The other day I was mowing my lawn when my phone vibrated with an SMS message from a friend.
I was pretty shocked when I opened the message to see a picture of my buddy standing next to a brand new Ford Mustang GT that he had just purchased.
I was shocked purely based on the financial logic in buying this car.
Now, Sam has a pretty good job. His income is certainly enough to “afford” the payment on a brand new sports car…
Obviously, the bank thinks so or else they wouldn’t have given him the loan to make it happen.
And, on top of that, Sam is a single guy. He doesn’t have a lot of the concerns that I do in terms of raising a family and putting other people’s needs above my own desire for something like a new, cool car.
But still, I couldn’t believe that Sam would actually make the move to buy this car.
Not because thousands of people don’t make decisions like this every day. Or because I truly believed that making this purchase was going to cause Sam to have financial turmoil and file bankruptcy or lose everything he has.
The reason I was so blown away is because Sam is always talking to me about how he wants to get wealthy, make more money, reduce his debt, become financially free, etc.
Almost every time I speak with him, he either wants to get my advice on a financial plan or idea, or sometimes he wants me to let him in on a venture that I’m participating in.
But, the truth is, Sam isn’t much of a follow-through type of guy. He is a good guy and a great friend, but he just isn’t someone who backs up all the things he says he wants with clear, purposeful actions.
And I have known this for a long time about Sam…
In fact, most people know this about Sam. So I really shouldn’t have been shocked when that picture popped up on my phone. That was just Sam making a Sam-like decision.
And I think many of us can do the very same thing in our trading decisions.
Most likely, almost every one of my readers would agree that trading is about long term success and building wealth at a steady, realistic price.
Many of my readers have probably written out a trading or investment plan along with goals and processes to achieve those goals.
Hopefully, you do have a plan and it includes rules and guidelines on how to manage your account, execute trades, manage open trades, handle drawdown, withdraw profits, etc.
But then how many times are we sitting in front of our computer, looking at our charts and we make a decision that is not in line with our professed goals?
For example, if your goal is to build a steady, consistent track-record to make wealth but you jump into a News trade with 5 times your typical trade size because the market is moving fast and you want to grab some quick, fat profits—that does not line up with your stated goal.
It’s a decision that’s rooted in short-term greed, rather than long-term planned, purposeful, intelligent decisions.
And you might say “Woah, listen J, jumping into a trade that doesn’t follow my rules is bad, but it is not the same as buying a new Mustang for no reason.”
And I would disagree.
Sam bought that car because he wanted it. Because, at that moment in time, having a cool car was more important to him than the long-term goals and plans he professes to have when he’s thinking clearly.
And the same is true when we make a reckless trading decision: in that moment, trying to grab some extra profits right then and there becomes more important to us than the long-term plan and process we profess to have.
And just like in Sam’s case, it is unlikely that one decision will cause you massive hardship or to blow your entire investing account…
But it’s the compounding decisions that are based in moments and not in logic that can cause an otherwise good plan and good system to go down in flames over time.
So here’s my advice:
Think thoroughly and honestly about your goals and plans.
And when you are in a moment of decision, think purposely in this way:
What decision can I make right now that has the highest likelihood of paying off ten years from now regardless of what that means for my potential today.
That’s a very difficult process to conquer. Almost no one is successful in thinking beyond their immediate circumstances…
But I can guarantee you that if you can discipline yourself to rise above your circumstances and focus on the process, your potential for massive financial success (and all types of other success, by the way) is going to sky-rocket.
Thanks for reading,