Sex And Trading

by jennifer on February 27, 2012

Suddenly I’m so hot I wonder if I will discover the truth about spontaneous combustion. I feel heat throbbing into my skull as my pulse quickens, pressure welling up in my throat so I can’t swallow. I have no idea why I’m scared, but I can hardly take a breath. I need to do something so I go through motions I don’t even think about, searching for something unknown to me, and examining thin air hoping to find a sign that will register in my brain and lead me to action. I need to make a move, and I know that timing is everything.

I’m describing the moment I was sitting at my computer with the EUR/USD as price went racing in my direction, dumping hundreds of dollars per minute into my account. Or maybe I should say back into my account after watching a massive drawdown almost consume all of my capital in one giant terrible trade.

Sex is like trading. We work for it, we pay for it, and it evokes powerful emotion, feelings of desire, despair and bliss. Action produces consequence, so if you want it, you better pay attention.

Sex is like trading...

It takes some planning.
It’s the same with sex as it is with trading: Put in the time, and it’s all more enjoyable. Take some time to think it through and set up your charts before you enter the trade. Think about props you’ll need, and how much time you can devote to the task. There could be obvious support/resistance lines or other barriers in your way. Plan around those things before you get started and you will know exactly how to handle yourself.

Be objective before you become subjected to someone else’s mood, your own mood, or the mood of the market. It always gets emotional, of course. Nobody wants to lose money. Take care of the details before you trade. When the Non Farm Payroll Report comes out there is an emotional response in the market that you can plan around. You don’t have to avoid it, but know what you’re getting into. Know what time of the month it is, and plan appropriately. So many problems in trading can be avoided if you just think ahead and have your game on. Don’t start asking questions about trade size and stop losses after you already hit the button. Take control, plan ahead, and then just let go.

Premature profit can leave your trading account unfulfilled.
If you don’t let your winners run, at least occasionally, the losses might not be worth it. You might think this is only true if your risk:reward ratio is upside down, like mine is at about 2:1. But this truth applies to all traders. Even if your risk:reward is sensational at 1:100, your account will suffer if you take 99 losses and drop out before the last good one. Whatever your strategy, make sure it’s worth it. Keep your eyes on the bottom line and make sure you let the winner go far enough to get the payoff. Maybe this all takes place in your mind. Practice makes you better, so practice holding on to your winners. You might want to practice holding onto your winners in your mind. It’s all mental, right?

Stick to your partner
Finding the right one is important. There is going to be one that is right for you, and when you figure out the right chart, financial instrument, and system that works for you, commit your time to it. There is no substitute for spending time together and finding out everything you need to know to make the relationship work. Of course you can make a trade or have sex without any commitment at all, but if you want lasting success that’s another matter.

If you’re afraid of commitment, don’t expect to get a lot of action. You give time and attention to your charts, you spend hours building templates, you compare multiple inter-day time compressions and study economic fundamentals, stay up late when the Euro wants to move – this is a commitment. Some people think that a commitment is boring. They even run away from the charts they know, thinking they can find something else more exciting.

The truth is that the best trades, the most exciting trades, can happen after you’ve done the hard work, when you trust your charts, you trust your analysis, and you can trust the rules of your trading system. There is only one way to be reliable — Be reliable!

Trading takes time.
Sometimes my best trade entry triggers at 11:00 pm, and I’m really tired. No, really. The derivative rewards can be exceptional when I’m willing to sacrifice half a night’s sleep for an inimitable trading moment.

Previous experience is good but it can also mess you up. My greatest amount of experience is  trading EUR/USD. Admittedly, I have all but lost my ability to make money trading this pair. The problem is all in my head. I can’t forget some experiences, like that one time I lost $80,000 right before the market turned and went $90,000 in my direction. (Did that really happen? ummmm. Yes it did.) Over time I have developed biases which cloud my analysis, and deep-seated resentment or maybe just regret. Sometimes you’re right and you still lose, and then you confuse your source of data from your data feed. The fundamentals and the technicals don’t always tell you the same thing at the same time. The more I know, the more I question; the more I question, the less I trust my system; the less I trust my system the more I trust myself, and… well… I think you get the point.

Quickies…
Every once in a while, indulge yourself in a quickie.

Keep a demo account accessible, and try this. When you feel frustrated with your regular setups – if your mind feels dull or fatigued from the ordinary setups you always do, you might need to just spice it up a bit. Take a few ultra-short-term trades from the 30-second charts. Spend 5 or 10 minutes, tops. Do it in a demo so you don’t risk real money. But be spontaneous. Grab the short-term chart and let loose. Pull yourself out of your regular trading mind. Get out of the rut, and into something fast. Get your heart racing. Remember why you trade in the first place. You’ll keep your mind sharper. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Fantasies are great…
…but real money is better. Or is it?

I get annoyed with people who won’t do the work to make 2% per month because they would rather fantasize about making 40% per month. The truth is I’m all for fantasies, but I’m also  always trying to figure out what I really want. My fantasy is to make 12 million dollars in my trading account. My real life goal is to build my retirement and pay off college for my kids by the time I’m 50. I’ve got 7 years to do it, and I am working through a plan. Without the fantasy I might not have made the plan.

From Physchology Today:

 

“Fantasies are not frivolous. They can be entertaining, distracting, frightening, even arousing, but they also allow for creativity and help us plan for the future.”


If it’s possible to use the fantasy to improve reality, then for every 15 minutes you indulge in your fantasy, spend 15 minutes planning trades that will bring it closer to home. Do not spend your life, at your trading desk, just thinking about doing it. Do it with a system you can trust and start building something great.

Dress for the occasion.
It’s a fact that how you dress influences your performance and what kind of success you attract to yourself. To be sexy is to act sexy, and it’s hard to do that in my soccer uniform! (I don’t play soccer, but that’s not the point.)

What you put on your body could be a simple step to set yourself up for success. Can you imagine going to work in your pajamas? Of course not! So don’t go to work trading at your kitchen table in your pajamas either. Your mind is your most important tool, so do whatever you can to get it right.  The right apparel makes you feel powerful, graceful, strong, or smart. Send a message to yourself and to your partner when you dress for success.

It’s what we do every day, right? We have “meetings” in an international marketplace. I don’t know about you, but I dress up for that, and I intend to make the best deals I can for myself. No distractions. Not too much bling, but definitely not sloppy. That’s trading. If you’re learning to trade for the first time, or if you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad with a computer at the kitchen table, or if you’re like me and spend your life in your home-office with two computers a Mac and an iPad, (and about 7 old ones piled up in the garage), try dressing in a way that matches your intention.

Smile.
It’s not just attractive, it’s a tool for influencing others and you can even influence yourself.

It’s magic.

I worked in a hotel once, and part of the training I received was how to smile. It’s no surprise when you’re working with people face to face, that smiling influences them to follow your lead. It takes the edge off and makes everyone a little more at ease. But what is surprising is that it even works when you’re talking on the phone. Apparently, when you smile while talking on the phone you change your own psychology in a way that projects calmness and sincerity. Of course, I take stuff like that a step farther… I smile at my computer. I know it’s embarrassing, but it’s a trick for staying calm and being in control of myself when I’m setting up or managing a trade. Being influential and starting to get what you want is just a smile away.

Does size matter?
Oh, I’m not really going to use that one, am I?

Does trade size matter?

Yes… yes I am. I have to tell you about this, because the largest amount of money I ever made was trading 1 pip at a time. The greatest satisfaction of my trading life was trading for 1 pip, worth $300, which I tried to do six times a day. It was a great experience and the money stacked up very quickly. My trading lifestyle was fast and furious. I was over-loaded with pressure and sustaining myself deprived of sleep, but the 1-pip trades were sensational all the same.  I don’t trade that way now. Today, my trading is much different, much more stable, my trade size smaller, and guess what? It’s more satisfying. My life is more livable. The point is, don’t be unimpressed with my 1-pip trade, and don’t be overly obsessed with your 100-pip winner either. Trading is good. Don’t forget that. Size really doesn’t matter.

Bragging about all your gains.
“What? You didn’t get 7,000 pips on the Euro this month?” “You didn’t make $10,000 on Netflix?”

Bragging is the surest way to tell people you are a loser. Bragging is the companion to fantasy. Fantasy is when you’re too afraid to do it. Bragging is when you’re too afraid to admit that you haven’t done it.

People who talk big all the time are standing right at the threshold of their own dreams, but not crossing over it.

Doesn’t that drive you crazy? It drives me crazy because I have been at the threshold, too. You remember the part where I’ve been working at this for 12 years? Well, it doesn’t have to take 12 years, but it usually does, probably because we have threshold issues. Everything you really need to know about trading you can learn in about 6 months. I’m talking about sex and trading, remember. You already know everything you need to know to be successful at either one, and talking big about it isn’t necessary, isn’t attractive, and proves just one thing: You’re all talk. A lady, or the EUR/USD, doesn’t want a talker. The guy who says he makes 7,000,000 dollars a month trading for 20 minutes in the morning is not only lying to you, he’s lying to himself, and we all know it. He doesn’t get any action. He just likes to talk about it.

What’s the reason we talk about our dreams instead of making them a reality?

Maybe you would like to trade the Euro for 2 hours a day, and make a 2% gain in your account, reliably, every month. Or maybe it’s 10%. If you really want to make 20% every month trading the S&P 500 for two hours a day, while you keep your day job, raise your kids and coach soccer…

Stop talking about it!

Make it happen. All jokes aside, the good life you and everyone else wants is right in front of you. If it wasn’t true, you wouldn’t still be reading this. Maybe the only thing stopping us from living it is the fact that we won’t stop talking about it long enough to actually do it. Be the real thing and when you get close to something (or someone) you really want, do this: Smile, be calm and don’t say a word.

It takes courage
It is not easy to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. The pressure is immense because this is the real world. If you’re wrong about the trade, the risk is enormous. Nobody really wants to advertise what goes on behind closed doors. Did you know that 20 percent of the world’s population has an STD?

That’s a big number!

Why would anyone have sex at all? When all the potential partners are going to make themselves attractive and tell lies that people want to hear, and we know this ahead of time, it’s remarkable that so many people do it anyway. People become traders because they desperately want to do something special, and they know it’s possible, even though it’s risky. Forex traders who don’t die from STDs (Stupid Trading Decisions) find the right trading system, they spend enough time working for it that one good day they get the reward. Lots of pips, and you get to have them every day. What could be better?

We all like trading, we all like sex, we all spend time and money trying to get more of both. Why not take a minute to think about how you can improve your life – in sex and trading?

Sexy tricks could turn into sexy pips! (or ticks or points!)

Have a great day, be a great trader, and be great at everything else in your life, too. It’s worth it.

- Jennifer

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