Chapter 9 - Live Trading Practice

While theoretical knowledge lays the foundation, the real lessons come from the live markets.

One of the most potent tools in a trader's arsenal isn't a fancy algorithm or a predictive model; it's the simple act of recording their trading sessions.

In this chapter, we'll delve deep into the benefits of using screen recording software during live trading, and how it can accelerate your journey from a novice to a seasoned trader.

"Had I not recorded 100s of trades and rewatvhed them, I would never know what I did wrong and I would never have become the trader I am today." - Philip Borrowman (Horse Race Trading Creator)

The Power of Playback

Imagine being able to revisit any moment of your trading day, analyzing each decision, each click, and each hesitation. With screen recording:

Spot Mistakes:

Did you miss a crucial market move? Was there a telltale sign you overlooked? Playback lets you see it.

Example: Imagine a situation where you placed a lay bet on a horse named "Golden Runner" because you believed its odds were too short. However, upon playback, you notice that just before you placed your bet, there was a significant amount of money backing the horse, indicating strong market confidence. Had you spotted this live, you might have reconsidered. By reviewing the recording, you can train yourself to be more observant of such market signals in the future.

Reinforce Good Habits:

Not all trades will be mistakes. Recognize what you did right and make it a consistent practice.

Example: On another occasion, you decided to scalp the market during a high liquidity race. You noticed a consistent pattern of a horse's odds oscillating between 3.0 and 3.5. Capitalizing on this, you successfully executed several trades within this range, securing small profits that accumulated to a substantial amount by the end of the race. By revisiting this session, you not only boost your confidence but also reinforce the importance of recognizing and exploiting such patterns when they emerge.

Theoretical Traders: Tom vs. Jerry

Let's consider two traders: Tom and Jerry. Both start trading at the same time, with the same strategies and capital. Tom trades day in and day out, relying solely on memory to avoid past mistakes. Jerry, on the other hand, records every trading session and spends an hour every weekend reviewing his trades.

Over a few months, Jerry starts to outperform Tom. Why? Because while Tom repeats his mistakes, Jerry identifies, learns, and adapts. The power of screen recording in action.

Tom: Tom dives headfirst into trading without ever reviewing his sessions. He operates on instinct and often finds himself reacting emotionally to the market.

Over a month, Tom executes around 200 trades. Without the benefit of playback, he doesn't realize that he's repeatedly making the same mistakes, such as chasing losses or misreading market signals. His strike rate, or the percentage of successful trades, hovers around 40%.

This low success rate, combined with his lack of analysis, leads to mounting frustration. He often finds himself questioning his decisions and, more worryingly, his capability as a trader. By the end of the month, Tom's bankroll has dwindled by 15%.

Jerry: Jerry, on the other hand, is methodical. For every trading session, he allocates time to review his screen recordings. He meticulously notes down his successful strategies and, more importantly, his mistakes.

Over the same month, Jerry also executes around 200 trades. However, his strike rate is considerably higher at 65%. This is because, with each playback session, Jerry refines his approach, avoiding past mistakes and capitalizing on successful strategies.

Unlike Tom, Jerry's frustration levels are low. He views each mistake not as a failure but as a learning opportunity. By month's end, not only has Jerry preserved his bankroll, but he's also grown it by 10%.

The contrasting experiences of Tom and Jerry underscore the importance of reflective practice in trading. While both traders are exposed to the same market conditions and opportunities, their approaches determine their success.

Jerry's consistent growth and higher strike rate are direct results of his commitment to learning from playback, proving that in trading, as in life, those willing to learn from their experiences are often the ones who succeed.

Time Commitment: Practice Makes Perfect

Trading, like any skill, requires time and practice. Consider the '10,000-hour rule' popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, suggesting that mastery in any field requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. While the exact number is debatable, the principle holds: consistent practice is key.

By recording and reviewing your trades, you're not just adding hours but multiplying the quality of each hour spent. It's focused, deliberate practice.

Pros of Screen Recording

  • Objective Analysis: Emotions can cloud judgment. With recordings, you see the facts, devoid of in-the-moment emotions.
  • Pattern Recognition: Over time, you'll start to notice patterns – both in the market and in your trading behavior.
  • Confidence Building: As you spot and rectify mistakes, you'll trade with increased confidence, knowing you're continuously improving.

The Journey to Mastery: It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Trading is a long-term game. Those looking for quick riches are often the first to burn out. By committing to continuous learning through screen recording, you're setting yourself up for sustained success.

Remember, every professional was once an amateur who didn't quit.

Trading, much like any skill, requires time, patience, and consistent effort to master. It's essential to understand that the path to trading proficiency isn't linear. There will be peaks of success and valleys of setbacks. However, the key is to remain committed to the journey, understanding that every setback is a stepping stone towards mastery.

One of the most challenging aspects of trading is dealing with consistent bankroll losses. It's disheartening to see your hard-earned money diminish, especially when you're putting in the effort and time. However, it's crucial to differentiate between a 'losing streak' and a 'failing strategy'.

Even the best traders face periods where their bankroll takes a hit. What differentiates them from novices is their ability to maintain a good strike rate over the long term. A few consecutive losses don't define your trading ability; it's the overall strike rate that matters.

For instance, imagine a trader who has a 60% strike rate. This means that out of every 10 trades, they'll likely lose on 4. Now, these 4 losses might come consecutively, leading to a temporary dip in the bankroll and morale. However, if the trader remains consistent with their strategy, the law of averages will play out, and they'll recover those losses over time.

It's also worth noting that even a 50% strike rate can be profitable, depending on the risk-reward ratio. If a trader is gaining more on their winning trades than they're losing on the unsuccessful ones, they'll still end up in profit over the long run.

The journey to trading mastery is akin to running a marathon. Sprinters, or those looking for quick gains, often burn out fast, both mentally and financially. Marathon runners, on the other hand, pace themselves.

They understand that endurance, consistency, and adaptability are the keys to trading full time.

In the world of trading, it's not about how fast you can make a profit, but how long you can sustain it. Embrace the learning curve, understand that losses are part and parcel of the journey, and remember: every professional was once an amateur who didn't quit.

And as the saying goes, "It's not about how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."

Conclusion and Transition to Chapter 10

Screen recording in live trading is like having a mirror that reflects not just your face but your thought processes, decisions, and strategies. It's an invaluable tool that, when used correctly, can significantly shorten the learning curve.

As we transition into Chapter 10, we'll explore more tools and techniques that can further enhance your trading prowess, ensuring you're equipped with the best resources in your trading journey.

Chapter 10 - Continuous Learning and Trading Full-Time >>>