The other day I was having a conversation with a good friend who is much more the dreamer than the doer. He is someone who has an abundance of wonderful and potentially productive ideas. A person who is blessed with the ability to see opportunities. Yet it is exceedingly rare that he ever attempts to avail himself of the opportunities he foresees. Instead, he is unhappy in his job and dissatisfied with where he is in life. I suppose he is not alone.
During our conversation he told me how much he wanted to become a successful trader and how he knew that would change his life so much for the better if he did trade and trade well. It has been the same lament for the past 10 years or so. He sees an important reason to change but makes no change. The fact is it takes more than wishing to change; it takes action. I asked him how many practice trades he did in the past year and, of course, the answer was the same as it has been for many years -- none.
Skill in trading does not come from wishing it or dreaming it. It comes from study and practice. In fact, it seems to me, that is what success in any endeavor in life demands. It is particularly true in trading. In my experience far, far too many would-be traders think they can just go try it without study or preparation and are then surprised when they turn up losers. We have a pretty good idea of how well a surgeon would do without training, or a dentist, or a lawyer, or a plumber or an electrician --- you get the idea --- so why would we expect a trader without training to do well.
Wishing and dreaming doesn't do it; action can.
by Bill Kraft, Editor
Copyright 2010, Makin' Hay, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
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To your point:
I read a long-term study of students at an Ivy League school (Princeton, I think) that compared the success of those who wrote down their goals while still in school and reviewed (and sometimes altered) them periodically over the years as compared to their equally bright, talented peers who did not write down and review their goals.
The differences in the success of the two groups was enormous. The group that wrote down its goals and committed to meeting them, making adjustments as desired or needed, that enjoyed surpassing success.
So it's wonderful to dream but equally important to use a pen and paper to commit to the steps and actions required to meet one's goals.
Below is a grammatical correction to the second sentence of my second paragraph above, for which the first two words are missing. The complete sentence SHOULD be:
"It was the group that wrote down its goals and committed to meeting them, making adjustments as desired or needed, that enjoyed surpassing success."
But I'm sure all readers got the point even without the correction.
Thanks, Nona, for that insight. Ari Kiev, a prolific author on the markets and a psychiatrist by profession makes a very similar point about goal setting for traders.
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