In the endless sea of gurus and trading services out there, how do you decide which way to go? You may find yourself evaluating each one based on what kind of services they provide. Because as everyone knows the more time and effort you put into honing your trading skills, the better your profits will be down the line, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, often more time studying, trading or even just watching the market can lead to far LESS profits when all is said and done.
And you’ll also end up losing one of the most valuable commodities we all hold dear… Time. To save time and a lot stress you need find someone who knows where to tap. Consider the boilermaker story…
The Boilermaker, or Knowing Where To Tap by Steve Andreas
There is an old story of a boilermaker who was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was not working well. After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room.
He looked at the maze of twisting pipes, listened to the thump of the boiler and the hiss of escaping steam for a few minutes, and felt some pipes with his hands. Then he hummed softly to himself, reached into his overalls and took out a small hammer, and tapped a bright red valve, once. Immediately the entire system began working perfectly, and the boilermaker went home.
When the steamship owner received a bill for $1,000 he complained that the boilermaker had only been in the engine room for fifteen minutes, and requested an itemized bill. This is what the boilermaker sent him:
For tapping with hammer: $1.00
For knowing where to tap: $999.00
If you have to spend every weekday morning in the “Live Chat Room” to concur with folks who really don’t know any more than you do just to be able to trade the market, then those folks likely don’t know where to tap.
Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” Nothing against the legendary coach, but Vince probably wouldn’t have made such a great trader.
After a weekend of sports filled live commentary, these trading rooms are hell-bent on carrying on the tradition all through the work week. And who really has the time for this? Most chat rooms are built on the premise that trading is like a sport: Come and “trade with the winners” and “the harder you work at it the better you’ll get.”
There is one key difference, though. When playing a sport it’s you against another guy or a team. In trading it’s you against big institutions and huge corporations with super computers faster than your skills can ever hope to develop. The team sport mentality might get you pumped up to feel like you can win, but that doesn’t have any affect on how the odds are firmly stacked against you.
And if you spend too much time in chat, any edge you may have will be swept away by confusion and self-doubt. Why? Because the biggest adversary you have to overcome is not the millions of investors or even your fellow traders. It’s yourself. In the trading room, keeping your emotions in check so you can make rational decisions is not easy… especially when you have information overload to deal with.
Nicolas Darvas almost fell into that trap when he moved to the “stock room,” thinking that being around the “experts” could only be a good thing. All the boys with their reckless shouting and unfounded opinions only made things worse. He was fortunate to realize that his solitary approach of crunching numbers from the daily newspaper was actually a much more focused and effective method of trading. If you must read any book about trading be sure to check out his “How I Made 2 Million Dollars in the Stock Market.” It’s truly a game changer.
Many websites offer a live trading room and many other types of premium services. Feeling like you’re getting your money’s worth with all the extra stuff, can give you a false sense of security just long enough to deplete most of your savings. And a wealth of information doesn’t necessarily make you wealthy. The answers are more often found in the most unassuming places… You just need to know where to tap. -MD
Coming up in part 4: “Trade Alerts.” Is there a better way?
To view past positions check out our Trade History.