Trader Evolution: 10 things that I have Learned


“You adapt, evolve, compete or die.” – Paul Tudor Jones

I do not trade the same way I did when I started actively trading the stock market in the late nineties. The market itself has taught me many lessons about keeping my gains and cutting my losses short. I have traded through one one the biggest bull markets in history (1999) and one of the most vicious bear markets since the great depression (2008). I have learned when to trade big and when to not trade at all. I have been taught the penalty of losses when my ego wanted me to trade too big, and the pain of missing a huge move due to fear of entering a trade. I know what it feels like to lose $30,000 of my account in a few years and the feeling making $150,000 in a few years with minimum draw downs. I know the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I have both lost $4,000 in a morning and made $5,000 in a day. In my quest to make money in the stock market I have read hundreds and hundreds of books. I have culled from them what works for me.

 What have I learned?

 “Trading is an evolution of trader and system.” -Jonathan Keag

  1. I have learned to play the long side in bull markets and the short side in bear markets.
  2. I have learned to only risk 1% of my capital on each trade.
  3. I have learned to trade on solid principles and NOT my own opinions.
  4. Focusing on a few key monster stocks is the best way to make money.
  5. When I do not understand the market action, it is best to do nothing.
  6. Studying the greatest traders to ever live is a short cut to market success.
  7. I have to trade the method that fits my personality.
  8. I should have no regrets if I followed my method and rules.
  9. I can not predict anything, I can only attempt to follow what IS happening.
  10. It is possible to pull six figures out of the market with the right homework and perseverance.

Keep learning, keep growing, keep tweaking your trading. Stick with what makes you money and allows you to keep it, discard what does not. How I trade today is nothing like what I did 14 years ago, who I am as a trader is nothing like I was even a few years ago. The question is not where you are now in your trading journey and how much money you have, the REAL question is who you will be and what you will have five and ten years from now if you keep doing what you are doing. Keep studying, keep growing, never give up.

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” -Steve Jobs