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Trading Trap #5- Failure to Keep Studying, Learning and Growing

InvestorEducation / Learn to Trade Jan 17, 2009 - 03:00 PM GMT

By: Dr_Janice_Dorn

InvestorEducation

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn... Alvin Toffler (Future Shock)

This trap is one of my favorites because it embodies the idea of continual enrichment of self as critical to success as a trader or investor. It is a recurring and powerful theme in my writing, and this is just a snippet.


OCT TTD   keep learning

To become a medical doctor, I went through this training post high school: four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, two years of residency in anesthesiology, one year of fellowship in cancer pain management, three years of residency in psychiatry. That is a total of 15 years of training and about right for most medical specialists and subspecialists (some do less and some do more). At the end of this period, I started to practice medicine. Practice is the key word here. Several years later, I sat for two separate National Board Examinations and -- you guessed it -- I was still practicing !

Additionally, medical regulatory agencies require that doctors take a certain number of continuing education courses every year in order to maintain their licenses. So, doctors, no matter how many years away from medical graduation are still practicing (which means practical clinical learning) and taking seminars and classes (book learning). Physicians and other licensed professionals must make a commitment to lifelong learning in order to simply keep practicing. When do you stop practicing? When you leave the profession --and not one minute before.

This is the plan and mindset that a successful trader must adopt. The process is different from that of becoming a doctor or lawyer because, although there are certain rules of trading and several different certifications required for brokers or broker dealers, there are no regulatory agencies that license the majority of traders. In fact, many reading this may not have even thought about getting licensed or certified. Anyone, anywhere, any age or background can put money into a brokerage account, enter the markets and trade. It is this democratization which gives a kind of "wild west" atmosphere to certain activities in the markets.

However, in order to be successful and maintain longevity as a trader, it is necessary to read, study, learn and keep reading, studying and learning until the day you stop trading. Being a self-directed trader or investor affords one great freedom, but comes with a price. That price is the commitment to never ever stop learning and practicing, and to treat trading like you would any business endeavor. On average, mastery takes 10-15 years and 10,000-20,000 hours of dedicated practice.

Read everything and anything. Buy books and read them. Buy books and don't read them, but use them for reference. Talk with other traders and investors, form support groups to discuss technique, approaches, methodologies, philosophies and psychologies, join an online trading room that is supportive and educational, get a trading buddy or two. This helps lessen some of the loneliness and isolation that traders experience. Model winning traders, and remain continually curious and fascinated at the mystery and majesty of the markets.

Above all, learn from your own mistakes and your own victories. Learn what works for you and what doesn't work for you and come to see how your biggest mistakes are your greatest teachers. Study yourself in depth. Keep studying, day after day, and set aside at least two hours a day just for research and study. Learn the language of the markets you trade, how they work and what actually happens when you place orders. Become increasingly sophisticated with your knowledge of markets from a structural point of view, then begin to explore indicators, instruments, platforms, systems, fundamentals, cycles, sectors, and anything and everything that you can find.

The more you learn, the more you will learn how little you know and the more you will be inspired to keep studying. The more you learn, the more your brain will begin to filter out what is signal and what is noise for you. This is a highly personal activity that is unique to your particular brain structure. Use it, capitalize on it, get comfortable with it until you feel and know what works for you, and you get into a kind of effortless flow. That is what passion, commitment and drive are all about and you need all three to succeed and thrive as a trader.

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient... Eugene S. Wilson

Until Next Time,
Good Trading and Brain On!

By Dr. Janice Dorn, MD, PhD
Prescriptions for Profits
www.thetradingdoctor.com

Signup for your risk-free subscription to the Trading Doctor Newsletter. If you are not completely satisfied that our newsletter is for you just let us know, via email, within 7 days of your subscription date and we'll immediatly refund your money.

© Copyright 2006-09 -- Janice Dorn, M.D., Ph.D. -- Ocean Ivory LLC

Dr. Janice Dorn is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she received her Ph.D. in Neuroanatomy. She did her postdoctoral work in Neurophysiology at the New York Medical College. She received her M.D. from La Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, did one year of clinical clerkships in Phoenix, Arizona. and then completed a Neurology Internship at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. For the past twelve years, Dr. Dorn has focused her attention on trading, mentoring and commentary in the financial markets, with emphasis on Behavioral NeuroFinance, Mass NeuroPsychology, Trading NeuroPsychology, Futurism and Life Extension. A graduate of Coach University, she is a full time futures trader and trading coach.  Dr. Dorn is the author of over 300 publications, relating to Trading and Investing Neurouropsychology, Market Mass Neuropsychology, Behavioral Neurofinance, and Holistic Wellness and Longevity. 

Dr. Janice Dorn Archive

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