I’m going to start flat out saying I believe I highly benefited from our 3 sessions together – but it’s only been a month since our first call, so will probably need to wait longer to see the real results.
On a second note, I did not pay for these sessions, instead I was lucky enough to be one of the traders (that filled in his survey & questionnaire) selected to get these for free, so that’s even better for me.
Now that we got the important stuff and the disclaimer done let’s dive into it.
Who is Jared Tendler?
Jared Tendler is a poker player coach, he’s actually choached over 500 poker players, including some pretty serious names if you’re into poker ( WSOP bracelet winners Justin Oliver, Kristen Bricknell, and Jordan Morgan)
I didn’t know him from his coaching services to poker Players, instead I actually started by reading his two books The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2 (this is an affiliate link) which I highly recommend to traders.
In case you’re wondering, why should traders read books about poker – it’s because we both deal in probabilities where losing is constant.
These two books were recommended to me by a hedge fund manager, and I’m glad he did since those two books are probably the most useful books I’ve read in terms of trading – yes I rate them by far above the Chimp Paradox that so many people keep talking about.
All in all, I think he’s a great guy with interesting insights, and that’s why I follow him on twitter and his blog, where I noticed he was searching for traders to answer a questionnaire / survey for his next book, about the mental game of trading. Which I filled up and sent back because I know I’ll be getting his next book with no hesitation.
Turns out, it may have been a life changing experience 🙂
What did you work on?
Based on the answers I sent in the questionnaire, Jared (correctly) identified two key aspects that could be worked on in order to improve my trading.
To be fair, it wasn’t extremely specific, those two aspects were Fear and Greed – I think those two things are something we all struggle with time to time?
So here’s where I would recommend you to read the chapter (4?) on Strategy from his first book – The Mental Game of Poker 1 (yes once again an affiliate link)
In his view – as a successful mental coach, he also has a master degree so it’s not just voodoo shit, there’s two primary strategies that are needed to solve mental game problems:
Injecting Logic (a short term strategy)
Resolution (the long term strategy to correct the faulty logic)
Injecting logic is basically talking yourself through whatever you are experiencing, however, that can be quite often look like throwing some gasoline on a fire – not really helpful, let’s be honest really not fucking useful, I’ve found myself saying many times:
“WTF the market is against me! It’s not possible this trade was supposed to be a winner!!”
Rather useful no? Instead… I probably should be saying something like this:
“It’s just variance, I made the right play. Stay calm, and just keep playing”
(I rarely used to say that before reading his books)
Would be way more useful, I think we can agree, however that doesn’t fix the problem, it helps, but doesn’t fix it.
The only way to fix a mental problem is by remaining in control of your emotions, being able to identify the emotion arising before it’s a gigantic fire no one can control.
A bit like that.
Injecting logic is the muscle you bring to the fight to delay, to reduce or even block the emotion before it reaches its peak intensity. It’s a crutch, you still need to work towards the resolution of the problem.
So here’s the two fold aim of injecting logic:
1- You catch the emotion such as fear or greed before it reaches my emotional threshold (where I basically throw my trading plan out of the window, with my laptop, and swear I’ll never open tradingview again and then break down crying)
2- The logic corrects the underlying flaw
So how do you inject logic?
Now that we understand what logic is… Let’s dig a bit deeper and explain how we inject it, and give a few examples of the logic I inject when I start to feel fear or greed.
1- Recognize the emotion
2- Deep breath
3- Inject the logic
4- Strategic reminder
5- Repeat as Necessary
He goes in way more detail about all these steps,
I’m not going to spoil the book, it’s really good, so go read it, it will be a worthwhile investment, if it isn’t bill it to me.
(I may pay, or not, probably not because you’d be lying)
The aim is to create a map of your mental game
Basically you want to describe what’s happening in your mind – easy right?
Here’s a globe. Because that’s easier to make than mapping your mind sadly.
I’m not going to share mine, I’m sorry that’s a bit over the top? Is it? I’m not sure, but maybe, so I’d prefer not to do so – if you think it may help you and you’ve read his books hit me up and I’ll share it no problems
If you’ve got his book, the first one, go and check out appendix II, it includes a questionnaire that will help you analyze your mental game.
The aim here is to write out, in as much detail as you can the thoughts and your behavior when you start feeling greed or fear.
That being said, fear and greed don’t always show up at the same time or same level, sometimes my greed is looking at the monetary value I’m up in the trade,
Other times I feel the urge to close a trade early, it’s close to my profit target after all – AND I CAN’T WAIT – I CAN’T RISK THAT MONEY OKAY! GIVE IT TO ME RIGHT NOW.
That’s basically my greed level one and greed level ten there.
Try to map out every single level of greed/fear/whatever you want to work on – from the smallest emotion to the well all caps version where you go crazy.
Once that was done we studied it, he asked me to review it extremely often in order to be able to identify these signs as they occur, that way I know when to inject logic.
An example of injecting logic
Injecting logic as we previously mentioned is basically a crutch, it will help us eliminate the current issue, as long as it’s not too powerful, and help us towards resolution, but… It won’t solve the core problem by itself.
The goal of this is to come up with a sentence/ a statement you can read aloud that helps to keep your head on straight before you lose it.
So here’s one of mine, for when I struggle to follow my trading plan, would it be me wanting to manage a position differently than in my plan, or taking a trade that doesn’t fit it:
Max, you’ve spent the last three months working on this trading plan, that represents around ONE THOUSAND HOURS, are you really going to throw it out of the window for this one trade?
You got a mental map now? You’re ready to move on?
Once I had developed a mental map representing a few levels of fear and greed I experience we were able to identify the core issue at hand:
I judged my skill as a trader based on short term resultsI’m sure I’m not the only one that falls victim to that one!
And that’s not great if everything you do relies on variance, is it now?!
Short term results create emotional chaos, they bias my perspective about what is right and wrong, about my trading plan, they make me irritable or overconfident, they create doubt and don’t create any new strong foundations. I should not focus on short term results to build my belief in my competency
Yet they’re still useful to indicate if something is wrong if the market is behaving strangely and if I should cut my risk because I’m off my game and need to do some serious ASR.
That being said, knowing the issue is based on the fact that I judge my skill as a trader on short term results, I now know that I had to judge my skill as a trader on a different object.
In order to change that, Jared pushed me to write out everything I was unconsciously competent at when it comes to trading (he joked about knowing what a bid and a ask was is part of it – so every little thing that comes to mind may be part of your UC)
Once I got a good list written down, hell I’ll actually share it:
– I am able to identify the market structure, where key trendlines are as well as support and resistance levels without having to think
– I know exactly what I want to see in the price action before taking a trade, there is no more hesitation
– I am capable of identifying key imbalance levels that lead to strong supply and demand zones
– I am able to identify which pairs are of interest for me every single day while doing my watchlist
– I have assimilated my trading plan to my unconscious, I know exactly what I am allowed or not to do
– I do not need to think before taking a position with the correct risk sizing, that protects my maximum downside while enabling me to have a clear upside,
– I am able to correctly place my stop loss and profit target without having to reflect and debate, it’s obvious to me.
– I am able to identify where other traders will have set their profit targets as well as their stop loss and can therefore avoid being caught with them
– I understand probabilities
– I can look at a blank chart and have a bias or at least an understanding of key levels within 5 seconds
I now know that I have quite a certain amount of skill built up in my unconscious competence, I should try to reinforce my skill as a trader by really accepting it.
So every morning, I inject logic into my brain, I stopped coffee but I now rely on that logic, I basically say to myself:
I am a competent trader because I have built up an extremely solid foundation of unconscious competence by spending thousands of hours testing and analysing the charts over the years I’ve been involved with the market.
I can do all these cool things without having to think about it (the list above)
I’ll create long term success based on my competency and skill, that’s the only thing that matters, the better I get at trading, the better results I’ll get in the long run.
I’ve been doing it for quite a while now, and I have to say it’s been great, I really mean that, I now already start to feel more relaxed when taking a position and while holding one.
That being said, as mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, it’s only been a month since our first call, so probably only two/ three weeks since I started doing it. Time will tell if it’s as good as I think it is.
I’m actually going to cut this blog post short.
His books are great, these sessions were helpful to me, and I think they would be helpful to you too.
Have a great one!
Once again, links to his books – (they’re amazon affiliate links)