“Execution is much more important than analysis” @Tenderfoot

In Members in Profile we interview stand-out members that show strong aptitude and work ethic. Our goal is to highlight different folks so that you can see the effort that our members are putting into their trading and hopefully learn from their experiences of the Convergent Trading Community.

We hope you enjoy hearing what @Tenderfoot has to say!

What brought you into trading?

My introduction to trading was during the dotcom frenzy in the late 90s while I was in graduate school.  I opened an account with E*Trade and away I went.  Trading with no plan or risk management was rewarded in those days and I was hooked.

Fortunately, I graduated and found employment which curtailed my trading before the crash.  Twenty plus years later I still have the itch and decided to see if I could make a living trading futures (spoiler alert: I haven’t been able to, yet.  More on that in a bit).

What do you like most about Convergent?

I started my journey by following FT on the daily Trader Bite and on Twitter, so joining Convergent was a natural extension.  The trading knowledge that is shared here everyday is amazing and the support from the head traders and other members is excellent.  What I like most is that the information provided here has application far beyond trading and the focus is on providing us with the tools and foundation to build a career.

How have these aspects helped you grow as a trader?

As I mentioned earlier I started trading during a historical bull market.  I had no concept of risk control, R factor, or expectancy.  Losing trades were for the other guy to worry about.  Fast forward to 2019+ things have changed a bit, though the recent market run is bringing back memories.  So the first thing I hear from FT when I join convergent is that I need a plan and he provides a template and guidance on how to go about making one.  Beyond that I am introduced to the aforementioned concepts that I need to master to make the turn.  I am still a ways away from being a market maven but I think I am fairly close to being a professional.

Name a belief that you held about trading early on, that you’ve since let go?

When I started the second time a few years ago I held the belief that there was a “right” way to trade.  I evaluated every decision against some ideal right or wrong criteria, which was strongly influenced by outcome.  I now know that professional trading is a performance endeavor rather than an analytical exercise.  I have competed in sports at a very high level and know that the focus needs to be on process and not outcome to sustain over the long term.  In trading that moves the right/wrong answer away from outcome to how well have I execute my plan.

Do you have a favorite community quote or webinar?

Perhaps the most impactful webinar for me had nothing to do with trading, per se.  I don’t remember the exact webinar but FT’s introduction to the work of Carol Dweck and her research into fixed vs growth mindset resonated with me.  This not only helps me understand some of my behavior and how I may change it, but it also helps with understanding and interacting with others.  I don’t have a favorite quote verbatim but I can paraphrase Tendex’s statement: “Execution is much more important than analysis”.

Do you have any advice for new members?

For those just starting out as traders I would offer several pieces of advice.  Primarily, you need a plan that you can stick with, which outlines what you are trying to do, and your risk control.  You can then judge how well you are doing by how well you follow that plan.  That’s basic.  Before that, I recommend identifying which product and time frame suits your personality.  As an example, I spent 18 months day trading the MES full time looking for and executing structured setups.  I struggled with this approach and haven’t been able to show the consistency to scale up.  I have a hard time sitting and doing nothing and would often deviate from my plan just to do something.

I have recently switched to swing trading equities over multiple days or weeks which is a better fit for me as I can do other things throughout the day and just let the trades work.  As a result, my plan execution is better.  While most of the content presented at Convergent uses futures as the example, I have found that it is applicable to trading other products on other time frames.  I have found success so far with changing products and time frames and I hope it continues. 

What is your favorite non-trading activity/hobby?

Over the years my sporting hobbies have dwindled as more time was spent working (getting older doesn’t help either).  One of the perks of trading successfully is having some free time to enjoy other things.  My wife and I like to travel to state and national parks to hike and enjoy the outdoors.  This has been curtailed with the pandemic and while we still enjoy the local state parks our travel has been diminished.  As such I have focused on things that I can do online and am learning to play chess (not surprisingly I only enjoy rapid chess).  With summer approaching there will be gardens to tend and projects around the house to complete.  If I remain profitable I will have plenty of time to pursue other new things as well.

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