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The 3 stages of development of a trader 🚦

Dear All,

After reading this post by @Asgardian1 I can see how hard we usually are on ourselves when we have to face the reality of our past trading results and how sometimes we forget we are a work in progress and able to improve with time, so I would like to share this lesson taken from the legendary “Trading in the Zone” book by the late Mark Douglas:


:red_circle: 1. The first stage is the mechanical stage.

In this stage, you:

  1. Build the self-trust necessary to operate in an unlimited environment.
  2. Learn to flawlessly execute a trading system.
  3. Train your mind to think in probabilities.
  4. Create a strong, unshakeable belief in your consistency as a trader.

:yellow_circle: 2. Once you have completed this first stage, you can then advance to the subjective stage.

In this stage, you use anything you have ever learned about the nature of market movement to do whatever it is you want to do. There’s a lot of freedom in this stage, so you will have to learn how to monitor your susceptibility to make the kind of trading errors that are the result of any unresolved self-valuation issues.

:green_circle: 3. The third stage is the intuitive stage.

Trading intuitively is the most advanced stage of development.

It is the trading equivalent of earning a black belt in the martial arts.

The difference is that you can’t try to be intuitive, because intuition is spontaneous. It doesn’t come from what we know at a rational level. The rational part of our mind seems to be inherently
mistrustful of information received from a source that it doesn’t understand. Sensing that something is about to happen is a form of knowing that is very different from anything we know rationally.

I’ve worked with many traders who frequently had a very strong intuitive sense of what was going to happen next, only to be confronted with the rational part of themselves that consistently, argued
for another course of action. Of course, if they had followed their intuition, they would have experienced a very satisfying outcome. Instead, what they ended up with was usually very unsatisfactory, especially when compared with what they otherwise perceived as possible.

The only way I know of that you can try to be intuitive is to work at setting up a state of mind most conducive to receiving and acting on your intuitive impulses.


I hope you find this information somehow revealing and new doors are open for some of us. :eyes:

Best regards. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I was trying to find the trackrecord of Mark Douglas without success.

Please discretionary traders do not burn me! :innocent:

Teaching trading is much more easy than trading, true also for algo stuff.


Yeah man, but if it were not for preachers like him, we’d be royally screwed. :see_no_evil:

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Good swing trading is similar to surfing at the beach. Surfers let most of the waves pass them by.

They wait for the big waves that are set up correctly.

:ocean: :surfing_man:t3:

Then they time the drop-in just right so they catch the wave as it is forming.

If they go too early, the wave will crash over the top of them.

If they go too late, the wave will pass them by without carrying them forward.


In the same way, not every potential market cycle should be traded.
(Just as not every wave should be attacked.)

Look for a way of identifying the best market waves and of timing the drop-in.