The Student or the Teacher

Forex Smart Tools Newsletter ~ Volume Eight

The Teacher Learns More Than The Student

Have you heard that expression before? Have you had that experience? We sure know it to be true. That's why we love teaching so much. Whenever we have to stop and explain something, it always makes us dig a little deeper into our own understanding and solidify it for ourselves more.

So what does this have to do with being a great trader and making more money? LOTS

We have a great advantage in our trading operating as business partners because we continually discuss our strategies and approaches to trading with each other. And it's not just the pre-trade rhetoric of "whaddya think of this trade? Should we take it?" - it's the post-trade, next day, end of week analysis we always do that has really advanced our skills. Why did this trade work? Why did this one fail? What did we miss seeing? How could we do this better?

What we're doing in that analysis is actually stepping into the role of teacher to each other. We're forced to put on our thinking caps and dig deeper - and we both learn through that.

Let's look into this theory and look at a few solutions every trader can take to bring this benefit to their bottom line profit.

Good trading to you all, Evelyn & Mindy
APs, Registered Commodity Trade Advisors    skype: forexSmartTools    twitter: @forexsmarttools

Lesson Eight - Part A: Active vs. Passive Learning

The great sage Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was found of saying:

Knowledge in the book stays in the book.

He wanted to emphasize that until you made what you read in the book your own, it remained nothing more than words on a page. In the very same way, you've taken courses and webinars from so many Forex 'gurus', you've read books and been in chat rooms, you've scanned the blogs for hot tips and tricks - but whatever you've exposed yourself to has all been in the form of passive learning. Sitting back and drinking it in.

This is good, and it's certainly a critical step, but is it enough? No. And what about trying the ideas out in your own trading – active application. Is that enough for mastery? We say: no. Granted, you're a little less passive and a little more active as you try the ideas out in trading. But we strongly believe that the full power of the mind has to be engaged before you can master a trading technique. You have to own a teaching like it was yours – like you invented it – before you can see all the subtleties and nuances to when it works and when it fails.

What's the test of this mastery? Try to explain exactly what you're doing to someone else. Even to an imaginary friend. Sit down and explain every detail of what you do, when and why.

Lesson Eight - Part B: How To Become A Teacher

If you have a trading partner, you can take your analysis up a notch and make sure you alternate who is talking and who is listening, so you both have turns at being the teacher. But what if you trade alone, as the majority of Forex traders do?

The Forex Smart Tools Trade Log includes a parameter called "Lessons Learned" in which you can write down your notes and observations about each trade. But if you're like us, we tend to be pretty brief when it comes to typing very much. We'll make a few key notes, but seldom do we take the time for long paragraphs or lengthy explanations.

Get us talking though - and everything about the trade comes out. So this is what we suggest you do too - start talking about your trades. You could get a voice recognition software set up on your computer and use it for dictation, and then paste that into your trade log notes section.

Better yet - start using the Pro version of the Trade Log (version 1.6 +) and use the URL parameter to record your own movies, which you can then store in the cloud (i.e. online). These movies can then be part of your record for each trade, and can be played from within the Trade Log itself - so your understanding about each trade is linked to the screenshots and other notes about the trade. The movie can include not only your verbal discussion, but also views of the chart you used.

You can set up as many of these URL custom parameters as you like. Run a movie as you are ready to enter a trade, discussing what makes you want to pull the trigger at that point. If you manage your trade as it progresses, record another movie in which you discuss... with yourself... your decisions to stay in or pull out, add on or scale out. After the trade is done, record your post-trade analysis too.

There are a number of free or inexpensive web services that let you record and even store your movies. Here are a few of the many options we've found online:

We've created a brief YouTube movie demonstrating this concept in practice - click to watch it now:

Click to Watch the YouTube movie

Risk Disclaimer

Before deciding to participate in the Forex market, you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. Most importantly, do not invest money you cannot afford to lose.  There is considerable exposure to risk in any off-exchange foreign exchange transaction, including, but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or currency pair.  Moreover, the leveraged nature of Forex trading means that any market movement will have an equally proportional effect on your deposited funds. This may work against you as well as for you. The possibility exists that you could sustain a total loss of initial margin funds and be required to deposit additional funds to maintain your position. If you fail to meet any margin requirement, your position may be liquidated and you will be responsible for any resulting losses.