each has a unique role in your trading success.
If you’ve tried, with limited success, to find your place in the markets then you would be seeking a mentor. A mentor is someone who has a vast knowledge, combined with experience, of the markets. The number one role of a mentor is to create the most efficient plan of action for you to exploit your talents and skills. In order to do so you’d need to know what your talents and skills are. I created the MAP as a way to quickly assess these.
Beyond finding your place in the markets we each have to deal with our personal demons. Perhaps you struggle with discipline or letting negative self-talk keep you from being profitable. This is where my doctoral studies set me apart from a typical mentor. I’ve studied and trained for many years as a counselor to help others overcome their personal weaknesses. The tools and resources I use to help others are short-term, effective and heavily researched. Don’t mistake what I do as therapy but rather as life skills to succeed in the markets. If therapy is needed I’ll make a referral.
Perhaps you are already trading through successfully exploiting your skills and talents. You’re looking to increase your performance allowing you to “get over a hump” or pull you out of a “slump.” You would need a coach that would dissect your performance into component skills. Once those component skills are assessed the work begins to improve them on both an individual and collective basis.
Some of the areas I work with traders as a coach include defining better risk management, stopping negative self-talk, dissecting trade metrics and quicker pattern recognition. I’ve helped successful traders branch out into other sectors of the market to build upon their solid foundation. An example would be incorporating shorter timeframe analysis into a trend following system to tighten up entries and exits. The possibilities with coaching are endless.
A key area of individual focus for success in the markets is peak performance. Our minds are the greatest asset we have yet often one of the most neglected and overlooked. The lack of cognitive development training can impact trading performance significantly, especially as we age.
Researchers suggest that from age 26 on the average brain loses about 2 grams of brain mass per year. By the time we reach age 80 we’ve lost nearly 8% of our total brain mass. After the age of 80 the rate of loss increases to 5 g per year. Fluid intelligence peaks at 25/26 years of age which means your reasoning decreases each day, unless you exercise it as you would any muscle.
I’ve researched the best brain training exercises and utilize the latest technology to help traders improve their information processing, spatial orientation, working memory, focus, visual field, task switching and problem solving. With brain training the greatest return on your investment will be seen in your most valued commodity–the brain.
Let’s be honest, at the end of the trading day your equity curve is how you, and many others, measure success. Either you turn a profit, allowing you to continue trading, or you lose until your trading capital is gone.
Numbers don’t lie. A thorough analysis of your prior trade history can reveal true strength in your trading. How valuable would it be to know that your performance is 5 times better with long trades versus short selling? What if you could find out that trades you initiate and close within the first hour of trading each day are your best performers over time? Answers to questions like these can be found through an analysis of your trade metrics.