July 4:Traders Expo Report: Zombies Among Us

A while ago, I helped traders World Magazine at their booth at the 2003 Trader`s Expo in Chicago.

It was an experience that confirmed many of my thoughts and feelings about the state of the trading environment.

Why did it not surprise me that the vast majority of those that walk the aisles are looking for one thing…the Holy Grail?

It`s so easy to think that if you surround yourself with experts in the field (and there were plenty of them in attendance), you`re bound to come across someone you can trust and relate to…not just from words on a page, but by getting a sense of who they are in person.

Some of these experts made themselves VERY accessible.

I walked up to Steve Nison, the Japanese Candlestick guru and had a 15 minute conversation with him about our mutual love for candlestick analysis…AND our common appreciation for the mental and emotional part of successful trading.

The very personable Larry Williams walked up to the Traders World booth to say hello to Larry Jacobs, but instead his eye caught my display about The Mental Side of Trading.

We spoke for about 10 minutes on a small range of subjects from the markets to internet marketing to the importance of mental toughness for traders.

After wishing Larry well, it occurred to me that one thing all the gurus seem to have in common was their appreciation for the mental part of trading.

Now, most traders in general will give lip service to the importance of the mental aspects, but do absolutely nothing about it.

A few lines of Today I`m not going to make the same mistakes as I made yesterday self-talk is about all the mental training they will muster.

Gurus and successful traders do more than give lip service.

They train.

They train their minds to do the right things during the trading day. What are the right things?

To follow their tested and trusted trading system…without wavering…without flinching.

Of the 113 booths (that I counted) at the Traders Expo, 111 ˝ had to do with trading systems, trading information sources, data feeds, and the like, while 1 ˝ booths dealt with the mental part of trading.

Why is that?

Well, many traders (wrongly) feel that committing to training their minds means that something must be wrong with them.

It`s an admission that one is out of control and that`s just not something that most want to face.

They`d rather find a system that works more of the time…one that gives you better signals that they can follow.

No admissions necessary.

The truth is that if you train yourself to be disciplined and focused in your trading, you don`t even need last year`s best performing system to be successful in your trading.

All you need is a decent system.

I`ll likely be many other Trading Expos and my guess is that I`ll see a lot of the same trading faces, zombie-ing down the isles, continuing their searches for the Holy Grail… …and not ever looking inward for the answers.

By Norman Hallett

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