Trading Wisdom by Mark Douglas

By | September 8, 2012

“I know it may sound strange to many readers, but there is an inverse relationship between analysis and trading results. More analysis or being able to make distinctions in the market’s behavior will not produce better trading results. There are many traders who find themselves caught in this exasperating loop, thinking that more or better analysis is going to give them the confidence they need to do what needs to be done to achieve success. It’s what I call a trading paradox that most traders find difficult, if not impossible to reconcile, until they realize you can’t use analysis to overcome fear of being wrong or losing money. It just doesn’t work!”
-Mark Douglas

“There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that defines an edge. In other words, based on the past performance of your edge, you may know that out of the next 20 trades, 12 will be winners and 8 will be losers. What you don’t know is the sequence of wins and losses or how much money the market is going to make available on the winning trades. This truth makes trading a probability or numbers game. When you really believe that trading is simply a probability game, concepts like “right” and “wrong” or “win” and “lose” no longer have the same significance. As a result, your expectations will be in harmony with the possibilities.”
-Mark Douglas

The less I cared about whether or not I was wrong, the clearer
things became, making it much easier to move in and out of positions,
cutting my losses short to make myself mentally available to take the next opportunity.
– Mark Douglas

The best traders stay in the flow because they don’t try to get anything from the market; they simply make themselves available so they can take advantage of whatever the market is offering at any given moment. -Mark Douglas

Learning to accept the risk is a trading skill—the most important skill you can learn. -Mark Douglas

The best traders aren’t afraid. They aren’t afraid because they have developed attitudes that give them the greatest degree of mental flexibility to flow in and out of trades based on what the market is telling them about the possibilities from its perspective. At the same time, the best traders have developed attitudes that prevent them from getting reckless. -Mark Douglas

We have to be rigid in our rules and flexible in our expectations. We need to be rigid in our rules so that we gain a sense of self-trust that can, and will always, protect us in an environment that has few, if any, boundaries. We need to be flexible in our expectations so we can perceive, with the greatest degree of clarity and objectivity, what the market is communicating to us from its perspective. -Mark Douglas

The winners have attained a mind-set—a unique set of attitudes—that allows them to remain disciplined, focused, and, above all, confident in spite of the adverse conditions. As a result, they are no longer susceptible to the common fears and trading errors that plague everyone else. -Mark Douglas

If there is such a thing as a secret to the nature of trading, this is it: At the very core of one’s ability 1) to trade without fear or overconfidence, 2) perceive what the market is offering from its perspective, 3) stay completely focused in the “now moment opportunity flow,” and 4) spontaneously enter the “zone,” it is a strong virtually unshakeable belief in an uncertain outcome with an edge in your favor. -Market Douglas

As a trader, you have to decide what is more important—being right or making money—because the two are not always compatible or consistent with one another.-Mark Douglas

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