Traders Ask: Simulation

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I received this question from Reader Dhroov:

I want to thank you and your team for all the time and valuable information that you put into your blog and videos. I look forward to clicking on my browsers’ “SMB’ favorites link each and every day to catch up on what you and your team are thinking and writing about.

I am writing today because I have been having trouble lately trying to generate ideas on how to train certain skills. For example, I know that for me personally to get the most out of a weight training session, I need to do the compound lifts (Squats and Deads) rather than fooling around with set after set of ‘bicep curls’.

Lately, I feel like I am doing ‘bicep curls’ with my nightly trading exercises, and thus, not making the most of my time. I am trying to find my ‘deadlift/squat’ exercise: the exercise(s) that I can do to take my game to the next level.

Specifically, I would like to improve my discipline when managing my exits. I often make the mistake of overriding my exit rules, and limit my upside on trades as a result. Is there a core exercise your team does to work on this skill set? I’m currently doing vivid imagery exercises, but somehow cannot create the same vivid experience as real time trading, so improvement has been limited.

In addition, when you run trades through the simulator, are you working on a specific pattern through many repetitions, or are you reviewing the days trade and going through each separate idea one by one? What is the best way to maximize use of the simulator (i.e., turn one day into 10 days worth of experience)?

I apologize for all the questions. I’m just very eager to structure my nightly exercises and would like to do it the right way. I graciously and enthusiastically look forward to any suggestions and insight you would be willing to offer.

And once again, thank you for the time you put into your blog each day!

Good Trading!

Bella Responds

Thxs for following. Your kind words provide the incentive to respond 39000 feet in the air via my iPad. And makes my long flight more enjoyable as now I have a purpose.

For vivid imagery drills thankfully Dr. Steenbarger has kept up his invaluable blog Traderfeed. Visit his site for the best techniques to use this powerful tool.

As for simulation, this is a game-changing training technique. Each day as traders we ought to make one trading day into ten. How?

1. Trade live
2. Keep a detailed trading journal
3. Think trading after the close
4. Discuss trading with others traders on your desk or trading community
5. Visualize your best trading setups
6. Talk with a Mentor
7. Watch video of your own trading
8. Watch video with a group where senior traders provide critical feedback (SMB Tradecast)
9, 10. SMB developed Secret Project X which allows us to practice very specific trading set ups over and over again just like a great basketball shooter practices three pointer after three pointer.

I hope that helps. Keep working hard. If trading wasn’t such a challenge then it wouldn’t be as fun. As the legendary Jim Rogers would say you should wake up each day and start playing. Getting better everyday at what you love, trading, is just playing.


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