Last week, in Part 1 of Gabriel’s article series, we learned six of his 12 Key Success Factors using the metaphor of “The Autobahn”. Constructing the Autobahn needs planning and preparation well in advance by making its surface smooth and broad enough, by straightening the path and by taking the roadblocks out of the way so that a racing car can eventually go at lightning speed.
Over the last 15 years coaching traders, Gabriel came up with a dozen very important factors – the Key Success Factors (or KSFs) – that are common to every trader. The 12 Key Success Factors are fundamental for growing quickly and steadily into a consistent trader within less than a year.
This week we continue on to Part 2 and cover the remaining factors.
KSF7: Be Part of a Committed Trader Group
When I started to offer group mentoring for the first time, I was a bit skeptical. But early on in the process, it became clear that a group of committed traders, trading the same systems, is indeed a big edge and a blessing for both novices and experienced traders alike.
To give you a short list of group edges:
- You can learn from mistakes others make and considerably speed up your learning.
- You inspire each other with the skills developed and the individual competencies acquired.
- You can perform healthy benchmarking about your strengths and weaknesses.
- You’ll catch up with the group very quickly should you fall back a bit.
- You get support and motivation from the group when you hit a resistance dip.
- You’ll understand by comparison how far you are from being a consistent trader.
A group is like a living organism that grows and develops at its own pace by lifting up individual group members. There are other important ingredients of the Deep Practice process that go hand in hand with trading in a group such as having successful role models and a coach.
KSF8: Define Your Personal Trading Game
The markets are very good at forcing a game upon us that we do not want to play!
One good example is triggering your greed by “becoming rich quickly”. This can lead to an array of unwanted behaviors such as over-leveraging, jumping the gun at whatever moves, going for stretch goals and never being satisfied.
You will trade with a good mental state when you define the rules of your trading game so that it fits you, your style, your timeframe for trading, your market scanning, and order management process, just to name a few. Your game should fit well into your daily schedule, allow for your other commitments and lead to the lifestyle you enjoy. As you mature as a trader, you will become more and more independent, relying on your personal trading game.
The markets represent a very big game with some players winning huge amounts of money and others, the vast majority, losing consistently. We have so many examples of different personal trading games and they are all successful in their own terms in reaching pre-defined goals.
How do you position yourself to best benefit from this game of trading?
KSF9: Develop Your Trader Strategy That Fits Your Trading Game
The Trader Strategy comes into play when you have overachieved your minimum weekly R-goal. Let’s assume it is Wednesday morning and you are already up +5R for the week after having taken two trades. What do you do? Do you call it a week (or even call it a month)?
This very much depends on your Personal Trading Game (see KSF8) and what fits your lifestyle best. If you are more than happy with +2R per week and wish to pursue other important pursuits in your life, then you should stop trading. Well done.
Most probably, however, you want to go for higher Weekly R-results so you should have a plan—your Trader Strategy. Your next R-goal could be to achieve +8R while not falling below your +2R minimum goal. You could set a rule to not lose more than -2R when being in between the 5R and 8R mark. Once +8R is achieved, you will probably want to lock in +5R (your minimum monthly R-goal). At some point, you will most likely want to shoot for the moon, going for the +100R mark and beyond – BUT – when do you stop trading if you get to +100R and then experience a drawdown?
It is really important to know your objectives and practice scenario planning so you can clearly define the rules of your Trader Strategy Plan.
KSF10: Develop Your Chart Reading and Intuitive System Skills
Chart Reading is a basic trader skill needed for nearly any trading system. This skill is so important to develop. It is about reading the dynamics of the buyers and sellers in the charts, about being able to identify important pressure points, trader traps and eventually important stop-run levels.
If you can read the market actors’ feelings, pressures, hopes and despair in the chart, then you know when the pain of the Longs will be so unbearable that they have to sell at any cost, triggering a panic selling. That can become a window of opportunity…
Basically, you must go through and experience many such situations yourself to be able to understand what is going on. Your chart reading skills and intuition with the system will develop after a certain amount of screentime and practice. Intuition typically comes in at month three after starting to trade a new system.
KSF11: Follow a Regular Meditation Practice
I have seen a clear correlation among traders who meditate regularly (even if only for five minutes a day) and early trader success.
When you meditate, your mind chatter calms down and you open up to your intuitive powers. You become more aware of what is going on inside. Awareness is a very important trader quality. Sometimes, you will know when to just step away from your trading desk. Van referred to this skill as being one of his top tasks of trading—Staying Out of the Market.
It’s not hard and you don’t need special training. An easy and effective way to fulfill a regular meditation practice is a daily gratitude meditation for just five to ten minutes of your day.
KSF12: Follow Your Passion and Become a Happy Person
This last Key Success Factor is a broad topic which encompasses several previously mentioned KSFs. In order to be a happy person, you need to develop and follow your Personal Trading Game (KSF8) and you want to have your Trader Strategy well-defined which tells you when to stop trading (KSF9).
Going to your trader desk right after the end of a stressful workday will certainly be a poor mental state for trading (KSF4). Non-useful beliefs, especially when they are emotionally loaded, can surely have an impact well beyond trading onto your relationships and family life (KSF3). And not having an appropriate goal (KSF2) could throw you completely off the “Autobahn”.
You want to be a trader who follows their passion. If you implement all those KSFs, your trader confidence and competence will grow. Being happy first can make trading so much easier and stress-free. I would even say that it is a pre-requisite for achieving the other Key Success Factors.
Note how this factor, like some others mentioned in my last article, is counter-intuitive.
To get a good indication of how happy you are as a person, I suggest completing Van Tharp’s free Happiness Test (link below in in Additional Resources).
I regularly witness that focusing on and implementing the 12 KSFs early on in the development process produces consistent traders reaching their R-goals in well less than a year!
If making money trading was easy, everybody would do it.
Are you ready to become a great trader at lightning speed? Then focus on what is really important! And let me know when you start building your “Autobahn”.Good trader development,
For more information on the individual KSFs, join the free Trader Community on Gabriel’s website: www.IntuFX.com
KSF1.1: Find out more about Gabriel’s upcoming Futures Workshops here.
KSF12: Van Tharp’s Happiness Test