Simplicity in Trading

The other day I was going through my old trading files, charts, word documents, etc and I found a picture of my trading desk that I used to have about 6 years ago. At that point in my trading career I thought I had arrived, I was a full time professional trader complete with a professional trading desk. What I didn’t know, was that my trading setup only caused more confusion and conflict in my trading. The reality is by the time I had looked at the monitor on the left and made it to the monitor on the right, I really didn’t know what was on the first monitor. I was watching multiple timeframes, multiple markets, and trying to trade multiple setups. While it seemed like the right thing to do, and what the industry promoted, “more stuff”, it did not help my trading at all. In fact, it created a lot of frustration and anxiety.

I had to step back from that setup and take a real hard look at what I was doing. I was a trader. All I had to to was to take a few trades per day, make a few points trading the emini S&P, and be done for the day. But that is not what was happening. I was spending more time analyzing than I was trading. I heard a trader in an interview make the statement: “Traders don’t analyze and analysts don’t trade”. I totally agree. We all get trapped in the paralysis of analysis and forget the whole reason we wanted to be traders, to make money and enjoy the freedom that trading was supposed to bring. Instead we get so wrapped up in the analysis we forget the goal is to take a few high probability trades, make some money, and go and enjoy the rest of our day. The simplicity in that goal is obvious but we do exactly the opposite. We spend all day and night pouring over charts, analyzing anything and everything. For what?

Trading is a simple process of buying and selling at the right time under a few predetermined conditions we have laid out. You don’t need 4 monitors to follow the rules. You don’t need 3 markets to identify a high probability trade, and you don’t need to trade 4 set ups and capture every move of the market.

The simple way is to define your rules, trade one market, one setup, and become a specialist in that one trade. Then just take the trade over and over again knowing that odds will always be in your favor. What most traders do is “research” during trading hours. Research is for after market hours, then you either test or trade what you have set out in your trading plan. Anything else is pure distraction from the goal… take the best trades when they present themselves and take profits accordingly.

Take a look at your results in trading. Then take a look at your trading desk. Have you been fooled in to believing that “more is more?” Have you been lured by the supposed pros who have all those cool monitors and that big desk? Don’t believe for a minute that you are not successful in your trading because you don’t have enough information, or monitors, markets, or setups. That’s what the industry wants you to believe. Strip down and streamline your trading desk. Get back to basics. 2 monitors MAX. That’s what I trade now. Actually I trade one and run my trading room off of the other. I don’t miss those monitors. I don’t miss the confusion. I don’t miss the paralysis of analysis and neither will you.

Most of you won’t believe this. Most of you won’t turn off those extra monitors. Those who do will be richly rewarded for simplifying their trading and they will start to see that trading really is a simple process of buying and selling at the right time and it does not take a lot of information to make an informed and profitable trading decision.

Good Trading!