“You need discipline, patience, and courage. You must have a willingness to lose, but a strong desire to win.” -Gary Bielfeldt
I keep this quote above my trading screen to remind myself each day of what successful trading is.
In just 19 words my man Gary breaks down the five things we must do if we are to succeed at trading in the long run. These five things are what I define as part of my Bulletproof Trader Framework.
Discipline is what separates the amateur from the professional.
You won’t find a professional trader that just wakes up when he feels like it, turns his computer on, and just starts trading like crazy.
No, this is amateur hour type behavior and in my opinion the biggest reason 90% of traders fail.
The professional will be up at 5:00 am analyzing his charts, running his algorithms, making his phone calls, articulating his trading plan, or doing whatever he needs to do in order to gain an edge over market competition.
The actions and strategies will be different for each trader, but the one thing that remains constant is that professional traders exercise an extreme amount of discipline.
Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of trading to master.
Often times newer traders become addicted to the adrenaline rush of being in a trade and get into the easy habit of overtrading.
Because they want to be in a trade, these traders start seeing so called “setups” on the charts because they want to see them.
Instead of trading on what the charts are actually telling them, they are trading purely off the emotional high of being in a trade.
But professional traders understand the importance of playing the waiting game.
They know that sometimes the best thing you can do is to simply wait until your setup is there and stick to trading your plan, even if it’s not as exciting as jumping into a trade at any given moment.
The importance of patience in trading can’t be emphasized enough!
This is another big one. Having the courage to pull the trigger and actually make the trade.
I read a great post by Maribeth Willoughby titled Paralysis of Analysis that talks about how traders often get caught in a trap of over analyzing trades due to the fear of pulling the trigger.
This fear often leads to not placing a trade at all and missing out on potential moves.
Professional traders have the confidence to follow through when an opportunity presents itself because they have a plan, practice discipline, manage risk, and only trade high-probability setups.
Trading is not easy, but if you have the courage to get in there and take a well thought out trade with confidence then your one step closer to trading as a professional.
The last line of the quote ties it all together: You must have the willingness to lose but a strong desire to succeed.
I like the fact that Bielfeldt doesn’t say “you are going to lose” but instead “you must have a willingness to lose”.
To me this is what bulletproof trading is all about: Being willing to take some hits along the way but still moving forward.
Professional trading is not for the weak, and there is always someone that is bigger, better, and more funded than we are who is looking to take our money.
We must be well prepared for when they strike and instead of getting slaughtered like 90% of traders do, we strike back with our bulletproof ways of trading!