I want you to imagine for a moment that you’ve already achieved huge success trading for a number of years and you’re now living it up in the Caribbean, sipping one of those cliché island cocktails (you know the ones with the little umbrellas)… you’ve worked your butt off for the last 5 years and you’re now managing a small hedge fund worth $10,000,000. I really want you to imagine yourself in that position for a moment.
Sadly, we need to come back to reality for a moment because we need to complete an important exercise to understand the point of today’s lesson…
I want you to ask yourself a few simple questions:
1. Do you think you would trade differently if you had $10,000,000 compared to $10,000?
2. Do rich guys sitting on islands trading ‘baller’ sized trading accounts really think that differently than you and other ‘average’ traders?
3. Does having a massive account really change the psychology of this game we call trading? Would a ‘baller’ trade differently to an ‘average’ retail trader?
The answers to these questions will vary depending on your level of understanding of the market, money and people in general…
Let me share some insight…
It’s only zeros…
The questions above are not trick questions. The answer is actually “Yes” to all of them…successful traders DO actually think differently than you do, and that is basically why you are reading this article right now. A baller trader trades and thinks differently than you do, that’s why he or she is a ‘baller’ and you are still stuck in average-trader-land.
Do not fret though, with the right mindset and some patience, you can slowly but surely turn yourself into a ‘baller trader’. You would be surprised where some of the really hardcore hedge fund traders have come from…some of them came from backgrounds and stories that are probably very similar to yours.
A key point that I want to really drive home here, is that the money in your trading account is just numbers…and a trader with a really big ‘baller-sized’ account, really just has more zeros in his account than you do. They are living breathing people just like you…they just trade and think differently about the market than you do…and as a result, they have a lot more zeros on their trading account balance than you do. Read on and I will help you gain the mentality of a ‘baller’ trader…
“Fake it till you make”
One thing I want to clarify, is the misconception that somehow having a big trading account will automatically make you a successful trader. Plenty of people enter the markets with good size accounts of $50,000 or $100,000 or more, and go on to blow out their entire account rather quickly. Whilst the answer to question number 3 about whether or not having a big account changes the psychology of trading is indeed yes…the key distinction is that having a big or small account SHOULD NOT change the method and process of your trading.
It is true that traders with ‘baller-sized’ accounts probably have a different trader psychology than you do…but their actual trading process should not be any different than yours. Furthermore, if you want to obtain the mentality of a ‘baller-trader’, it is most quickly achieved by making sure the way that you trade reflects that of a baller. In other words, you need to “fake it until you make it”…
Do you think billionaire trader and fund manager George Soros is sitting at his computer screens punting away on the 5 minute charts all day? Do you really think a guy with that size trading account is going to waste his precious time punting around on 5 minute charts? No…for a couple of reasons…
1) Soros and other ‘ballers’ are going about their rich lifestyle…when they trade they trade big, they go in with a specific view and opinion on a trade, enter it and then go about their business. He’s hanging out with this buddies at the pool bar, riding his wave runner at the beach or courting some exotic island woman somewhere. What these baller traders are NOT doing is sitting in front of their screens biting their nails over every little tick for or against them.
2) Having this relaxed / no-stress approach to their trades actually makes them even more money in the end! Reason being, it eliminates temptation to do stupid things like close a trade out prematurely for no logical reason or over-trade. THIS is the mentality that you need to have in YOUR trading NOW….not later. You do not get this ‘baller mentality’ by trading like a scared hopeless idiot….you get it by trading like a baller even though you might not be one yet. You need to replicate the processes of the ‘big fish’ to turn yourself into one, It. Really. Is. That. Simple.
How to trade like a ‘baller’
Trading is difficult for most people because the mentality required for success is something that’s very difficult to cultivate for most traders with small accounts. However, if you do not have discipline and patience, and learn to plan your trades and trade in a methodical manner, you will never obtain the mindset of a baller. Therefore, you basically need to focus intensely on the process of trading and on capital preservation BEFORE you have a large trading account IN ORDER TO GET A LARGE TRADING ACCOUNT. Failure to do this is perhaps the biggest reason why many smaller traders fail in the markets.
You should look at it as a good thing though…if you learn how to trade successfully on a small account, you will avoid the possibility of losing a very large sum of money like some people do. There are traders who come into the market with no trading skills and the wrong mentality, yet they already have a lot of money and they quickly lose all that money…this is further proof that the money does not make the trader…rather it’s the trader that makes the money!
So, just having a big trading account will not make you baller trader…it will perhaps help you think a little differently about the markets, but unless you really spend the time to develop your chart reading skills and trading ability, you will not totally have the mind of a baller. A successful full-time trader has both key aspects in place that make him or her a ‘baller’; the proper trading mindset and the proper trading processes. The main point of this article that you should take away today, is that if you are starting out from relatively small means, the best way for you to achieve success in the market and eventually become a ‘baller’ trader, is to focus as much as possible on mastering your trading strategy and staying disciplined to your trading plan; perfect the trading process and you will eventually forge a ‘baller’ mindset from that.
Final word on trading like a ‘baller’…
Finally, I want you guys to know that what I wrote about here today IS the truth. You are struggling in the markets right now primarily because you are trying too hard and getting ahead of yourself. You are trading too often because you have an intense desire to make money, and you are risking too much because you think “if I just get ahead a little bit then I will start managing risk properly”. However, this is not the way to trading success, but the way to trading failure.
All successful people, traders and otherwise, understand that time is the only thing that they cannot buy, and they use that fact to their advantage. They do this by trading as logically and as disciplined as possible, because when you lose money in the markets you also lose time…and time is the WORST thing you can lose because it cannot be replaced.
As difficult and as counter-intuitive as it might seem, you will make money faster by trading less frequently (becoming a sniper trader) and by managing your risk more consistently. A baller trader studies the markets for days or weeks before acting, but when he does finally take a trade he goes in big because he has a plan and a predetermined risk threshold, and he sticks to them with discipline. He knows that he has a better chance of having a profitable month by finding two or three ‘damn obvious’ trade setups and saving his risk capital for them, instead of punting around all day on the low time frames. The defining factor of a big-baller trader is NOT how may zeros he has in his trading account, instead, it’s the mental attitude and the execution of his (or her) overall strategy, portfolio, fund, etc. These big-time traders go in big when they have view; they plan and they execute, then they let that view play out. To find out more on how to develop the trading processes and methods that will allow you to ‘trade like a baller’, checkout my trading course and members area for more.
Good trading, Nial Fuller
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