One of the questions that I get all the time in our live trading rooms is: “When you are confident of your income strategy, when and how do you scale up in contracts?” It’s a great question and a sign that someone is progressing on their path to financial freedom, but there’s a number of ways to do it right…and several more ways to do this wrong!
First off, I caution investors that there seems to be an unwritten rule in the universe that “the very first trade that you scale up will be a loser.” I’ve seen this same thing happen to me in the past, and I think I know why this occurs…it’s because you get much more cautious when you’re carrying a larger position and you tend to trade not to lose instead of trading to win. Someone will conduct themselves in a markedly different manner when they are confident and expect to win a small trade, versus the tentative and fearful steps that someone takes when they are scared of loss. You’re not used to the heavier risk element of the larger position and it affects your behavior.
So how should someone scale up if they’re doing well? The first answer is to have a money management plan that shows your position size based on your available capital for that strategy. Take the guesswork out of the challenge and map it out.
And this is required for a sophisticated money management strategy like “Fixed Ratio Money Management.” This is a strategy that can lead to hockey-stick like performance graphs IF you have a positive expectancy strategy, AND you can follow a plan. I will be adding this strategy to the Daily Target 100 course by year’s end.
But I think that the TRUE answer for most retail traders is not to scale up too far with aggressive strategies; find your comfort level (size-wise) and trade UP to that point in your plan. Once you hit that level, celebrate your success and then SWEEP that capital down to slower and more conservative strategies that are focused on long-term goals.
And then build up your aggressive account again using money management strategies!
The more that you make this an easy plan to follow, the better you’ll do. As always, let us know if we can help fill in the blanks for you.
In your corner…Doc Severson
For a FREE 2 Week Trial of Doc's Daily Income Service, click here.
I remember the exact moment that I committed to being a trader.
I was returning home from a quarterly meeting of our local “inner circle” group in town. These were the most committed and talented trading students in town, hand-picked from a pool of hundreds by our local mentor. It was an honor to be selected to this group, by invitation only. The initial feeling of being selected was that you had “made it” since you were that much closer to a millionaire’s advice.
But to the majority of the students in that group, it didn’t work out that way. Good intentions and optimism are not enough; I was to find out later that they lacked commitment.
In the quarterly meeting, everyone went around the room and spoke to their goals for the upcoming year. The problem was that these were not really GOALS, they were more like WISHES. There is a big difference between the two, and you could see it in everyone’s eyes as they presented their list. And I fell right in line by presenting my list of “wishes” in the same overly-hopeful tone. Everyone nodded and golf-clapped when I was finished.
Driving home, I was seething with rage and frustration. I KNEW that I had just mailed it in. I was fighting with the two sides of myself:
Aggressive dude: WHY CAN’T YOU JUST COMMIT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN?!
Cautious dude: “ Oh I really wish I could but what happens if it doesn’t work out? What would you do then?”
There I was driving along, internally debating between the two sides of this argument, almost as a spectator, when I got the two sides to agree and hit the point of COMMITMENT.
I WILL TURN IN MY NOTICE AND MY LAST DAY WILL BE JANUARY 29TH.
I WILL MAKE THIS WORK BY APPLYING EVERY OUNCE OF EFFORT THAT I HAVE. I WILL LEAVE NOTHING ON THE TABLE.
I AM ABSOLUTELY COMMITTING 100% OF MYSELF TO MAKE THIS WORK.
I’m literally yelling at the top of my voice in my car as I pulled into my driveway. I was pumped up and strangely, felt completely at peace for the first time in a while. The debate had been settled; I had finally COMMITTED to a course of action.
Did I have all the skills necessary to trade for a living at that point? Probably not, but I could not have made the leap had I not committed on that day. That put everything into motion and the momentum carried me through some tough days to come.
Am I recommending that everyone quit their jobs and trade for a living? No. What I usually tell people is that “a good job that you enjoy is a trader’s best friend.” It takes the pressure off of HAVING to win the next trade just to put food on the table. At the minimum, have a few different income streams to keep the NEED out of your trading results.
What I AM encouraging you to do is for you to find YOUR ONE THING and commit to it! You and you alone know exactly what you are supposed to be doing right now.
COMMIT and get after it!