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Blog - June 19, 2013

Finding The Next Level as a Full Time Forex Trader

Many of you keep in touch with me on a regular basis to share your results and progress with The Elite Range Bar System, but in the past week I had three very similar e-mails that I thought were worthy of a quick post.  These traders brought up different issues but essentially they each boiled down to asking, “now that I have become a full time forex trader, what can I do to boost my trading performance to an even higher level?”
All three of these traders have recently transitioned into the world of professional trading after months of consistency while trading part time around their other work commitments.  It’s a huge step when you decide to try and make your living as a full time Forex trader, but those months spent building confidence and consistency in execution  definitely make it much smoother.  
What sets these traders apart however is that they aren’t just willing to accept being “good enough”.  They all want to improve their mental edge in the markets and their results even further, so I shared a few ideas that are very helpful for doing just that.

Sharpening Your Mental Trading Edge

Anyone who has made the transition into full time Forex trading has already built up confidence in their trading system and their ability to execute it effectively.  They know their rules, they understand the black and white situations in the market, and they have embraced the ever-changing nature of the market.  Once you’ve got to this point though, it can be difficult to figure out what the next step should be.  Is it studying more charts, more setups, more indicators?  While spending time on those areas can still be useful, the number one thing that a full time trader can do is focus on improving their mental edge.
The way we think and our ability to be disciplined yet mentally open and adaptable to different market conditions is what trading success is all about.  To truly take our trading from being profitable to being elite, we need to focus on the stuff between our ears and find ways to improve our ability to enter the elusive “zone” of pure focus and effortless performance.

Meditation to Improve Trading Focus

One of the most common performance boosters I hear traders talk about is their introduction of mindful meditation.  When meditating in this manner, we focus on only our breathing and nothing else. Various thoughts will pop into your mind, but you just quickly acknowledge them and then let them go, continuing to focus on your breathing.
Meditation for Forex Trading SuccessWhile this may seem like it would give limited results for trading performance, the reality is far different.  Over time, you will improve your ability to focus and maintain mental calm which will not only flow into your daily life but also your trading.
This extra focus will allow you to become fully immersed in the market so you will miss few high quality setups.  Similarly, the increased mental calm will benefit your trade management massively.
If you are looking to get started with mindful meditation, I would highly recommend the book Mindfulness in Plain English.  Be sure to give these techniques a good chance to sink in over at least a month.  You are unlikely to see rapid changes in the first few sessions, but over time it can make a huge difference.

Using Sports Psychology to Find The Zone

Trading is a very competitive profession and as we’ve discussed, the mental edge is often what separates the good traders from the great.  There is no doubt that this shares many similarities with those who play professional sports.  There are a lot of people out there who have the skills to be great in their sport, but they falter and burn out because they can’t keep themselves at a consistently high level of mental performance.  In order to be highly consistent trading professionals it’s vital we focus on our mental approach and look for ways to get “in the zone”, and there are a number of excellent sports psychology books out there that will help you do that.
Sports Psychology Forex Trading
A couple of my favourites include With Winning in Mind and 10 Minute Toughness.  Both of these books focus on the mental preparation that is needed to perform in a sport at an extremely high level, and the lessons are hugely applicable to trading as well.
As a full time trader you’ve no doubt already put in the time and effort to study your charts, test ideas with past data, and have proven your edge in live markets.  But have you really stopped to focus on how you can maximize your mental preparation to improve results?
We often spend so much time as traders focused on charts that we ignore just how crucial mental preparation is to achieving peak performance.  If you are profitable and searching for the next level in your trading, make sure that you implement mental training into your daily regimen.

No Time for Complacency as a Full Time Forex Trader

Just because you’ve gone full time as a trader doesn’t mean it’s time to relax.  This is often the most difficult point in the entire trading journey, so you should continually be looking for ways to improve.
Although it can be difficult to continually make small changes in your plan to rapidly increase your edge, many of the mental improvements you can make will truly leap you into another level of trading success.
Anyone who has been in this business for a long time knows your actual trading system can only take you so far, so if you want to reach that truly elite level then it’s time to focus on the mental side of trading to ensure your continual growth as a trader.