You’ve probably heard about how the algos are taking over. And how the life as a discretionary trader is over.
Rather in this post, I’m going to share a clever little psychological hack that has done wonders for my trading.
Inspiration goes to Vad Graifer, who in Techniques of Tape Reading, wrote about his journey to becoming a profitable trader. Vad came up with the concept of creating a so called “Model Trader” to model all the traits he desired as a trader as well as to metaphorically hand over the trading reins to the Model trader.
He was the master that I wanted to become. I was not the one who was trading; he was doing the trading. I was merely an observer, an admirer.
In some cases I would give him final approval for a trade, after making sure that his trade matched my system criteria and wasn’t prompted by emotions.
There was no ego involved anymore. If the model made some stupid mistake, I just laughed at him. He knew he was being watched, and this made him cut his losses very quickly. I cannot tell you how much this trick has helped me. It resolved plenty of problems I had previously experienced with emotional control. Instead of attempting to get rid of my emotions (as if that were possible!), I found my way around them: I detached myself from my emotions enough to not act under their influence.
Rise of the Robots
I’ve updated this concept with a slight modern twist and created for myself the “Robot trader”.
The key element of using the Robot trader is maintain a state of detachment. See yourself in the robot but let it embody all the traits that you wish you had. Remove all the undesirables and infuse it with just the elements that you wish you could embody. Now hand over control and observe as if you were peering over someone’s shoulder.
If you’re struggling with emotional control it’s time to create your own Robot trader.
Here’s what mine looks like –
- My Robot trader is calm, centered, yet extremely decisive. In each trade he knows Plan A, B, and C. Once in a trade he manages without hesitation or doubt.
- The Robot trader knows no fear because there’s no uncertainty. At times he’s humorous but with a sly and dry humour that is always quick to laugh at himself for his mistakes.
- Giving and abundant he plays all out and has no regrets.
- Never afraid of taking a loss as loss is not a reflection of him or self worth or competence.
- He’s a real trader’s trader.
Now it’s your turn. Go ahead, get creative. Take it a step further and give yours has an accent like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
You’ll be surprised to see how much your discipline, focus, and levels of anxiety improve.
After all it’s easy to relax when you are watching someone else trade.