How To Measure Your Trading Progress

Everybody, it’s Michael Martin, thanks for being here. Happy Monday. Hope you had a great trading week. A lot of volatility out there. So that might help some of you. It might hurt some of you, but either way, I hope you’re weathering it. I get a lot of great feedback from folks, and I just want to give a shout out to everybody who’s making comments and writing in it means a lot that some of it right, I can’t be perfect, but at least some of it might be resonating with you and helping you evolve in your trading game. So I want to talk today about trading and progress in your trading game. One of the expressions that you hear a lot around coaching is progress, not perfection. And folks seem to be like to be saying, get 1% every day. Well, again, at 1% every day, you’re going to more than double your money by the end of the year if you think about it. So if you can do that in your personal life, you’re cooking with gas. I mean, that’s incredible. Now, I started thinking about this. We talked about ganja and I talked about a question that had come in about a person who was trading, I think a micro contract for a year and hadn’t shown any progress. And so I think we answered that in this coming Wednesday’s video, which is already recorded.
And I started to think about it again, there’s two sides to every trade. So you might not show financial progress, but maybe you’re coming more to terms with who you are as a trader and what it is that you can do, right? I mean, you can’t make it any smaller if you’re trading a micro contract. But the main thing is, and I’m just looking at my notes, you can track how you feel like if you were in constant and utter fear when you started, but now at least you understand the dynamics of the market. It might be a little awkward to have made some emotional or maturity style progress but not financial progress. Well, that kind of kicks in because sometimes the stuff doesn’t work or evolve at the same time. You can learn things intellectually about the marketplace and how to trade trading tactics, trading chart patterns, this and that.
Trading systems. The list goes on of all the crap that’s out there, but you might be the hardest nut to crack yourself. In other words, how do you acquire self-knowledge? You see, that’s the tougher ball of wax, and that’s kind of why I focus on that part of it on the show because to be frank, anybody who’s looked at a chart for six months can record a video and put it on YouTube. It’s free. You can use your phone, doesn’t cost you anything but the time you put into it and give you their 2 cents on a chart. But what you have to understand that chart patterns are a lot like human beings. And there’s people that, they’re acquaintances, there’s some people that you’re friends with and you actually, and then there’s other people who you might have something more formal like a business relationship. You might have romantic relationship.
And then even in that dating, you might have folks that you like to spend time with or hook up with, but there’s varying degrees of chemistry. And so what I’ve been trying to educate everybody on is that those chart patterns and those setups have an emotional output as well that is either going to resonate with you or not. So we talk about that compatibility in people. We call it chemistry. So I think that you’ll end up having a relationship with that type of chart pattern of that setup. And so going back to the original question, progress not perfection. You might be a very, very loyal person who doesn’t like to quit. I’m one of them. I wouldn’t say I’m stubborn, but I know that my goal can be the same, but the way that I get there can change. So don’t be afraid to shake things up a little bit and try another instrument. You might be trying to guess the headlines every morning and pick a direction in one of the indices, which is really, really difficult to do.
Whereas I do advocate trying to understand what the crowd’s going to do, trying to understand that behavior within any short term aspect to me is very, very difficult even for the best of them. Now, there are a handful of traders that can do it and I applaud ’em, but I also know that the greatest number of people who fail are the ones who are trying to sit there and kind of hammer over their heads with these trading stock index futures, intraday, trying to catch the emotion of the day as opposed to what are the forces going on during the week. So just be kind to yourself and realize that as long as you’re making an attempt, you look, if you took you another year to answer the question, you still would’ve completed or gotten to a place of confidence and the ability to execute in half the time that in less than half the time that it took me.
So if you look at me as some kind of harbing or then by all means do it. I feel like everybody is as unique as their fingerprint, so there’s no one way to do it. But I just know that if you’re struggling and you’re not putting any points on the board, it might be time to shake things up a little bit. But also remember, the main takeaway from today’s discussion is that there are two ways to progress. There’s your emotional and psychological progress, and then there’s your tactical progress. I suppose there’s a third, which we can take tactical and talk about the analysis because if you’re running a system, you have to know enough to build the set of rules that are robust across any number of instruments. It could be five, it could be 60 futures contracts, it could be the 100 securities in the NASDAQ Index, for example. Or it could just be a
Basket that you’ve put together back test that make sure that you’ve included at least 10 years. And I’d be so bold as to say, make sure that you know what happened to those types of names in oh 7, 0 8 when the market was under duress. You see what I’m saying? Because that’ll be very telling on what you might face going forward. If you’re a chart reader, the same type of a deal, pick one or two chart patterns and just stick to one of them as opposed to trying to trade all 12 of them. Very confusing for the newer mind. It’s very difficult to build confidence if you’re all over the place. So kind of bifurcate what you think your progress is. Is it on you, the person, or is it on you? Your trading in the analysis system or discretionary stuff? And then tactically, because then you have to pull it off. And there might be nuances in how you create alpha when you look at how you actually deploy the trade, you see. Anyway, I appreciate everybody being here. Please like and subscribe to the channel. If you haven’t already gotten a copy of the audiobook version of my book, the Inner Voice of Trading, you can get that over at Martin Chronicle, top right corner of the page, and it’s all yours. Thanks for being here, folks. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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