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Good Habits Lead to Great Trading
In reviewing The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine observes, “Human habits seem intractable and inexplicable, as ingrained in our beings as the color of our hair. ‘They are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense,’ Duhigg writes. But it turns out our habits are quite malleable…”
Good habits are the foundation for a successful life which is why I hate 99% of people who whine. Most whiners never make an effort to form good habits and end up miserable as a result. Duhigg shows how the habit loop can be positive or negative depending on how you behave. As Businessweek notes, “Cue: running shoes left next to the bed. Routine: run first thing in the morning. Reward: endorphine rush and a healthy breakfast… Cue: feeling sad. Routine: drink. Reward: forget the troubles. Understanding the mechanics of habit loops is partly what helped Alcoholics Anonymous succeed in battling addiction.”
For us as traders, good habits are the key difference between profit and loss. What is a setup after all, but a habitual expression of key trading insights garnered through research? That is why I always insist on working through my trading ideas in a live account. That’s the only way that I can begin to form the right habits to make sure the setup becomes profitable. The BK FLOW setup which we have been trading with great success in our signal service is a prime example of this process. I went through numerous live trading permutations and massive amounts of research before we finally settled on something that looked viable in the market. To this day I continue to hone the setup, trying to make sure that my entry “habits” are sound.
Those of you who are following me now on the RSI Bungee Jump are becoming familiar with how I work. When it comes to RSI Bungee jumping my habits are far from perfect. I forget to review the daily charts. I miss the hourly breakouts and breakdowns. I sometimes enter late or worse -- against the major trend. Yet the great value of experimentation is that you can deconstruct your behaviour into discrete steps and correct each and every one in order to form the good habits that result in trading success.
It takes a long time to form good habits in trading, but that’s the only that we as retail traders can succeed in the market, so there is no better time than now to start working on improving yours.