What’s Trading Got to Do with It? (PART I)

If you are new to Rande Howell’s work and the methodology he has developed, the quick and dirty explanation of it is as follows:

While moving from the world of being a licensed therapist and beginning his work writing and teaching about the human mind and its potential for higher performance, he was approached by a hedge fund manager.  This financial guru saw a huge potential for Rande’s work in managing the mind to help his staff and himself overcome the ordeals and uncertainty dished out by the financial markets. Rande agreed to help and began advising traders and financial investors on how to improve their performance in the face of enormous risk and stress. In the process of this work, he discovered a systemized process for managing the mind which he then turned into a full educational program focused on financial investors and traders. The technique was extremely effective and, more importantly, with the instant outcomes of a profit and loss (P&L) statement a trader could see the results of their improved mindset directly in their profitability in the market.

Focused for the past fifteen years in this financial realm, Rande’s work provided real results for these trading clients in ways that mere discipline, positive thinking, and mantras never did. All the while, Rande’s true passion of “setting people free from their self-imposed cages, as he had been set free” was only being focused on the world of trading.  There were many other people who could use this method in so many other meaningful ways. It was also increasingly difficult to deny the regular feedback of, “Yeah I’m making money in the market now… but this stuff has changed my entire life.” This is the reason for the expanded work of Rande Howell Empowerment Programs.

This process, hard tested in the crucible of performance in financial markets, promises to not only make your life better but will tangibly improve your performance in areas that had previously been major obstacles to your growth, both as a person and in your chosen realms of performance. So, if you are new to Rande Howell’s work. Welcome… and read on in this series explaining the parallels of Rande’s fifteen years of work in trading and how performance in this field translates into your own expression of your true potential.

Anatomy of the Market

Conventional thinking describes the stock market as a place to invest one’s money using sound principles and rational decision making. In many ways is a falsity. The market is a manifestation of emotions.  Emotions at an individual level, at an institutional level, and at a societal level. And it doesn’t matter which market we are referring, NYSE, NASDAQ, EURONEXT, NIKKEI, CRYPTO, or even the price of cherries at a farmer’s market.  Many factors influence the ebb and flow.  Price is a factor but there is much more to it. A stock market is, in fact, an arena of cutthroat competition and gamesmanship. It’s a place where an infinite number of schemes, systems and plots develop to dupe another person out of their money. Conventional wisdom says the way to make money in the market is to “buy low and sell high”. More sophisticated investors may be able to short the market by “selling high and buying low”. But where do these movements come from? How does a market go higher and lower? Based on supply and demand, and this simple principle, combined with the complexities of technical and fundamental analysis, macro and micro economic principles, as well as momentum, market sentiment and much more contribute to the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly movements of a stock on an exchange.  And the simple fact about all this movement of pricing based on supply and demand is this:

poker game

Much like in a game of poker, when you buy a stock, when you place capital in a symbol in the hopes of it going up, you are making a bet against a group of folks betting that it will go down. The constant price movement is a result of this game of tug of war between buyers and sellers. When you sell your position and take it back into cash, you are then making a decision against a group of buyers who are now buying.  After all, when you buy shares, you must be buying it from someone, and conversely, when you sell shares, you must have someone who is willing to buy. And one thing you can be certain of, particularly because you are dealing with the raw simple act of money and profit, is that no one is buying or selling shares out of the goodness of their heart. This faceless and nameless other is making this trade expressly because they believe the opposite of what you believe. And in this game, millions of dollars are invested into technology, trading systems, and platforms to gain an edge against other traders. Hours of time is invested in researching companies, reading charts, and planning strategies to pull money from this market. That money that gets pulled, could very easily be yours.  Math geniuses, practiced veterans, tape reading superstars, and amateurs all get thrown into the same pit to duke it out and test their metal against the competition.

It’s often said that the best thing that a new trader can hope for is to lose on their first trade so they can quickly learn the hard nature of this world. The worst thing they can do is start off with beginners’ luck, become overconfident, and blow up a large account giving it all to the market. Some would call the act of trading as merely gambling, and on a long enough timeline, this is likely true. Because as anyone who has ever traded long enough can truly understand; despite whatever the luck, systems, strategy, or technology you apply to winning in the market, ultimately, you’re going to take a loss. Particularly as you work to grow your skills and, in so doing, grow your account.

The Allegory of the Market

The magical thing about the stock market is not necessarily the potential for huge profits, mega yachts, and Lamborghinis that await a successful trader. It is not even the ability for easy money, even though mastering trading can definitely provide this. The magical thing about trading and the market is the amount of personal mastery and growth necessary for a trader to truly become successful. It is that the market is a near perfect allegory to performance in the face uncertainty and risk in the modern world. While you may not die from the challenge, it will definitely change your life, for better or worse. If you listen to a trader, you will hear similar statements to those made by professional fighters, first responders, masterful creator in the arts, elite athletes, loving spouses, effective parents, successful entrepreneurs, and more. And it is the fact that these parallels can guide a person seeking the gifts of personal development and growth beyond merely being more confident and feeling good. These parallels, and the work presented in this book, will help bring the empowered mind that is hidden away inside you to the surface. This will, in turn, allow you to act from a new place, an empowered place where you can act in the face of risk and uncertainty.

Join us in Part II of “What’s Trading Got to Do with It?” as we drill further into the world of financial trading and the mental stress, anguish, and financial consequences that can result from a trade in the world of intraday trading.  This is a world where thousands of dollars can be made or lost in a matter of seconds.  A place where positive thinking will abandon you and where a true process for managing the mind is essential for success.