Trading: It's the Process, Stupid.

In an article called ‘Ordinary People Focus on the Outcome. Extraordinary People Focus on the Process.’ the story is told of actor Bryan Cranston of 'Breaking Bad' fame. 

The article talks about the lessons he learned that helped him go from being an average actor to becoming an extraordinary one.

Cranston wrote how he was inspired by a mentor to focus on 'the process' rather than trying to win auditions. Until then his emphasis was purely on winning, and at this point he was winning mostly small bit-part roles.

The mindset shift which resulted in a 'process orientation' was subtle. 
He started focusing on what he needed to do to win, rather than focusing on winning itself. 

This shift led to Cranston starting to land bigger roles, and eventually the career defining roles which has made him one of the world’s most sought-after actors.

Trading - Extraordinary Performance comes from a ‘Process Focus’, not a ‘Results Focus’. 


As a coach I work with many traders. Occasionally I come across someone I categorise as truly exceptional. One such trader is an individual in a fund who I have worked with for a couple of years now.

This individual is completely 'process focused'. He is not driven by winning or by his results, but by developing, refining and sharpening his process.

Winning is important to him, but not nearly as important as doing the things that enable him to win. 


He does not consider a loss as a failure if the process was right. For him, failure is defined by whether he considers his process was good and whether he stayed true to his principles. 

Likewise, he does not view winning necessarily as a sign of success unless it was true to his process. 
He checks all his wins to ensure he was on process. 

This is a defining characteristic of the process focused.

By contrast, the 'results focused' define success by the outcome. 
The danger of this is that in a world where the outcome owes a lot to luck and randomness, traders can end up relying on flawed processes. 

Experienced Traders Know This, New Traders Need to Learn This.

This week, myself and co-host Mark Randall, interviewed two outstanding traders for our podcast series, the AlphaMind podcast. 

The guests were Mark Hutchinson, an outstanding young trader with 10 years behind him, who has set-up a very impressive trader mentoring business called 'FalconFX'. 

The other interview guest was Garth Friesen. Friesen is CEO and a portfolio manager at $6billion hedge fund, III Capital Management. 

Friesen was also part of the Fed Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets. This group included the likes of David Tepper, Mohammad El-Erian, Louis Bacon, Alan Howard and other luminaries from the top table of the world’s financial markets.

Both Mark and Garth referred to the importance of learning and developing process and having a process focus. They referred in particular to the crucial ‘early years’.

The message was that in the early years too many traders are concerned to make money, rather than learning and developing their abilities. 

Like all skills, trading takes years to learn and develop to a high degree of capability. Naturally, everyone wants to make money, and usually quickly, but trading is a skill which needs to be learned and cultivated over time. 

If we compare it to sport suhc as tennis, One would not expect to start playing tennis today, and then appear at Wimbledon tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year. Yet for some reason, people think this doesn’t apply to them and trading. That may seem far-fetched as an analogy. It is not.

In trading, you do not know who you are up against. When you step into the market whether its day 1 or day 10,001, you are potentially up against anyone and everyone. And that includes the very best. The is no other field of performance where that happens.

The interviews with the two guests will be released in a few weeks’ time, I'd highly recommend subscribing now, as the quality, insights and perspectives on the Mindset aspects of trading were exceptional. You can subscribe at iT
unes by clicking on the advert below. 

Process, Process, Process. - It's the process stupid.

Many of the most successful traders around, owe their success to this 'process orientation'. 


If the process is right, then good outcomes should follow eventually. If the process is not right, then you are relying to a high degree on luck.

It's the process stupid.



Article by Steven Goldstein 

Steven Goldstein is a Performance, Team and Executive Coach who focuses on Risk and Financial Markets people and businesses.

Core to Steven's work is the belief that everyone has the potential, often latent or hidden within them, to surpass where they are now and to grow into what they want to be. His work as a coach helps people to rediscover that potential, to recognise it, to value it, and to leverage it to be better, happier, and more productive.

Prior to becoming a coach Steven worked for more than 20 years as a Rates and FX trader at some of the world’s leading investment banks. See Steven's Full Profile.

If you are curious about how Steven could help you or your business, please email him at info@alpharcubed.com. or call +44 (0)7753 446097. To know more about the work of AlphaRCubed and their broader performance and growth development services, please view their brochure at this link. .

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About AlphaMind

AlphaMind is a joint venture between AlphaRCubed and the Mark Randall Consultancy which seeks to help people develop and cultivate optimum mindsets (An Alpha Mindset) for trading and investing success. We offer workshops, group development programmes, and one-to-one coaching to people and individuals in Financial & Commodity Markets

AlphaRCubed offers Trading & Investing Growth Performance and Development Services for private indivudals and businesses involved in trading and investing activities. You can learn more about AlphaRCubed in their electronic brochure here, or via their website. The

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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