My name is Yvan and I’m the man behind this blog.
So you’ve probably heard of the incredibly high failure rate in trading.
There are many statistics that bear out this harsh truth… some say 80% of all traders will fail. Others say 90%. More recently I’ve read a report saying that only 1 in 100 new traders will eventually succeed.
The exact number isn’t what’s important here. No matter how you cut it, what is concerning is this: Most traders will fail to become predictably profitable over time.
And I’ve experienced this personally — in 2006, I quit my day job, began trading full-time, and spent the following 5 years losing not only money but my sanity.
My repeated failures in the markets crippled me with anxiety and I came to a place where I began wondering whether people could really trade for a living. Is it even possible? Is it not just a myth?
Rest assured, the answer is yes, it’s possible. Absolutely! How do I know this? Well, after all these years of struggle, I am finally consistent and predictably profitable.
But let’s back up a little bit because I think there are many things you don’t want to be naïve about. For instance, some people will want you to believe that you need complex systems and fancy indicators to buy your way to financial freedom. And they’re glad to sell you that. I’m here to tell you the opposite of that: the solution is not to be found outside; rather it’s inside — inside that thick skull of yours.
It has to be! If the failure rate in this business hasn’t gone down in recent years despite all the resources and the technological advantages available, then the weakest link has to be you!
You see, most traders are unable to develop and maintain stability of mind, which makes their behavior inconsistent. And there’s a simple reason for that: Trading is so counter-intuitive. It pushes around all of our inherent predispositions and it makes being consistent a very difficult feat to achieve.
That’s why most fail. You could split hairs and talk about the failure to manage risk, and it’s all true, but ultimately it all boils down this harsh truth about the nature of the human mind – it’s inherently not designed to do trading. It’s designed to survive in the wild. For it to get good at trading, we have to train it.
In addition to having
✔ A trading strategy that works,
✔ Enough capital at your disposal to give you a fair chance of success,
✔ Good record keeping habits to help you learn from your mistakes
… you need a strategy that will help you
✔ Tame anxiety and reactivity.
✔ Maintain stability of mind during losing strikes or winning strikes,
✔ Combat cognitive biases, day in and day out, as you trade your system as it wants you to trade.
A simple yet effective solution
Exit the old school method of hiring a trading coach whose only goal is to impress you with his credentials and his jargon so that he can charge you upwards of 200$ per hour. Enter a new and radical solution. It’s a solution that puts YOU in charge – you as the scientist of your own life.
The solution is a very simple one and I’m sure you’ve heard of it: mindfulness meditation.
What is mindfulness?
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, a famous mindfulness expert, mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.
In order to help us do so, we use an anchor like the breath. This strategic focus on the breath allows us to tap into that natural ability of ours to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, while not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Who invented the practice?
Some of our earliest written records of the practice of mindfulness meditation suggest that it originated in India a couple thousands of years ago, and it was performed mainly in religious contexts.
Nowadays, with science backing its benefits, mindfulness meditation has evolved beyond its religious context and is practiced by people all around the world, regardless of creed and motto…
Just brain exercise
Mindfulness meditation is just brain exercise. That’s all it is. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you are actually remodeling its physical structure through a process called neuroplasticity.
During the practice, we are not attempting to control thoughts or emotions; we are not trying to stop our minds from producing them, we are simply observing them as they are non-judgementally. We are witnessing, not what they are telling us but what they are as phenomena. As you do that, your mind calms down and your idea of reality becomes more faithful to the facts.
When we try to observe the world, and when we try to observe ourselves, the mind constantly generates stories and fictions and explanations and imposes them on reality, and we cannot see what is really happening because we are blinded by the fictions and stories that we create — or other people create and we believe. The practice of mindfulness allows us to see reality as it is and not get entangled in any story, in any fiction.
How does that help with trading?
Personally, while the science behind is really interesting, I’m actually more concerned with the remarkable changes I’ve been able to observe in the way I trade (let alone, in my life) thanks to such a simple practice. A strong mindfulness practice will help raise your probability of success in the markets in unparalleled ways. Hands down!
With a strong habit of conscious thinking (and action), you will be less prone to impulsivity (also called blind reaction).
Your anxiety levels will go down.
But that’s not all…
… all these qualities will become the norm of your mind. In essence, you are training yourself to be a sharp shooter.
You’re not only going to blow up the system in your head that makes you hesitate, buy when you shouldn’t, sell when you shouldn’t, doubt, and other tricks that your brain uses to slow you down…. you’re going to shake up your entire life!
Still hard to believe?
Well, I hope these guys can help change your mind
Those A-list hedge-fund managers (and many others) are all part of a growing number of Wall Street traders who are fine-tuning their brains – and upping their games – with meditation.
Many investment firms are now urging their traders to adopt some kind of meditation practice — classes at Goldman have a waiting list of hundreds.
In general, people in finance are becoming more and more aware of the importance of the practice, and so should you!
Give it a try…
5-Minute Meditation by Laetitia Jacquouton, for Trading Composure. Laetitia is a certified yoga and meditation instructor with over 900 hours of training and over 4 years of full-time teaching experience.
Here’s how concentration develops…
A method for higher consciousness
As human beings, we spend most of our lives functioning in states of lower consciousness, where we are principally concerned with ourselves, our survival, our own success…
It’s an obsession. And this primal and survival-based thinking (and behaving), whether it’s conscious or unconscious, is what screws us over in trading.
With a strong practice, we can become capable of reliably transcending our normal animal instincts. This is typically referred to a state of higher consciousness. Some traditions call it enlightenment. In such states, the mind moves beyond its particular self-interests and cravings. We start to think about life’s (and trading’s) conundrums in more imaginative ways — in ways that are not fueled by fear, greed, envy. In other words, there is no internal resistance anymore. It’s a state of complete acceptance, of unconditional peace where one sees reality as it is and flows with it.
So market success is just one aspect of what’s to gain. Mindfulness meditation is a complete method to radically change your life. It’s changed mine in so many ways and I’m sure it can change yours if you give the practice a fair trial.
Why should you learn with me?
Now that you know all the potential benefits the practice of mindfulness meditation has to offer, it’s very easy to start the practice with an expecting mindset and venture down unfruitful paths. That’s why it’s always best to have the guidance of an experienced practitioner.
Mindfulness meditation is a simple yet profound subject. It often involves deep discussions about the mind and the nature of reality. There are lots of resources online that can teach you that. So why should you learn with me?
1. The practice of meditation is a central part of my life – and my work. I have a solid practice, I’ve been practicing for years and, so far, I’ve spent a cumulative total of 6 months on retreats, observing the nature of the mind. So, I think I know a little bit there… and I can help you understand your mind better.
2. What’s more, I am a trader and I run a profitable trading business. I know the challenges traders go through. I went through them all and I’ve prevailed over them. I can help you do the same simply and efficiently.
First, sign up to receive my free weekly posts. My weekly posts will help you improve your mindset, simply and without the fluff, as you trade your way to financial freedom.
[Important: Emails often get caught up in spam filters. So make sure you add my “from” address to your list of contacts. This will help ensure that my emails don’t get filtered out.]
Second, check out my books. I delve deeper into the subject of mindfulness and trading, from a trader’s perspective.
Lastly, if you like my style and if you think the info I share is useful and pertinent, check out the Trading Psychology Mastery Course.
I’ve designed this course as a response to an ever growing number of requests I receive for coaching and/or mentoring.
The Trading Psychology Mastery Course is a complete program for change. In there, we work on dismantling some destructive habits of the mind that cause traders to fail. We work on self-knowledge, and with that comes better clarity, patience, focus, wise discernment, resilience…
So grab the course today, start learning, and make some real change…
With that said, I hope that you find in my work concrete answers to your problem behaviors in the markets. Coupled with your own hard work, I hope it helps you develop into the kind of person you need to become in order to build the trading career you want and deserve.