A riveting discussion is guaranteed at every Wednesday 9:00 AM PST student counsel meeting. This week’s was no different. One of the most interesting topics we covered was the meaning of goals. It was clear that each FX365i student has their own idea in the matter.
I recall a conversation with one of my mentors that transpired as follows:
That conversation led me to think goals beyond what I had previously imagined, to which I arrived at the realization that goals operate both on a fundamental and a technical basis.
Technical goals are simple as they are numerical and absolute. Either you made the 55 pips by closing time on Saturday, or you simply did not. There is no grey area.
But yet there exists another element to this equation. That element is related to your original intention.
When you made the decision to become a trader, your original intention was likely to fall into one of two categories (or a hybrid of them). I explain below.
If you are in this category you became a trader because you understood that it is your opportunity to “buy back your freedom.” Your original intention was to discover a means of supporting yourself (with relatively few hours of work) so that you could spend your time pursuing your other passions.
You understood that if you meet you goals at the end of the week, there is no need to trade any further. In laments terms, “trade for 2 hours… then go surfing” or “trade for 2 hours…then go knit a sweater” or “trade for 2 hours… then go play catch with your children” –you get the point.
“The Trading Passionate”
Perhaps when you became a trader your original intention was to develop a new skill, as was the case for me. Apart from learning the markets and regaining my freedom I looked to trading as a new hobby. I have an interest in it, my interest is fueled by a deep passion and an ever-growing fascination with the financial markets. Essentially the mantra of the trading passionate is a different. It follows this vein of though: “trade for 2 hours…learn the skill”, “trade for 2 hours…get better”, “trade for 2 hours…ask a question”–you get the point. In some respects, the trading passionate are also the perpetual students that want to know everything about the markets.
We have standard goals at our school; it is a weekly 35-pip goal. One of the opinions that I have recently adopted is that all technical goals must be a prime number. On the basis that it must not be divisible by 5, or more specifically, the number of days we actively trade at school each week.
For my peers that don’t have the opportunity to take part in our weekly discussions, the position I expressed during counsel was as follows:
A 35 per week goal is in essence requires a 7-pip trade per day, however, the market isn’t necessarily favorable for 5 days worth of trading. Advanced traders (whether freedom or passion driven) do not necessarily have to trade everyday. However, if for instance your goal was 33 pips a week, your mindset shifts. Now you’ve created a mindset that you can trade 3 days at 11 pips each and either watch the market for two days (trading passionate) or surf for 2 days (freedom-centric).
In further defense of my position…
A prime number is not divisible by anything. There are no daily requirements to be on track, thus no pressure that carries over into the next day. The only requirement you have is that you make it past the finish line on Friday, emerging at the numerical goal that you intended at the start of the week.
Lastly, Todd wrote a lovely article about goals recently (Smart Goals for Currency Traders). It is great reading that is bound to get you thinking about your own goals.
Until then, Trade Free or Trade Passionate!
Please feel welcome to share your thoughts in the matter. Are your goals fundamentally or technically based? I’d be delighted to hear more from you.