No Holy Grail in Currency Trading:
We must live through it!
April 26th 2010, By Dale Pinkert
The search for the perfect system, methodology or mathematical
approach to learn currency trading, or for that matter any
other asset class, turns us all into Don Quiotes battling
windmills and searching for the impossible dream. My main
thesis is there is no substitute for the hard work and the
passing of time to become effective currency traders!
The hard work consists of initially assuming the role of
student apprentice, in other words learning the basics and
how to use the tools of, no pun intended your new trade.
The role of student should always be one that we are able
to access throughout our trading careers even through the
progression of becoming a journeyman and master of this
craft. In other words just like a plant “If we are
not growing , we are dying.”
As all students seeking advancement we must study to learn
currency trading, there is no substitute, cliff notes or
short cuts to learning the fundamentals for these skills
to be acquired.
If your goal is to have a Masters degree or PHD in trading
then you must earn your Bachelors degree first. Following
through on this metaphor, besides completing and passing
each course which is hard work, nose to the grindstone stuff,
this degree is achieved through the passing of time (years)
because we cannot learn experience, we must live it.
Now to the brass tacks, it is my belief that the saying
“A picture speaks a thousand words” is a truth
demonstrated in currency price charts. These pictures capture
what the market has said in historical terms and expresses
the right now with current price action. In my view these
currency prices are significant because each buyer and seller
are casting their votes not with their hearts or minds ,
but with the measure and commodity markets value the most
Therefore price is the moving target, traders vote up or
down on with their most precious resource their capital.
Just like a political campaign each trader decides how much
currency to put at risk on their candidate to capitalize
on their election or defeat, this is called risk management.
A Pinkertism “The difference between professional
traders and amateurs is pros know how to lose so they have
capital left to be right with.”
This risk management is a learned skill that comes through
the hard work of being a tenacious and persistent student,
which could mean months of back-testing a trading technique
and the preparation for battle before the shooting starts.
Having your strategy ready to deal with whatever unfolds
before your eyes. Currency trading is a talent where spontaneity
will not serve you well.
In the military, as a new recruit, you have superior officers
that train you. In academia you have teachers and professors
who help you learn. Although they put you through the rigors
to prepare you, not always to your liking, the wisdom they
pass on to you, will resonate when you need it most. We
need it most while under duress to survive and perform under
pressure, putting loses behind you and being humble with
Since there is no Holy Grail, I believe seeking out a mentor
is a most effective way to learn currency trading, survive
and eventually prosper in the trading business.
A legendary Chicago commodity trader Richard Dennis spawned
the Turtle traders. Almost all went on to become renowned
in the industry themselves. A mentor for traders, can expedite
the experience requirement as they share the wisdom of their
years. A mentor can point your eyes to aspects that could
take years or never happen if you go it alone. They can
see the flaws, you can’t see in your style, they become
a mirror for you.
In conclusion consider seeking out a caring, qualified
mentor to help you learn currency trading. For your journey
into becoming a currency trader, it will be time better
spent than the endless search for the Holy Grail of trading!