Stats, Poker, Cars & Ammo

One of the philosophies that began to change my trading results was introduced to me by one of my mentors. This philosophy made perfect sense to me and like everything else I do, it was based on . . . you guessed it . . . back testing. The crux of the philosophy is simply not to rely on hunches, or feelings or even just plain old experience as to where to place stops and profit targets, position sizing, etc. It was based on the use of empirical data, or statistics. The statistics are based on the back testing results for what I have determined to be a valid set up.

I looked at every signal, determined the most profitable trades, observed how the indicators behaved during those trades, calculated averages of stops, profit targets, winners, losers, etc., etc., This is how I developed my trading plan and subsequent rules to build a case for entering the market. I don’t like to guess when I have money on the line and I like the odds to be in my favor.

Many traders use the standard 10 pips above swings for stops and are all over the map for profit targets. You may notice over time that “head fakes” up or down usually target these areas to take out these stops. I don’t know if there are such things as stop hunters, I just know it happens quite frequently. I got tired of being stopped out only to have the market roll back over in the direction of my trade and as I sat frozen, not knowing if I should re-enter, when to re-enter, where to re-enter or how to control my emotions. I just got used to another loss and swore I’d never do it again. (And of course I did it again – over and over!)

The other big problem I had in my early trading experience was that I got so nervous and excited when I was actually in profit. I always closed a trade way too early, only to watch the market move another 100-300 pips in the direction of my trade. I froze again . . . do I re-enter and chase the trade? What are my exit rules if I do? Where are my stops if I do? I also had to figure out where to place my profit targets consistently so that I could relieve myself of the anxiety of staring at my computer for hours on end watching each tick that may go against my position.

The result of this behavior and these actions was that I became programmed to expect a loss.

It’s just like the Las Vegas visitor that budgets $500 for gambling losses before actually gambling. And sure enough, when returning from a trip to Vegas, inevitably the question comes up “Did you gamble? . . .  did you win or lose?” And the answer is almost always the same “I budgeted $500 and when I lost it, I stopped gambling . . but I had fun.” Losing is fun? We will do anything to justify the result and the result always reveals our underlying intent. If you expect to lose, you will. No one in the general public ever really studies gambling statistics. That’s why most people lose and they expect to lose. They know they have not done the work or have the knowledge to prove they really can win or should expect to win. There are very successful gamblers. They analyze stats, apply a rule set, increase their edge and as a result, expect to win.

From 2003 – 2006 I was doing a lot of business in Vegas and poker was getting popular on TV. I liked playing cards in general and poker in particular. I started studying and reading about odds, stats, etc. I played 3 days a week at the Mirage for 8-12 hour stretches. Knowledge, patience, control, confidence and rules. Once these improved, so did my winnings. Every time I sat down, I now expected to win. It changed my entire focus and attitude. Yes I lost some hands, but I made other players pay to beat me. I became a formidable player and this became clear after a few hands when I would sit down to play. I would start with $100 in chips and within one month was winning an average of $600 per session. That was not that much money to risk or to win, but it was the consistency that was my goal. I also knew that for my level of knowledge, to ramp up to the higher limit tables, I could easily be outmatched by players with a higher tolerance for risk, more experience and more knowledge. I knew I had to pay my dues before advancing to that level.

It wasn’t long before I began to apply this mindset from poker toward my approach to the market. The subsequent lessons from my mentor to use statistics began to fill in the gaps. Compiling the data, using the same rules for analysis, applying the same rules to my trade parameters . . . I soon began to develop some consistent profitability. The great transformation was now every time I placed a trade I expected it to be profitable – my back testing stats proved the odds were in my favor.

That is ultimately where your mind must be. It will never be there until you develop the belief in your trading system by proving it will produce a profit over time.

Every time you turn they key in your car, you expect it to start. Why? Because historically it has proven time and time again that it will. When it does not, you are surprised. But, you know with a high degree of confidence that with some regular maintenance, it will continue to start over and over again.

Just like a trading system with a positive expectancy. You expect it to win, but know that occasionally it will not and that perhaps tweaks are required. Again, over time, you know it will produce a profit. Without back testing, it’s like crossing your fingers every time you turn the key, maybe the car will start or maybe it won’t. Most of us could never accept that level of uncertainty, yet traders do it every day multiple times.

If you do not have this backtesting data, this ammunition at your disposal, you are doomed to lose the gunfight. You will always be shooting blanks against traders firing back with nukes – those that follow their plan and rules without deviation  – those that have done the work, paid their dues and rely on the fact that you won’t. My mentor summarized my experiences after I shared with him how much I had lost trading and how much I had spent on crap before I finally got it – he simply said “Welcome to the Machine.”

Rick

Goals for the New Year

Do you want to be a Top Performer in the coming year?

What attributes are required to become part of the elite, the fortunate – a successful and confident trader that can take control of your financial destiny? Here are a few of the most common traits I’ve run across when I meet and talk to the pros. How do you rate? Think about your approach in the coming year and keep these things in mind.

Brain Power – these are the raw materials and building blocks of your potential. You don’t have to be a genius, or anything near a 4.0 student for that matter, but you have to be able to analyze, formulate and implement. How quickly can you grasp a concept and take action? How easily are you defeated? Can you adapt? What challenges have you overcome to accomplish something meaningful? How have you applied your abilities to a task to innovate, overcome or increase the odds in your favor? These are all important as you approach the markets and work through your trade plan development. Pros are always willing to learn and admit their mistakes. They know trading is a process and skill that must be learned just like any other.

Values – Even if you are brilliant, if you lack integrity and empathy you are doomed to fail. Are you inspired or jealous? Do you take credit or give it away? You must have an awareness of others and be honest, show compassion, and be respectful and decent. Having a purpose and the desire to make a difference can take you to places very few are able or willing to go. Pros know that helping others helps them; that giving is a prerequisite of receiving and that selfishness and greed are the enemies of success.

Passion – You need a fire burning deep within you that creates a passion and enthusiasm. Either you have it or it eludes you. Your spirit and energy are infectious – both positive and negative. Are you helping or hurting; an optimist or pessimist? You need a sense of urgency, but without doubt or panic. Do you ignite the passion of others or suck the life out of them? Can you motivate others to attempt the impossible and achieve beyond their own limiting beliefs? Can you do the same for yourself? Pros are passionate – always doing their best to be a positive influence with a strong commitment to improve the trading profession.

Work ethic – What have you sacrificed to perform at the highest level of excellence? Are you a procrastinator or do you get the job done now with focus and diligence? Most people settle for average because it is the path of least resistance. Your work ethic is not just something you adopt to earn a living, but it can actually define the outcomes in your life. Where you are right now is the direct result of your energy and effort. Could you do more and be more? What are you waiting for? You must be willing to do what it takes in spite of obstacles and challenges. Pros know trading takes time and effort. They never give up and know that persistence beats resistance.

Experience – This simply comes with time – with paying your dues and paying attention to someone that has done it before. It’s interesting that experience can be gained exclusive of the other attributes previously mentioned. No one can give you more intellect, better values, passion or a stronger work ethic. That is why those are all so self-important. But they can give you experience by providing an opportunity to learn; or sharing from their own experiences. Pros try to shorten the learning curve of others through encouragement, advice and patience. Get out of your own way and listen to them.

So . . . you want to be a pro? . . . a successful trader? Figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are when thinking about the above. What are you doing to get there? How are you interacting or behaving every day to set a standard that can be appreciated and respected by others?

I have found that most pros worth their salt have it all together and fit nicely into the attributes I’ve described. If I meet one that does not, I do not invest any time at all in what they say or do – whether they are making money or not. Money is a big motivator, but not the end-all.

My suggestion is to start setting standards for yourself and others that will get you where you want and need to be. Do not compromise. You’ll find things will begin to change for the positive and fall into place.

Always remember you reap what you sow and deserve what you accept.

Want more and do more for yourself and others.

Rick

To Tell the Truth

As you know I am a great believer in repetition as the Mother of Skill, so for several months you will see many Articles and Training Videos again. Please take the time to review them. The lessons can be universally applied.

I am going to take a few lines in this Article to get a few things off my chest . . .

One of the most difficult things we have to come to terms with as human beings, let alone as traders, is to be honest about our current situation. Once we can do that, then comes acknowledgment, acceptance (responsibility), and then hopefully a course correction.

Something I’ve come to know in my journey as a trader is that the industry follows a typical series of revelations – enthusiasm, reality, and finally, skepticism.

Enthusiasm is the discovery of trading, the markets, and the potential income that will provide an alternative or perhaps permanent source of income in the recent troubled economic times.

Reality is in the realization that trading is not as easy as it first appears and can test every fiber of your patience, emotions and confidence.

And then comes skepticism. After having falling victim to the marketers and their products full of unfulfilled promises, you become very guarded and suspicious.

I have participated in all three to the most extreme degrees.

The fact that these three conditions are still in full force was never more evident when I recently had a 2-Day Live Workshop and at the end, pitched a beginning traders course for what I though was a ridiculously low price. My naïveté was, based on the cost of my own trading education, about $25,000 in courses and materials, trying to actually reduce the cost to the ridiculous (to cover production costs and web broadcast access.) I thought it would be better received.

After pouring my heart out for two nights and sharing what I though was some pretty good information for free, the minute I revealed there was a course and it cost money – I could here many minds slam shut. I never fancied myself a good salesman, but I figured that all of the incredible information I have shared for free would lend me some degree of integrity. I guess the new model now is that your value as an educator is correlated to the amount of free stuff you give away. Never mind that your true intent is to sincerely help those from wasting the same amount of time you did to on crap and nonsense. You would think that my content and record would speak for themselves. I have provided ten years worth of education and everything you really need to know about this business on this blog for FREE. Real stuff you won’t find anywhere else. And yes, I have benefitted in that it has also helped me stay sharp and on top of my game. I have since revisited my approach and have some thoughts about where I went wrong in my presentation. Corrections will definitely be made for the future, but I will never apologize for offering awesome and powerful content at a killer price.

Most importantly, as skeptical as I had become in my own trading experience, I still had to realize that I was not getting the results I wanted and needed. I had to overcome that skepticism, that pain, and take some risks that would eventually lead to my ultimate goal to be professional trader. It wasn’t easy, but floundering and being frustrated was worse, and thankfully, I was able to find my own Holy Grail.

I’m learning as I go – both as a pro and an educator and honestly I am starting to realize that doing what I think is right may only be right for me – and that’s OK – I don’t need the money and have nothing to prove, so I can live with the apprehension and skepticism – but can you?

What I’m having a hard time with is . . . if you can’t spend less than $200.00 on a professional, collegiate level trading course that will transform your trading and make you completely independent on all of the other crap put there, how are you ever going to trade a full lot and be 30 pips drawn down? This is an inescapable fact of trading – you have to take risks!

What’s more amazing is I get a steady stream of emails everyday requesting still more for free. “Can you send me your indicators?” . . . which I have paid to have programmed specifically for me and my trade systems – please stop asking. “Can you give me a money management system and outline all of the steps to overcome my trading psychology challenges?” . . . seriously? “Can give me everything so that I do not have to invest any time, money or risk anything to be rich?” You would be surprised at how brazen people are! It sounds like I’m complaining – but I’m not – I’m actually very thankful. This is the mindset of the plethora of Losers that are paying me every time they enter the market – and the reality is you can’t help everybody.

Here’s the gist – if you have visions of ever making it in this business and can’t get passed the fact that, in one way or another, you’re going to have to pay . . . either for crap, risky behavior or an education, it’s going to be a long, hard road.

At the very least, you’ll need to invest some time thinking about that.

Thanks for letting me vent.

All the best.

Rick

P.S. For those of you that have participated in the Live Workshops, asked great questions, and signed up for the course, I sincerely appreciate your trust and confidence. You will not regret your decision.

No Time to Kill

If you’ve read my articles and follow this blog, you’ve often seen/heard me say the time to get engaged in your trading future is NOW! Time is passing us by and we can never get it back.

I have a favorite song I play in the Live Sessions that emphasizes this point and thought I would share the lyrics with you.

It is written and sung by one of my favorite Country Artists Clint Black.

No Time to Kill

There’s no time to kill between the cradle and the grave
Father Time still takes a toll on every minute that you save
Legal tender’s never gonna change the number on your days
The highest cost of livin’s dyin’, that’s one everybody pays
So have it spent before you get the bill, there’s no time to kill

If we’d known ten years ago today would be ten years from now
Would we spend tomorrow’s yesterdays and make it last somehow
Or lead the cheers in someone else’s game and never learn to play
And see the rules of thumb are all the same that measure every day
The grass is green on both sides of the hill, there’s no time to kill

No time to kill, even I’ve said it, and probably always will
But I can look ahead and see that time ain’t standin’ still
No time to kill but time to change the kind of hurry I’ve been in
And quit this work and worry lookin’ back at where I’ve been
If you don’t look ahead nobody will, there’s no time to kill

If we had an hour glass to watch each one go by
Or a bell to mark each one to pass, we’d see just how they fly
Would we escalate the value to be worth its weight in gold
Or would we never know the fortunes that we had ’til we grow old
And do we just keep killin’ time until there’s no time to kill

No time to kill, even I’ve said it and probably always will
But I can look ahead and see that time ain’t standin’ still
No time to kill but time to change the kind of hurry I’ve been in
And quit this work and worry lookin’ back at where I’ve been
If you don’t look ahead nobody will, there’s no time to kill

No time to kill.

The point is simply to get serious, do the work and make the commitment toward your trading success.

There is no time to waste.

Rick

Total Disconnect

I wanted to re-share a string of emails I received and responded to a few years ago. I shared these with the traders in the first PTN Excel Course Live Session as well. These emails are really not that unique. What is unusual is that they are all from the same trader. My goal in sharing is to make you further aware of the state of the trading product industry and the general mindset of the majority of traders – the 90-95%. Those of you that know me are keenly aware that I first try to empathize as I have had many similar let downs and break downs early in my trading journey. However, I was much more humble and did not try to telegraph my impatience as is quite common in many of the emails I receive. I think this trader is somewhat askew in his/her perceptions and expectations, but I’ll let you be the judge. See if you can identify with this trader’s situation/apprehension and my impatience. This is not to criticize or disparage anyone, but more to emphasize that I make this information readily available for FREE for those willing to take a few minutes to explore the website and review the workshop and course preview material. Maybe I am unclear with this person and I take seriously any feedback as I am always looking for areas where I can improve. Rick

My responses are in Bold, my commentary in Italics.

Rick – Can I please get straight to the point?
– do you tell me your entry, stop and profit rules?
– do you discuss your technical analysis?

Your impatience tells me you are not interested in learning the skill of trading. I don’t give away rules. That won’t help you trade. I also do not provide trading signals like that of a signal service.

I’m certainly not impatient however nothing in the videos is new to me. This information is not new to me. I’m more interested in understanding your set up etc.
What exactly is in the excel course?

(The material in the videos is not new to him/her? Then why are they not trading successfully? Furthermore, clearly this trader has not listened much to what I have said or presented. This question comes after he/she has watched the Trading Workshop Videos and has not figured out that there is an entire course preview and trade system preview.)

Watch the preview. There is a link at the bottom of the Workshop videos.

Thanks Rick. This will be my last email. I promise.
Please specify whether you discuss trading strategies such as entry, stop and taking profit?
After listening to your videos, I feel it’s more of background information about fx trading which is great but I’m not looking for this.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.

The course includes two trading systems where you must still perform the back testing. They have entry signals and stops, but you have determine profits. It also includes advanced pattern trading.

Ok thank you very much.

( . . . a few days later . . . )

What is the best price you can sell the excel course for?

I have priced this course ridiculously affordably and the content is worth 100 times the cost, so the best price is the current price.

Sorry to keep asking these questions. Please understand that I have spent a lot of money on systems in the past.
Can I please confirm that once I study these strategies that I would be able to start making money? What is the win/loss ratio, rate of return?
Will there be any other systems after that which I would need to purchase?
Again sorry to be repetitive and I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I just sick if paying for systems that don’t perform.
Thanks

(I can totally empathize with this.)

I cannot guarantee anything. You want certainty and that does not exist.
You have seen my blog, you have seen my workshop and you have gotten a preview of the course.
If that’s not enough for you to make a decision, let me help you – don’t get the course.
I have hundreds of traders emailing me every week telling me how much my blog and course materials have transformed their trading.
What I do is open their eyes to what it takes to be successful; they are the ones doing the hard work and getting the results.
It’s about your commitment and willingness to make the necessary changes to be successful.
My course can help, but it will not make you a winner if you are looking for someone else to be responsible for your success,.
It’s all up to you.
Good Luck.

Thanks Rick. I am willing to put all effort and back testing. I have been doing this for the past 10 years. But what I won’t be able to do is create my own system.
Will you be giving this to us? That is the set up entry and what to look out for?

(This said it all to me – doing this for over ten years and displaying this state of mind? This was not a good sign.)

Yes

Also, will there be unlimited use to the excel course or is it restricted after certain time.
Is there anyone in Australia who has used this?

Yes and yes

Last question, I promise. How long does it usually take to master the strategy?
Also is there a forum available to ask questions if I get stuck with any terminology.
I am really interested in purchasing the program.

It varies per individual. My best clients/students are up and running independently in 60 days, some take 90-120 days, some longer and some never do anything. To be safe, plan for at least 2 years before you can honestly consider trading for a living. I occasionally do live sessions where we discuss clients’ questions, but I can always be reached by email.

There was a question in your FAQ
“What are your rules for entry, stops and targets? The blog is designed for you to learn what professional traders do for consistency and profitability through analysis and execution along with the psychology required. It is not similar to a chat room or forum where indicators and trading systems are given away. My rules and trade plan are designed for my trading personality and experience level. You must formulate your own rules and trade plan, do your own back testing and practice diligently so you can execute YOUR trade plan efficiently. Knowing my rules and plan will not improve your trading.”
What do you mean by: you must develop your own rules and trade plan?
How is the different to giving me your entry, stop and exit level?

(Here is where I simply lost it. After all of the information on the blog, in the workshop and in the course preview materials, this person can’t seem to understand my message – processes are the key to individualizing your own trading system and trading personality. This is the only way to establish your independence.)

No two traders trade the same. You will impose your own biases on any trading system, no matter what I tell you. You do not have the experience or discipline to trade the way I do, so it is a waste of time to tell you how I trade. Seems to me like you need to subscribe to a trade signal service. They can give you entries, stops and targets. Just Google it.
I teach people the skill of trading, not just how to trade. I show how pros trade and how to develop a system that best fits the individual by sharing two trading systems.
It’s all been explained and laid out. I am not one to try and convincing anyone. My work is all over the internet.
This will be my last response. I have many other traders that are decisive and committed that are having great success.

( . . . after some thought a few minutes later . . . )

I must encourage you to not buy the course. I fear that you simply might be too impatient and time consuming for me. I sincerely cannot engage with traders that initially indicate they will be too high maintenance.
I simply do not have the time.

I wasn’t asking you questions to convince me Rick. You weren’t very clear in your emails compared to what you have stated online. I wanted to simply clarify whether you teach trade signals rather than what fx is all about. I have spent years learning various topics including pivot highs and lows, money management, how to trade daily, weekly and intraday etc but what I was looking for is simply trade signals (entry, stop loss, profit targets etc). You obviously don’t do this or interested in sharing this information with me so I will not bother you again.

High maintenance!!!! Wow how arrogant. People are plain stupid to even give you the time of the day. How negative. I wouldn’t like to be associated with someone like you anyway.

Maybe I was too abrupt, but I can see the writing on the wall here. I mentioned everything I could about my trading philosophy and material I do and do not provide, but felt I got nowhere with this person. I don’t think I am arrogant. I state quite often that I struggled for many years. But, I did realize I had to get out of my own way. This exchange took place over the course of two weeks, and frankly I thought it was pretty generous of me to take the time to respond to each question.

We’ve Moved . . .

Dear Friends, Clients and Fellow Traders,

As of 12/31/17, the Pro Trader Network Thinkific Education website will no longer be available.

The New Excel Course 2.0 site is available. Once enrolled, you will have lifetime access to course materials

If you are an EXISTING Excel Course Client, the new hosting website HAS A MINIMUM COURSE FEE. I cannot provide login details for no cost. Please email me and I can work with you for a MASSIVE discount.

If you are new to the Pro Trader Network, PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK FIRST
PTN EXCEL 2.0 as the Education Hosting Site maybe offering the Excel Course 2.0 at an incredible value well below the normal price of $145.00!

The New Skill Builders and Traders Workshop sites are now available. The sites require a minimum course fee of $10 for lifetime access.

Click this link for 50% OFF the FULL PRICE of $20.00: PTN Skill Builder Series 50% OFF

Click this link for 50% OFF the FULL PRICE of $20.00: PTN Traders Workshop 50% OFF

I hope to see you soon.

All the best.

Rick

A Final Message

Dear Friends, Clients and Fellow Traders,

As of 12/31/17, I will no longer be continuing with the Pro Trader Network. Until that time, I will no longer be posting any additional analysis or content. I will still return emails and work individually with clients.

For the last several years, my family and I have encountered circumstances around the health of our aging relatives that have taken my focus away from maintaining a meaningful online presence and commitment to other trading products.

The obligation in time, attention, and resources has been more that I could take on and will be for the foreseeable future.

The recent unexpected death of my oldest son Max has been the greatest challenge of all. He was a wonderful young man of 25 years that was in the happiest place in his life.

My family and I need each other now more than ever.

I would like to express my appreciation to so many of you that have been loyal and supportive for so many years.

My sincere hope is that I was able to help many of you understand that you are worthy, capable and deserving of the benefits that a life in trading can provide.

I wish you the very best for a bright future for you and your families.

Rick

A Family Tragedy

Dear Traders and Friends,

My wife and I received some heartbreaking news on Tuesday, August 1st.

Our beloved and oldest son Max suddenly past away from natural causes while he was at his job. He was 25 years old.

Max was a wonderful son, brother, friend and citizen.

I will be away for the immediate future as we gather our family to mourn this devastating loss.

Rick

Max Galloway Memorial Website

In lieu of flowers, our family has set up a Go Fund Me Scholarship in Max’s honor
Max Galloway Scholarship

WMA 7.30.17

Hello Traders,

No video this week as I am out of the office.

30M charts at the open:

EUR/USD overbought.
GBP/USD overbought.
USD/CAD oversold.
USD/CHF look for triangle/pennant breakout.

Don’t forget the Excel Course 2.0, Skill Builder Series and Traders Workshop:
PTN Education

Have a great week.

Rick

WMA 7.23.17

Hello Traders,

1H and 4H set ups this week.

Don’t forget the Excel Course 2.0, Skill Builder Series and Traders Workshop: PTN Education

Have a great week.

Rick