The lone wolf stalks his prey, watching from the forest. He doesn’t need friends, allies, or family. In fact, he shuns them all. He walks in the night with the pads on his paws barely rustling the ground around. The lone wolf finds his own prey and devours it without conscience. He answers to no one and heeds no man. Instead, he survives by his wits and cunning.
Does that sound good to you? Would you like to live, or at least work, like that? If so, becoming an individual trader in the financial market may be something you have considered. Money Examiners researched the success rate and some of the essential things you should know before you hit success as a lone wolf trader.
First, the bad news. A recent study of lone traders in prominent overseas markets found a success rate of 10-25% over four years. Some lone wolf traders fell out in just a few months, while the majority fell to the side of the road in two years. Undaunted, though, we wanted to find out how the ones who succeeded did it. We discovered some tactics that can move the needle in the right direction, if not in your favor. We call them, “The Things That Matter.”
Detailed mechanics matter: Success in the market entails more than applying technical indicators, headline fundamentals, and chart management. Baseball pitching coaches train pitchers for hours, developing the mechanics to make sure each delivery is consistent. As a lone wolf trader, your technical skills and mechanics must display the same kind of consistency. The individual traders who “follow their gut” are the first ones to cash out and find work driving a truck.
Focus matters: Cut out all of the noise. Perhaps most importantly, cut out the supportive noise. There is nothing that makes traders (and baseball pitchers) go into slumps like being told how great they are. Proper mindset maintenance is everything to the lone wolf trader. Because for every profitable day comes a loss, and it is the trader’s focus that keeps the losses from becoming week-long, or month-long, slumps.
Role-modeling matters: Yes, we know you are a lone wolf, but even wolves learned from others before setting out on their own. Bao Nguyen, aka Modern Rock, (pictured below) developed an online trading community called MyInvestingClub.com. He shares that a great deal of learning takes place when members watch him make trades.
“They see me make mistakes. They see me lose, they see me learn from my mistakes, and of course, they see me win, profit, and how I handle the win and not become arrogant.”
This kind of role-modeling is invaluable. The goal of MyInvestingClub.com isn’t to copy others but rather to incorporate other people’s sound trading practices. This means learning patience and avoiding typical emotional pitfalls, like trading from the fear of missing out on the next Microsoft.
Expectations Matter: Many lone wolf traders fail in the first few months because they have unrealistic expectations. They never assessed issues such as starting capital, realistic returns or how long the struggle would continue before success arrived. Traders must treat the craft of lone wolf trading as the business it is. Slow and steady. That’s how the lone wolf in the forest stays alive. It is how you will stay alive, as well.