A couple of years back I had a little niggle in my lower back. According to the doctors apparently there was some ‘normal wear and tear’ leading to that painful condition. He recommended some painkillers and redirected me to see a physiotherapist. Over few sessions physio sorted my sore and stiff back. He also advised me to continue some of the exercises he taught and to drop few kilos from around my waistline. So as soon as soon as I was mobile again I joined my local gym. I started on self prepared plan and made sure I found time for the gym least 3 days a week. Whilst It did help to improve my overall fitness level to some extent, but even after 2 years of being a regular the results weren’t great as far as my weight and core strength were concerned.
It was very frustrating especially when I used to see other much stronger and fitter people around in the gym. I thought I was doing my best and I was doing it right, until one day I saw one of the fittest guys around working out under the instructions of a personal trainer. I thought to myself, why does this man who is so fit and strong need a personal trainer? I decided to have a chat with the trainer and shared my frustration. A short chat later it occurred to me that I wasn’t doing things right to get the results I was expecting. My self-taught routines based on reading material available in magazines and web resources were useful but not sufficient. I engaged the personal trainer for a 12-week programme he runs for groups. There was a lot of learning in these 12 weeks – there were weekly lessons where we had to do exercise routines, learn new things about our diet regimes, exercises designed for each individual to help with personal fitness goals. I had a pleasant surprise when I saw the results post 12 week programme, and am still continuing to make good progress. Since then I see him regularly to check how I am doing, do the measurements and review the exercise routines. This has been immensely helpful and is keeping me on the right path for my goals.
On reflection I realised the key reasons why engaging personal trainer helped, are also relevant to trading success:
- Educate yourself and find a mentor – Even though I was a regular at the gym for a few years I wasn’t making much progress, until I engaged a personal trainer. He spent time understanding my lifestyle, health and took measurements. This followed by training on how human body works, the role of good and balance nutrition and an appropriate set of exercises to suit my body and my goals. Working-out without proper training meant that I wasn’t making much progress, plus there was added risk of picking up injuries if I used any exercising equipment inappropriately. As a forex trader and coach, this is so true in the area of trading. If you start trading the markets without proper education you will make costly mistakes, and before you know your account will be decimated to a size that your won’t be able to participate in the markets. The reason people think trading is easy is due to relative ease of starting to trade – easy availability of online brokers, low amounts required to open accounts and ability to trade from comfort of your home at a convenient some markets are open 24×7. As much easy trading is, it is equally hard to be consistently successful at it. And that is where proper education and having a mentor can play a critical role.
- Have a plan and record your execution – Very early in my training sessions with my personal trainer, he recommended that I kept a record of all I was eating through every day. Also he made an exercise plan and I needed to keep a record of gym visits and all the suggested exercises. Keeping record helped me keep off the undesired foods that I was eating in the past, not necessarily because my body needed that but as matter of habit, or sometime even out of boredom. Likewise in trading too, without a properly developed plan one can develop bad trading habits, do impulsive and compulsive trading, which can destroy one’s account rapidly. Following a well crafted trading plan that suits your risk appetite, your personality and your goals, is so important for your trading success.
- Track your progress and scale up slowly – Every week since I did that programme I get myself measured on key parameters like BMI, fat content, metabolic age and so on. This helps me keep on track. Also as I build strength in my muscles, I am now able to do increased weight on certain strength exercises. The progress has been slow by steady. In trading also when you track your trades, you get vital statistic about what is working for you and what isn’t. When you make progress you can make small changes to your trading size to scale up. Just like in weight training one cannot move from say lifting 40Kg for bench press to 100 Kg in a hurry, in trading too, you should not try to increase your trading size in a hurry. You have to allow your account to grow, and then increase slowly so that you can handle any losses and the psychology of trading with increased size without making it stressful.
To summarise, whatever pursuit you are engaged in – be it personal fitness, a sporting activity, or your job in your specific industry, it always helps to educate yourself properly from the right sources, keep in touch with the latest developments in that area and have a coach or a mentor to go back to when things aren’t going right. In my personal experience over the years, trading the financial markets is definitely an activity where right education and mentorship can make an important difference between failure and success.
Trading the financial markets (Stocks, Forex, Futures, Spreadbetting etc) has risks associated with it. Whilst it can be extremely rewarding, it can also result in losses, which if not managed properly can exceed your initial investments. Before embarking on trading, please ensure you understand the risks involved.