Mark Randall's Trader Tips

The following are an ongoing series of Trader Tips tweeted by market veteran Mark Randall of @themindguys.

This series is based on Mark Randall's experiences in a long and distinguished career in Financial Markets from the early 1980s through to the 2010s.

Trader Tip #1

Don't bring a negative 'mindset' to face the market, this will turn you away from complex ideas, walk you towards simple trades for the sake of them, reduce patience and awareness, increasing error rate, emotional state and stress. All costing you Alpha.

Trader Tip #2

When you show up to trade and you face your 8 screens to build your view, first ask the question "how am I?" Pre trade preparation of "self" is one of the biggest trading assets in your armoury, see the market and potential alpha with calmness, clarity and control.

Trader Tip #3

Your trading today began with how you managed emotional lumps and bumps yesterday, how you wound down, how you retired, how you slept and how you awoke. Build Mental Capital & razor sharp intuition as part of the process to discover today's Alpha.

Trader Tip #4

Stay on plan, when you are 'risk on' and run a stop against it, it is wise not to turn a stop into a double up if the market approaches the stop level. It is more Alpha optimal to stick to a plan then reset, refresh and refocus once stopped out.

Trader Tip #5
If stressed you will see the market as a tight spotlight, perhaps just seeing the bid, offer and size. You get too close to the trade. Relax, open your awareness & see the breadth of the market. Alpha opportunity exists in the fringes and shadows.

Trader Tip #6

Never underestimate the value of your operations team. Work with them and support them, they need to be as sharp as you in stopping Alpha leakage by spotting errors and miss-postings in real time. They are on your side ! Never ever forget that...!

Trader Tip #7

If you overhear a trade idea, or someone boasts about having risk on gathering alpha - DO NOT jump on the trade. Remember that you are playing your OWN GAME, do not suddenly acquire the game of another trader. stick to YOUR plan and YOUR trade ideas.

Trader Tip #8

Don't get emotionally carried away when you are on a winning streak - managing the emotional 'ups' is as important as managing the "downs". Observe positive and negative events as just the noise of the flow. Such a balance mindset can be taught...

Trader Tip #9 

Clutter. look at your desk, stickits, books or old research. Get "words" out of view.. because what the eye can see as words it will read over and over again. Clutter drags you away from focussing on your critical and complex task of discovering Alpha

Trader Tip #10

You don't have to trade!

Opportunities may not be there or aren't always clear, don't get frustrated and beat yourself up as not being sharp enough. Walk away from the market and Refresh, Reset and Refocus to return with Clarity, Calmness and Control.

Trader Tip #11

Resist trading the "market" in your head. You can set up too much of a positive expectation by making presumptions about targets or market trajectory that may fail to happen, aim to be present and agile minded for when you modify risk in "real time".

Trader Tip #12

Errors. Close out and mentally move on. In my experience errors come in 3's, if you can't park it and move on, the "what a fool am I" internal chat will drag your focus away from the opportunity of the market and you will make other simple mistakes! Let it go!

Trader Tip #13 

More often than not a novice trader will just be "seeing" the market, the optic of screens, charts, feeds, market depth etc. A professional trader will "feel" the market. That difference, "The Edge", is determined by nurturing Emotional Intelligence 

Trader Tip #14

 Remember that at a fundamental level, to stay mentally sharp, agile minded, decisive, creative and calm under pressure your brain and cognitive function needs REST, FRESH AIR and HYDRATION . Your Alpha opportunity starts with you managing you !

Trader Tip #15

Don't think of the market as directional, think of it vibrationally. Your trading style will match certain vibrations but not others. And within the vibration understand that every upmove starts with a downmove and vice versa.

Trader Tip #16

If you are anxious, tired and fighting with decision making - Get fresh air. Avoid caffeine, in most people it increases anxiety, mood swings, self doubt, stress, switches on tunnel vision, turns off cognitive ability creating a non optimal state.

Trading Tip #17

Trading intuition requires a finely tuned body system and a positive Mindset that is paying attention with curiosity and full open awareness to an evolving market event in real time.

Trader Tip #18

Know your market !

E.g. If you are trading fixed income futures make sure you overlay key yield levels from the cash market on charts you are interpreting. They are critical in determining macro trading ranges and very often overlooked by the novice trader. 

Trader Tip #19

Be careful in having trade exposure beyond Friday lunchtime. Unnatural pressures of weekend risk protection, go home early close outs, stop seekers. etc can create unexpected movements in thin conditions that can ruin alpha (and your weekend.)

Trader Tip #20

Studies show we are mentally "here" about 50% of our waking hours as our thoughts distract us, but 70%+ presence is achievable using Mindfitness techniques. Heightened market awareness, trading edge and positive mindset lies in that 40% uplift in presence

Trader Tips are brought to you by Mark Randall: To here Mark's excellent interview on the AlphaMind podcast. Click on the advert below: 

As Mark publishes each new Trader Tip on his @themindguys Twitter page or on the AlphaMind @alphamind101 Twitter page, this will be added to this list. You can follow Mark on Twitter at this link.

Article by Mark Randall

Mark is veteran of the Financial Markets with over 30 years’ experience broking futures and options for leading firms such as Greenwich Capital and NatWest Markets.

Mark has developed cutting edge Mindfitness programmes and services based on high impact Mindfulness techniques devised and used to such powerful effect by US Military Special Forces.

Mark developed his powerful Mindfitness Programmes from his own use of mindfulness as a tool to be effective in chaotic and unpredictable market environments, enabling him to achieve such a long and successful career as a broker.

Mark delivers his programmes and workshops inside corporations, insurance firms and trading businesses, delivering mass programmes across entire businesses, and working with core groups of senior managers, including board level teams at major investment firms.
About AlphaMind

AlphaMind is a joint venture between Steven Goldstein of AlphaRCubed and Mark Randall of the Mark Randall Consultancy

AlphaRCubed offers Trading & Investing Growth Performance and Development Services for private individuals and businesses involved in trading and investing activities. Underlying their approach is the idea that Traders face a battle with the market & a battle with their self. Their coaching helps traders to win the battle with their self. You can learn more about AlphaRCubed in their electronic brochure here, or via their website.

Mark Randall Consultancy offers Mindfulness based trading and coaching to people and businesses involved in Trading & Investing and beyond in the wider corporate space. MRC's unique and powerful outcome driven approach is aligned to the US Special Forces “Ultimate Warrior” Mindfitness training programme and is applied to the corporate workspace.

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