By: Steve Smith
I’m a huge fan of mystery novels. I’ve loved reading since I was a kid. Kurt Vonnegut was one of my favorite authors.
But, as I have gotten older, I have really found that mystery fiction is one of my favorite genres.
Mystery and news… but this message isn’t about news.
I was thinking last week about what traits make a good trader.
Intelligence is good, but not needed. Average intelligence is perfectly acceptable — I’m proof of that.
You don’t need to have a finance background… Heck, I’ve known several people to change careers into finance from a host of different fields.
The only common denominator I could think of is focus. Every trader I know, when they are trading, focuses like a laser beam.
Nothing distracts them, nothing interrupts them…
Family issues disappear. Personal problems vanish. Hunger, thirst, sleep — none of it matters.
They are trading.
This is exactly how I am when I am trading. Nothing in the world exists to me except the chart and the Greeks.
The only other time I focus so intently is when I am reading.
I can watch TV casually, I can listen to the radio in the background…
But when I read I become absorbed in the story.
Focus is a skill that can be practiced and perfected if you will do it. Over the years, I have unknowingly and unwittingly practiced and honed that skill until I can summon an unshakable focus at will.
If you don’t read much, and you find yourself getting distracted when you are trying to trade…
Pick a genre and start reading every day. Start with 10 or 15 minutes, then expand to an hour. It won’t take long to do, and you’ll train your brain to focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else for periods of time.
It will be hard at first, and the 10 minutes will seem like a lifetime. But, soon enough it’ll be easy, then even enjoyable. And you’ll find that reading adds positively to your life — not because of what you read but because you read it!
In the meantime, while you are training your brain you can discover how to tap into some incredible trades here.
To Your Success,
Steve Smith have been involved in all facets of the investment industry in a variety of roles ranging from speculator, educator, manager and advisor. This has taken him from the trading floors of Chicago to hedge funds on Wall Street to the world online. From 1987 to 1996, he served as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). From 1997 to 2007, he was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for TheStreet.com, handling their Option Alert and Short Report newsletters. The Option Alert was awarded the MIN “best business newsletter” in 2006. From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for Minyanville’s OptionSmith newsletter, as well as a Risk Manager Consultant for New Vernon Capital LLC. Smith acted as an advisor to build models and option strategies to reduce portfolio exposure and enhance returns for the four main funds. Since 2015, he has worked for Adam Mesh Trading Group. There, he has managed Options360 and Earning 360, been co-leader of Option Academy, and contributed to The Option Specialist website.
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