Trading In Public

Trading is a deeply personal activity.

Like painting or singing, it’s not something most people would want to do in public.

Why?

Because these activities are focused on the training process – where mistakes are often made.

As non-professionals, any time we paint, sing, or trade in public, we put ourselves up for ridicule.

Why You Should Do It Anyway

It’s completely understandable if you want to trade in private, because that’s what most people do.

But I’d like you to consider doing the opposite and start a trading blog, especially if you’re not yet a profitable trader.

How I Learned My Biggest Trading Mistakes

Since 2009, I’ve been making trade calls in public.

At first, I was very uncomfortable with this because it’s a jarring experience to take a loss when people are watching.

But as uneasy as this was, it was how I discovered some of my biggest trading errors.

Putting Yourself Out There Is The Best Way To Improve

By starting a trading blog, you’re putting pressure on yourself to improve.

Trading at your own time, in your own pace, promotes poor psychological habits.

For instance, you may make a mistake, and instead of identifying exactly what went wrong, it’s much easier to look the other way and ignore the cause of it.

It’s like saying to yourself “I’ll go to the gym when I feel like it”.

You know it’s not going to happen.

When it comes to seeking improvement, human beings are inherently lazy. Without a pressing need, most people are unwilling to go through the uncomfortable process of improvement.

That’s why a small amount of public pressure can be a great motivator to examine your trading process and improve upon it.

Shining Light On Your Mistakes

In my opinion, the formal education system does not sufficiently emphasize the value of making mistakes.

That’s why you see people trying to cover them up, instead of admitting and correcting them, which ultimately improves long term performance.

I once read an interview with a hedge fund manager, who had one of his traders lose $50 million on a trade.

When asked if he was going to fire that trader, he replied “Are you nuts? We just paid $50 million for him to learn that lesson – why would we pack him up and ship him off to another hedge fund to benefit from it?”

Correcting mistakes is the best way to learn. That’s why professional fund managers are wary of traders who’ve never suffered large losses — they have not yet learned from that mistake.

Starting a trading blog is one of the best ways of highlighting the mistakes you need to learn, because when you are standing on the public stage, your most glaring mistakes will be lit up for all to see, including to yourself (this is the most important part).

You’ll be forced to think and articulate your ideas clearly, and face your weaknesses. That’s how you get better at trading.

If you’re hiding in the back room trading on your own, you’d just gloss over your mistakes instead of learning from them.

That’s why you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. That’s why there are people who’ve been trading for 5 years but still keep losing. They are simply running around in circles, thinking that they have 5 years of trading “experience”. What they actually have, is 1 year of experience repeated five times.

Being Vulnerable

A beautiful paradox in life is that the more vulnerable you’re willing to be, the stronger you’ll grow.

By starting a trading blog, you’re making a statement to yourself, and to anyone who cares to listen and follow.

It says that you’re willing to look bad to get good at trading. That you’re willing to exchange “looking good” with real, tangible improvement.

The cost of doing this will be your time, effort and the occasional anxiety of feeling embarrassed. But this feeling will fade as you build your tolerance for losses and establish some form of integrity with the way you trade.

It’s one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever done for my trading.

But Of Course, Most People Won’t Do This

That’s natural.

Most people would prefer to sit and watch, rather than take risks and actions.

By |2019-03-06T16:17:09+00:00March 6th, 2019|General, Mindset|9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. bob latham September 4, 2013 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Hello Chris,

    As always, you hit the nail on the head. Most people would (and do) sit
    and watch…and experienced a form of “self-empowerment” with looking
    down on those who take action and not experience instant success.

    Having failed many times, one learns not to take oneself so seriously
    and learn “the art” of losing and regaining one’s mediocrity numerous times.
    I see it as part of the education of falling down and learning how to
    get up again.

    School is always “in session” for those wwho choose to attend.

    • Chris Lee September 4, 2013 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Hi Bob,

      I absolutely agree: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

  2. Ross September 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Chris.

    I can see the merits in this.

    Are you going to set up and moderate a trading blog site?

    Cheers.

    Ross.

    • Chris Lee September 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Ross,

      At this point, no. However, you bring up a relevant point… so let me say this: if there’s sufficient interest, we can consider setting something up for traders to blog about (share) their trading experiences and mistakes.

  3. santo September 6, 2013 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Hi Christ,

    Yup, you got a point mate! Blog trading is good strategy to make improvement for our trading career. We (and others) could see our loss-profit trades.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers!

  4. Atul October 2, 2013 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Hi chris,
    I am totally with you and will be intrested in joining your blog.WE learn from self and others experiences and this will be a real learning experience for any one who joins this blog.

    • Chris Lee October 2, 2013 at 6:08 am - Reply

      Hi Atul,

      Good to hear that you’re willing to publicly commit to your growth as a trader. If we get more responses like this we’ll be looking to set something up for everyone who’s interested.

  5. cocoy October 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    hi chris.. thanks for the advise, i’m really still having a hard time with my trading and you say that its much better that i start a blog now that im not profitable and i think i agree.. but i need to have a one long look at myself in the mirror before doing so.. coz you know im a shy type of guy and my friends don’t have a clue that i was trading heheh.. thanks again..

    • Chris Lee October 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      Hey Cocoy,

      Why don’t you try setting up a trading blog and see if it helps? 🙂

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