Sam Evans, Co-Founder and CEO
I love reading quotes, and books and relating them back to the world of trading and investing. A while ago I wrote an article on The Trader’s Mindset and Albert Einstein. It’s worth a read if you missed it. Today, I am going to share some teachings from others and how those teachings can be applied to learning to trade.
Be curious and open to learning new things
I know I just pointed you to an article based on Albert Einstein, but let’s start with another of his quotes. Why? I am just amazed by how brilliant his mind was. His quotes are still so pertinent today. The quote I have chosen today goes like this: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” I think we can all agree that he wasn’t quite honest there. Not all of us possess Einstein’s IQ, but what we can possess, or rather cultivate, is our curiosity quotient. Being curious leads us to learn more. When it comes to learning to trade, coming with a curious mind is essential.
It can be scary to undertake education but we are always learning. Every day we are learning. Maybe this week you might learn to cook a new recipe. Later this year you might take up a new sport. The difference is the label we put on things. The word education can make learning sound formal. It doesn’t have to be. Our students here at StockAbilty™ have fun. They are learning together. They are approaching learning to trade instead with passionate curiosity. As Einstein said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
Empty your cup to make room for more
Many of our students, even those that have never traded, come to us with preconceived ideas. Those that have already undertaken trading education, or are self-taught come with a lot of preconceived ideas. When you come already thinking you know everything, there is no room for you to learn. There’s an excellent Chinese Zen proverb about this, which is summed up nicely in this article.
The key is to come from the place of knowing nothing. When you know nothing, you have everything to learn. You are curious and open to learning. Learning to trade requires us to put what we know aside.
I am also not just talking about learning to let go of old strategies. Learning to trade and invest may require you to change your mindset. For instance, failing is a big part of trading. If you can’t learn to fail then you will fail in the end. You see, no matter how good your strategy is, you are going to have losing trades. The aim is to keep your losses small and your wins big.
Discipline will help you progress faster
Discipline is a key component of learning to trade and invest. As the Greek philosopher, Seneca said, “He is most powerful who has power over himself.” This quote can be applied to discipline in all areas of trading (and life.)
Let’s start with discipline over learning new strategies and systems. Firstly, you aren’t going to get good overnight. You aren’t going to understand everything overnight. It takes discipline to learn and practice what you’ve learned. Discipline doesn’t stop there. Once you start trading you need to stick to your trade plan. This is where journaling is crucial. Only by journaling will you understand if you are following your rules. You’ll know if what you are doing is a good strategy or not.
The other part of discipline is discipline over your mind. We can teach you our OVERT system, we can teach you all about Location Analysis, but those are both useless if you can’t execute them. Understanding and improving your mindset takes discipline and it is something that every successful trader I know masters.
Getting started is the key
I’ll wrap up this article with another Chinese proverb which is “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” I love this quote because it applies to all areas of life. There is never going to be a better time to learn anything, to change something than there is today.
The key to learning to trade is to get started. It’s also so much easier these days to get into trading. Apps like Robinhood aside, you can open up a thinkorswim account with as little as $500. You can purchase fractional shares, which my fellow Co-Founder Daniel X. Bustamante recently wrote about.
At StockAbility™ we love helping our students learn to trade and invest. I hope this article, peppered with some of my favorite quotes, has inspired you on your trading journey.