The last ten days or so have, I believe, seen a marked change in my trading. Thankfully for the better! Keeping up a rigorous daily routine of study – principally reading trading books and watching YouTube videos of Peter Webb of Bet Angel and Steve Howe of It’s a Mugs Blog. As a result of the progress I have made, I gain something new every time I read or watch them. However, what has really been a revelation to me is the benefit I am receiving from writing this blog, and particularly, using Twitter to interact with other likeminded individuals. The latter of which I believe is so important that it deserves its own blog post, but needless to say, I would advise anyone starting out on the same journey I am on to do the same. I can assure you that you will not be sorry you did.
I would just like to thank Peter and Steve for spending the time in producing and upload their videos, and to all of those that I have chatted with on Twitter for all of your wisdom, support and good humour. You know who you are!
As I say, recent developments in my trading have been very encouraging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making a fortune, but my understanding of the markets and market dynamics, and my consistency have improved greatly. I believe these two factors have taken me to the next trading ‘level’ as it were. Ironically, I am not making any more money than I was making four weeks ago, however, it is the way that I am trading that I feel is the important factor here. I’m confident that the way I am trading now is building a more solid foundation for a sustained future of profitability. My win loss ratio has improved markedly, as has my risk reward ratios on market entry. My next task is in learning how to extract more profit from the trades I am making, i.e. focusing on the exiting of my trades. It would be tempting to increase my stakes at this stage in an attempt to generate more profit, however I know that this approach is not the answer. As a result I am still keeping my stakes small (£10-£20) until I have resolved the trade exit issue. To increase my stakes at this stake also runs the risk of me losing my confidence and undoing all of the good work and progress I have recently made.
It is decisions such as this that I hope and believe separate the 5% from the 95%. In other words, the people that succeed in trading and the ones that don’t. I believe it is also what separates the Professional Traders from others.
Which has made me ask myself the question…What is a Professional Trader?
One definition of a professional trader that could be used is someone who makes money from trading for a living. Now there is nothing wrong with this definition per se, however I can’t help but feel that it is a) open to interpretation, and b) possibly degrades is some way the ability of skilful traders. Let me explain…
If we define a professional trader in monetary terms, then one could argue that the more money someone makes from trading the more professional they are. To me this does not seem quite right. If trader A is making £50K per year from trading and trader B is making £100K per year, does that mean that trader B is twice as professional as trader A? I don’t think so. There may be a number of reasons why that may be the case, but I don’t think ‘professionalism’ is one of them. Also, to define successful trading purely in monetary terms appears to be a very blunt instrument of classification, and doesn’t pay justice to the fundamental skills, knowledge, and let’s face it, bloody hard work that has to be put in by someone to be successful in the sports trading markets.
To me, a professional sports trader is something that you are, not what you produce. Put another way, if you conduct yourself and trade in a professional manner, then the profits will naturally follow. However, the profit in itself should not be the ultimate goal. Being professional should be.
If I had to come up with a few words and phrases that to me typify the characteristics of a professional sports trader they would be, in no particular order:
- Supportive of others
- Willing to invest in themselves
- Good sense of humour
So the question I find myself asking is, how many of these characteristics apply to me? Modesty prevents me from answering that question, however what I sure of is that if I strive to be all of the above, then I will have earned the right to call myself a professional trader, regardless of the level profits I make.