“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” – Bruce lee
So what do Bruce Lee and Leonardo Da Vinci have in common? They both understood, as any good trader should, the essentials of making an impact…the power of subtracting noise.
As a trader you should do the same:
1) Subtract your emotional baggage
In close to twenty years of trading, I have yet to meet ONE successful trader that is emotionally unbalanced. Bring your emotional baggage, your demons, your insecurities to your trading terminal, and you likely to make wrong decisions.
2) Subtract financial entertainment
CNBC and other financial media are a great source of info-tainment and you can surely learn a lot. But if you sit in front of the TV all day without having a solid plan thinking that’s what professional traders suppose to do, you virtually guarantee to trade yourself out of capital very shortly. Understand that the delivery of TV news is designed to hit the emotional part of your brain. You might benefit from shutting it off in the short run.
3) Subtract noise
Good trading is not about having 8 screens, 1500 indicators, live steaming news, Twitter feeds, and a phone line with direct connection to god. Clean up your charts to the essence, price, volume and maybe one or two indicators. Clean up your screens and eliminate as much noise as possible, go over your trading diary and identify which inputs produced the most output, then go back and close the applications that add nothing but flicking lights and funny sounds, subtract until you are left with the essence of your system.
Make no mistake, the above three points are extremely difficult to accomplish. We assume we need “everything,” as in “the more tools the better.” But in fact, when we spread our brain too thin, we severely impact our ability to clearly process the essence of what requires to achieve our goal.