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Looking back at my early success in the stock market in the late nineties and even in the early 2000’s with the level of knowledge I had then at first glance at my returns I thought I was just lucky. However looking around at others that participated in the same markets at the same time my returns were vastly more consistent and profitable in the long term while my losses were minimal. Most the other traders I knew of blew up their accounts  eventually, buy and holders could not take any more and got out at bottoms and never got back in, and many investors broke even over long periods of time inside this thirteen year long range bound market. Knowing what I know now I look back at my early trading and investing as very ignorant but somehow I did get results. I do believe I have always had some personality traits and internal principles that saved me from myself even though I did not know it at the time. I would learn later that I did do some things right from the start and I was lucky I did.

  1. I have a very small threshold for the pain of losing money. I have always hated losing money which causes me to cut losses quickly. So almost all my losses have been small.

  2. I have always loved making money so I tend to let winners run until I have a good reason to exit them. Which has lead me to catch some really nice trends and really big winners.

  3. I have a knack for being bullish in bull markets and bearish in bear markets over all. I tend to take big long positions in bull markets and stay in cash or take small short positions in bear markets.

  4. I have always had a tendency to focus like a laser on only a very few things to trade. I tend to understand the current price action and chart history of what I am trading. I have spent years trading only one stock primarily or one index.

  5. I only take trades that make sense from historical price action I am very picky on entries, I have to understand exactly why I think a trade will make money or I do not take entries.

  6. I usually do not trade extreme volatility, I just go to cash and wait for a signal to emerge  from the noise. Recently I have traded long option strangles.

  7. I have always had a knack for dodging draw downs in bear markets.

  8. My #1 priority has always been not to lose money.

  9. I am by nature a risk manager so I always think through the worst case scenario before I enter a trade. This usually keeps my position size in check.

  10. I have always been a rational and logical person even as a kid and unemotional to a fault. My emotions have never really overwhelmed my trading decisions even during tough trading days and weeks my mind has been able to follow my trading plan and stay in charge of my entries, exits, and position sizing for the most part.