Why Fitness and Trading Are More Connected Than You Think
One of my favorite things to look into when trading is the psychology behind the trade. This is where technical analysis can emerge as one looks at the psychology behind a candlestick or why support and resistance works. Also when a trader transitions from a paper account to a real account they can see paper profits not transition to real profits and it can be attributed to the psychology of the trade.
While I have a passion for trading, I also have a passion for fitness. My passion for fitness came first. When I started to trade I could see the relationship. When people come from an out-of-shape profile they work hard right off the bat but also expect results right away…but that won’t happen. This also applies to traders as they read so many books and take courses but also expect results right away but this don’t happen either. While the weak will give up, it is the psychology of both that puts them over the edge and creates success.
With the new year upon us I read in the January 2013 edition of Muscle & Fitness the following stats:
- 10% of resolutions are to exercise more
- 19% of resolutions are to lose weight
- 80% of people who join a gym in January quit by February (yes 1 month!)
I have to say I was a bit astonished by the last bullet. When I saw this, the stat of successful traders comes to mind. With this I think of a post by @smbcapital. I suggest you read this post but it basically states that a person has a 90% chance of failing when getting into trading in a prop firm. I find this highly applicable as we as a society become more of a quick get rich people more than a slow and steady wins the race people. Needless to say I have read many other stats on the success of a trader and they all stated that the failure rate is high right up there with a restaurant.
How do I connect this with fitness. Well I believe they have the same psychology behind the goal. As the New Year resolutions are upon us, many of the people with those resolutions believe that if they are working hard they should see results right away (within 2 weeks). While the results may be small at first they will not live up to the expectations. Achieving trading and fitness goals require understanding and expectattions of the words: 1) failure, 2) tenacity, & 3) patience. Know that you will probably experience all.
Know that you have a high chance of failure in both endeavors. It is easy to become discouraged after several bad trades. You get the screw this attitude and give up. Much like a person that has that fitness goal in mind. You work your ass off for 2 weeks (which seems like eternity). Give it another 2 weeks and then look in the mirror and I guarantee if you followed a fitness plan (with diet) you will see results. I guarantee it and if you want to call me out then come near Gettysburg, PA and I will prove otherwise or you have a disgraceful trainer.
I love this word. In both endeavors you have to have it to push forward. You have to have that inner strength to overcome trading losses and learn how to mitigate them. In fitness you have to have the ability to look at yourself and say while I might not see any gains on my goal they will come. You also need the ability to fight through the workout and say I will persevere. Then you also need to say I will not indulge in a lot of junk food because I worked out but will stick to a healthy diet but allow yourself some cheat diets as well as to keep that part of the brain happy.
So important in both. When I started trading I blew up several accounts. I then went back and learned what I was doing wrong. I learned that I risked too much straightforward and did not have a scaling methodology. I also learned that I became obsessed with gamma and did not let time work for me. Option traders can relate as I became more of a rolling/theta guy through time with averaging in via price points instead of looking for the quick swing. I will say though that I still love trading liquid options (look at pennys/weeklys) for those quick swings. But this all came with patience.
Much like fitness you have to have patience. In reading that last bullet in that 80% quit within the month the one thing that comes to mind is patience. Yes you may be working their ass off but you have to realize that it may be several months or years of damage you are trying to overcome. You have to give it time and stay true to yourself in exercise and diet (with cheat days!). If you do have that plan of staying fit or losing weight please stick to a reasonable diet and high rate exercise equal to or in excess of 30 minutes and you will results.
In conclusion it is all about those three components and do you have what it takes? I always hated people telling me I could not do something as that drove me more. I hope that readers have the same mindset as I am saying you don’t have what it takes…and that is not an insult but motivation!
Below is a video from music by Staind and training by Jay Cutler. While there are many criticisms about bodybuilder enhancement use (which I can agree) I dismiss it from a psychological standpoint and look at their dedication to training from nutrition to workouts, and this is still a favorite video scene (keying the 50sec mark):