Finding Yourself as a Trader

Seth FreudbergGeneral Comments, Options Education, Trading PsychologyLeave a Comment

One of our options trainees recently asked me if I thought it was wise for him to model his trading style after my own personal trading approach. It was a legitimate and intelligent question and it deserved a thoughtful reply. I recently tweeted a great article by Charles Kirk, which is exactly on point to this question. In the article Charles states:

“A number of people have asked me recently that if I train people to “be more like me” in my mentorship group. The truth is that I try my darndest to never do that. My goal with those who I personally mentor is to help them become who they really are and, by extension, to take full advantage of their own personality and skills whatever they may be and at whatever level they currently are. The primary problem, however, is that many of us really believe the key to success is to be more like others….However, in my view, that will only take you so far in your personal journey. In the markets, sooner or later, you must find your own way!

“Each of us have our own skills, strengths, weaknesses and personalities and matching those with a strategy you can use and develop over time is the closest key to your future success that I can help you with. Bottom line: don’t be like me or anyone else for that matter, but instead just be yourself.”

It certainly is intelligent to believe that if you model your trading after a successful trader in your trading discipline that your results will be similar. But there is a fatal flaw in that reasoning. Our experience at SMB is that traders are only successful when they find their own personal trading style and then hone and perfect that style over time and through repetition. That style will be different for everyone. And so ultimately there is little value in replicating someone else’s style, when that style is based on the specifics of that trader’s personality.

Culturally at SMB,  we are deeply committed to the principle of each   trainee   building  his or her own playbook of trades that fits the personality of that individual, developing trader. And that process will take time, experience, trial and error. There is no way around it, in my experience. But at the end of the day, once the trader truly finds his or her own zone of confidence in trading, a very successful career can be launched from that solid foundation. That is what we believe and that is what we have seen through our experience at SMB.

Seth Freudberg

Director, SMB Options Training

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