Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Kirk Report

The Kirk Report

Stubborn Determination & Confidence

Posted: 19 May 2010 11:01 AM PDT


Q: Between your friends in the business which I know are many and through your mentoring have you discovered one personality trait common among the most successful?

A: I think Dr. Brett's post on personality and trading success confirm what I've found as well - i.e. that "trading is probably far more related to talents, skills, and effort than personality features." I agree with this as I've worked with and know all sorts of different types of people who trade successfully.

There is no "one suit" that fits all.

However, I will say this. One thing that I tend to see most often is what I call stubborn determination. What I mean by that is that after a series of significant setbacks, mistakes, frustration and disappointment, the most successful traders always find a way to dust themselves off quickly and return even more motivated and focused about their trading than before. I see that not only in myself but in many of those who trade well. Trading is one of the most challenging endeavors out there and the market will test everything you've got and then some.

As Dr. Brett also mentioned in that very same post there are "certain traits tend to help people make best use of their talents and skills." This is why it is so important for traders to use strategies that also are a good fit for their personality.

There are so many profitable ways to trade, but in all likelihood only a few that match and harness your own unique skills and who you really are. That's why it is so difficult for most who desire success to play copycat with other traders although everyone at some point gives it their best shot. However, unless you are one of the first to discover your very own "trading twin" as I often like to say, you are going to experience tremendous difficulty and frustration implementing another trader's strategy as your own.

One of the first things I like to do when working with a new student in my mentorship group is to spend the first month we are working together on a completely new and different strategy they've have never used in the past. In fact, I'm very careful not to try to train people into adopting my own strategy, but instead start the process of discovering the right strategy that meets their own skill set and personality. To do this, I begin the process by having my student taking an in-depth personality test that helps both of us understand who they are and offer some ideas which strategies could potentially offer the "best chance" of a match.

The reason for this approach is two-fold: 1) students bring a lot of baggage with them with the strategies they are currently using that to make progress we need a whole new approach and opens up an entirely new and fresh path which is important, and 2) students often learn how to do something new and successful in the markets which in turn provides them the much needed confidence. Without confidence, success is difficult to maintain no matter what strategy you use. Confidence only comes when traders use a strategy that they completely understand AND which fits their personality and skill set the most. So, if you're looking for one commonality that I see among the most successful, that is it.