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Random Thoughts From Life On the Road

LB and I have just wrapped up about a month of travelling to different states and presenting, which is something we haven’t done for probably 15 years. It was an interesting adventure and good to get out from behind the screen and talk to people. When I go anywhere I try and be a keen observer of people. It is amazing what you can learn simply by listening and watching and the one thing I learnt this time rather surprised me.

Success in any endevour has a few trials that it places in your way and if you conquer this trial then there will inevitably be another one. Life is in many ways a little bit like the 12 labours of Hercules Рthere is always something else.  As you would expect trading also has these hurdles, some are huge but most are trivial and the thing that interested me most in my current journeys was that people fell at the first hurdle. The first hurdle for many people is actually getting off their own arses.

Let me explain by reference to my own evolution as a trader.

Step 1 – Decide I want a different life.

Step 2 – Get off my arse and decide what form this will take.

Step 3 – Learn about equities trading by once again getting off my arse and going down the the ASX.

Step 4 – Repeat Step 3 repeatedly whilst I devour everything their education department has to offer.

Step 5 – Open an account with a broker – how did I do this?…….I rang them up and asked (this also involved getting off my arse).

Step 6 – Make a trade – how did I do this?…… I rang them up and asked.

Step 7 – Get trade wrong (my trade, my mistake, my fault).

Step 8 – Repeat Steps 6 and 7 repeatedly.

Step 9 – Learn technical analysis – how did I do this?…..I found a book and read it.

Step 10 – Place another trade – make a slightly smaller mistake….repeat ad infinitum.

Step 11 – Begin using computerised technical analysis. How did I learn this?…..I bought a PC and a charting package and spent countless evenings and days playing with it.

Step 12 – Start trading derivatives and make lots of mistakes.

Whilst this is a little flippant there are two central themes, I made a vast number of mistakes and everything I did came about from my own sense of discovery and getting off my own arse. When travelling and in subsequent emails I have been surprised at the number of people who cannot begin to trade because no one will sit down beside them and show them how to place an order or how to find information on their brokers website. When I suggest that they look at the copious and detailed instructions brokers offer all of which is in glorious multimedia they are somewhat taken aback that someone should suggest this, as if the magic do everything for you fairy should sit down beside them and do it for them.

As my father used to say in his more eloquent moments…do you want me to come and wipe your arse for your as well?

One of the hallmarks of people who are successful is that they have a sense of internal direction, this internal rhythm keeps them moving forward and it is powered by their own sense of achievement. My failures are my own but so too are my successes because I seek out new things and learn new things without constantly being prodded forwarded. My hypothesis about this sort of thing is that some people have been in the employee mindset for so long that they can no longer take action for themselves and to suggest that they should overloads their brain. This I can excuse because it is a powerful form of social conditioning and it is hard to break. Lazy bastards I have no time for.






  1. “Lazy bastards I have no time for.” – Oh how rude! – Who do you think you are? :)

    Excellent post Chris. Thank you for your honesty.

  2. Damn good article CT. It’s been one heck of a whirlwind tour, that’s for sure. I’ve just loved seeing our traders and hearing about what they’ve been up to.

  3. Love the brutal honesty Chris.
    Self motivation, drive and persistence are absolutely timeless qualities that are essential to make any sort of meaningful change.

  4. Jeni White says:

    Many of us have loved seeing you and spending time in your company.
    I took a lot out of the session I attended, thankyou.
    Totally agree with the forward momentum concept, though sometimes it does get me into a bit of trouble. Need to also be good at back pedalling and the swift step aside!

  5. Therese Gittins says:

    Love it CT .. its just so true !

    Something incredibly refreshing about your presentation on Sunday was that “there was no political correctness crap”. You don’t have to worry about a HR person coming after you with a slap on the risk because some small minded individual took offence to a few words, instead you can just say it as it is.

    Surely this alone is a huge motivator to get off ones butts and work hard and never have to return to corporate life again, nor rely on a paycheck from others ever!! Thanks for the kick ….

  6. Fear is the enemy of personal responsibility. Your Fear Pyramid should be producing a strategy in every traders weekly plan (which has 7 daily plans!
    PS I don’t find you blunt or brutally honest. Just an island of normality in a sea of bullshit. Please do not become the good fairy. (You don’t look the part.)

  7. Chris, once again, a priceless composition.

    Having traded equities and FX for over 30 years, and now full time, I am often asked by well meaning colleagues if they can “sit beside me” and watch and learn how to trade, at which point I explain that it is best first that they visit 2 or 3 “beginner” websites to learn what a PIP is, what leverage means, etc, and provide webpage links to 2 or 3 of the most basic text books I have respected over the years and come back to me when they have completed this very basic homework. Strangely, they never do. Not one. Later when we might meet again I ask them how did they go with their initial fact finding “homework” and all I get is a blank stare. Pressing further they claim that the material I guided them to was far too time consuming to read and after all, what they requested in the first place was to just “sit beside me” to learn how to trade as if they would catch some contagion towards their success trading markets. Their complacency frustrates my earnest willingness to teach them the hardest but best profession on this planet, yet as you have pointed out, it seems I am not the only one who has observed this incredible laziness…in fact arrogance as well.

    Keep up the great work you and Louise do.



  8. Chris, your article certainly had me thinking. So from that perspective it was a high value article. I initially thought there was a touch of arrogance in your and Roy’s words. Maybe so, but without a certain attitude we don’t get ahead. Especially when personal self drive is critical to success. I enjoyed both of your posts.

  9. Hey Chris,
    Just wondering which online brokers you use? Cannot for the life of me figure out the differences between them all. IG, interactive brokers, commsec, nab, bell direct, etrade, turbotrader etc. Any help would be appreciated. Cheers.

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