A useful tool to help eradicate your trading demons

You’ve followed all the apparent big hitters on Twitter.

You’ve watched countless hours of Youtube videos on trading.

You’ve bought, borrowed or stole every trading book you could get your hands on.

You’ve opened your first trading account and followed all the steps you’ve decided were the keys to success.

You’ve taken all the best signals.

…. and you’re still losing.

Finding your edge takes hard work, perseverance and often luck. But often what is holding you back is not the trades you’re taking, but an internal road block that is causing you to make recurring errors. You could dive deep into your own psychological DNA to find the root cause, but I think a better way to approach this “witch hunt” is to track them down in your actual trading results.

Tom Dante’s (@Trader_Dante) Demon Finder spreadsheet is a fantastic template to help you identify if you have an aspect of your trading that is consistently damaging your trading results. There have been several versions of this over the years but below is one of the originals:

Add or remove potential Demons according to your own personal experience and be vigilant and honest about checking a box EVERY time you make an error.

Once it becomes obvious where your most dangerous demon is lurking, then do everything you can to take this out of your game. Once you feel you’ve achieved this, then move onto the next. (Suggestions on how to correct these errors is one of the subjects often touched upon in our subscription community live chats)

This “slay your demons” concept is not unlike the inchworm process that Jared Tendler (@jaredtendler) covers in his excellent book, The Mental Game of Trading. Well worth a read in my opinion.

20 plus years on and I still use a version of this process, but mine is pretty simple now. Tacked to one one of my monitors is a piece of paper that simply reads “Don’t be shit Alan!”.

Once you’ve learnt how to trade, for me, everything else ever written can be summarised in those 4 words.

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