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Some are attracted by the lure of great wealth. Some by the idea of owning a business they can run from anywhere in the world. While others simply relish the intellectual challenge of pitting their wits against the markets.
But one powerful motive that’s often overlooked is a trader’s desire to take control of and stabilize his or her personal financial situation. To most people, this sounds counter-intuitive.
Sure, the markets can offer potentially massive monetary rewards, along with the possibility of financial independence.
But isn’t trading an inherently risky business?
Isn’t it the last activity that should be considered by someone whose top priority is having a secure, predictable income?
Not necessarily. As surprising as it may seem, for Kent Ford, a native of Alberta Canada, the markets offer a welcome refuge from the uncertainties of running his family farm.
“I love farming,” he admits, “but the challenge I have is we have no control over input cost and no control over how much we can sell our product for.”
As Kent puts it, “The market tells us how much it will pay. I have felt kind of helpless at times with this. For us, it takes a full year to know if we had a good harvest or a poor harvest.”
As much as he loves working on his family farm in Alberta, Canada, Kent Ford knows only too well the uncertainty which the agriculture business brings. After a long-held fascination with the stock market, he turned to trading in the hope of putting his family’s finances on a more stable foundation. By his own admission, Kent started from a base of insufficient knowledge and almost gave up after quickly blowing up his first account. Now, however, he is working hard to rebuild his confidence with a practice account and has already posted some encouraging live trading wins with the help of Nathan Bear and Weekly Money Multiplier.
Irma, Alberta – Canada
Unlike traditional small business owners, stock traders have no customers or clients to worry about. No greedy suppliers or marketing costs. And no unscrupulous competitors trying to take them down.
The stock trader’s primary concern is the financial markets, which, as impersonal as they may seem, offer welcome predictability when compared to the capriciousness of the weather and climate, which are a constant source of worry and trouble for farmers.
And, for Kent, this analogy can be made quite explicitly.
“I like to trade days to weeks out,” he says, “which means every few days or weeks, I will know how the harvest went. I want to have more control for my family and our farm.”
“I love farming, but we have no control over input cost or how much we can sell our product for. The market tells us how much it will pay. It takes us a full year to know if we had a good harvest or a poor one.”
Most people would agree that Kent’s first foray into the stock market ended disastrously.
By his own admission, he started trading with a great sense of excitement and fascination, but far too little knowledge. The all too predictable result was that he quickly blew up his first account and was forced out of the market.
Given his powerful financial motivation, it was a heavy blow to suffer. But perhaps even more severe than the money loss, and more challenging to recover from, was the overwhelming fear of failure that he developed as a result.
Fear is, of course, a totally natural reaction to having suffered a substantial loss. Mainly the loss of an entire account. But it’s a feeling that a trader must overcome if he or she is going to be successful in the markets.
Fear doesn’t just reveal itself in extreme cases, like Kent’s, it can manifest itself as an unwillingness to trade at all. It may be a less obvious, but still destructive hesitation to pull the trigger on a profitable setup, or perhaps a reluctance to crystallize a loss by rapidly exiting a losing position.
It’s one of the several ways in which successful traders are often similar to expert military snipers, and sure enough, a fear of failure which, if not controlled, can be fatal for both.
If anxiety causes the Marine sniper to fire too soon, he may give away his position with a missed shot. On the other hand, if he hesitates too long, the target may vanish from his sights.
“I like to trade days to weeks out, which means every few days or weeks, I know how the harvest went. I want to have more control for my family and our farm. Nathan and Jason are helping me with that.”
The solution, for both trader and sniper, is to quiet the mind through an intense focus on the precise execution of a method, rather than the desired end goal.
Here, for example, is what one successful stock trader says about the importance of focusing on process rather than outcome:
“I don’t judge trades based on the resulting profit or loss. I judge my trades based on whether I stuck to my process and trade plan. This is one of the hardest lessons I teach — and one of the most important for you to learn.”
Focusing on process is a lesson Kent has diligently applied since joining Weekly Money Multiplier. Because of this, he’s been steadily rebuilding confidence and overcoming fear by spending as much time as possible paper trading his practice account in line with a clear plan.
It is generally understood that this kind of practice is a good way of training technical skills and learning to recognize profitable setups, but it’s less often appreciated that it can also be a great way of building emotional resilience. Even though no real money is at risk, the student learns to stay focused on the process of trading.
“I needed to take the pressure off,” says Kent, explaining his new approach, “Just learn and practice with paper. I somehow thought I could magically make real money without being consistent with my practice account. Growing my paper account has given me a lot more confidence!”
“I just got a big winner on a credit spread Nathan sent out on ZEN. I love the idea of being able to support my family with only my laptop or phone!”
With his practice account growing steadily, Kent has built up enough courage to try out some live trades again, focusing primarily on options trades, which are his particular interest.
To his delight, he has already posted several encouraging wins, including an excellent credit spread trade on Zendesk, Inc (ZEN).
Kent will probably never entirely give up farming, but he loves trading to the point of hoping that one day he can teach this valuable skill to others. And for the future, he wishes above all for his trading to bring more stability and predictability to his family’s finances.
“Super-pumped,” as he puts it, by the results he is now seeing. “I love the idea of being able to support my family with only my laptop or phone!” Kent added enthusiastically.
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