I started trading in March 2012 and within five months had managed to lose £2500 (£500 a month).
If this wasn’t a big enough kick in the teeth on its own, it was far worse when my wife got hold of our bank statements. Not only did I feel like a dick for wasting money trading instead of putting it away for our newborn son, I also felt like a total failure.
It seemed that no matter how much I read or studied or how many different trading systems I used, I just couldn’t pick enough winning trades to outweigh my losses. It was with some sadness that about 6 months into my trading career, I decided to shelve it and get back to the day job.
Atleast, that’s how the plan should have gone. But, as you no doubt know, even the best laid plans go wrong sometimes, and after about two weeks doing the normal stuff, I threw caution to the wind and topped up my spreadbetting account with another £500.
But something was different this time because, as I looked over charts and news reports, I felt absolutely no urge to jump in and ‘catch a move’.
Previously, when I looked over charts or read news, I was prone to feelings of anxiety or panic in order to try and get in at the right time so that my position showed instant profit but this time, I just looked. I felt no panic or fear of missing out on anything, and I wasn’t afraid of losing money either.
Rather, I felt empowered.
As I looked at the charts, I knew I didn’t have to make any trades. I had no money on the line and everything was fine – life was good. The market had no hold over me and I watched casually from afar for more than 4 weeks. Then, one day in November, I saw something.
I felt no panic to dive in or any cautious reservations. I just opened a position to the maximum that my account would allow at £25 per point and went long.
3 days later, I closed the position for £550 profit – or 110% return.
This was my largest profit in a single trade, but also the least stressful trade I’d ever made – despite me risking my entire account.
Higher Stakes, Calmer Mind
Admittedly, my account size was only £500 and if the trade had gone against me, I wouldn’t really have missed the money. It certainly wouldn’t have put myself or my family in any trouble.
Instead, the result was that I felt inspired – or enlightened, you could say – that the success of the trade had nothing to do with the account size, a trading system or any chart pattern, but rather through my feel for the market that I’d been watching for about 6 weeks and my laissez faire attitude to the whole thing.
It seemed almost unbelievable given my early trading experiences that a less rigid and higher risk attitude to my trades could have been my salvation, but I am absolutely certain that my lack of rigidity, focus and attachment was key to its success.
You see, by just letting go of all the hangups I used to have when I traded, like what pattern I was looking at or how much volume there’d been or what the risk:reward potential was, I was able to step outside of the entire process and just wait until it felt right.
When that moment arrived (and I honestly couldn’t care less how long it took to show up) I was not afraid to back my hunch to the hilt and I’ve been trading the same way ever since.
This very simple, uncomplicated, unassuming approach to my trades has helped me grow my initial starting pot of £500 by more than 40% per month. It is so simple, I am convinced that anyone who was able to attain a similar trading mindset would be able to achieve similar results too.
If you’d like more in-depth discussion about my approach and access to my monthly account figures (that I’d rather not make public), please subscribe to my private mailing list below.