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To Thine Own Self be True

Charles Kirk offers the following at (The Kirk Report):

Each of us have our own skills, strengths, weaknesses and personalities, and matching those with a strategy you can use and develop over time, is the closest key to your future success that I can help you with. Bottom line – don’t be like me or anyone else for that matter, but instead just be yourself. Use this time in your life to find ways to take full advantage of your own God-given talents and skills as you develop them. While it is ok and, in fact recommended, that you try to learn as much as you can from others (I know I have), at the same time you must also understand and come to really appreciate that the true key to success is to find your own path just like every trader and investor who you so admire right now has already done.

It is so tempting to follow. This is especially true when it comes to money. People make the assumption that a blogger, financial columnist, author, professional trader etc. knows what he/she is doing and is making piles of money from the markets. Thus, any time a trade is suggested, many copy that trade with nary a thought.

Most of the time, the recommended trade turns out to be unsuitable for the reader, and blindly following is not a smart move.

Early in my blogging career, I was stunned to discover that a reader latched onto a trade I mentioned – even when I made it clear that it was chosen at random, and only to make a point. That trader has come a long way, and is making much better trade decisions these days.

People hunger for clues on how to win at the investing/trading game. They seek pundits. They buy newsletters. They watch the talking heads on TV. All in a attempt to find winning trade suggestions from the smart money. The problem is, there is no reason to believe any of these sources represent smart money.

Even when those trade ideas are good, trade management is far more important than trade entry. One thing is certain, whoever mentioned the trade initially is not going to be available to offer guidance. The copycat trader is left to manage the trade alone, and must be able to do that skillfully – on a consistent basis.

Charles’ advice is right on. Sure you want to learn from people who offer something of value. However, the best value is some piece of information that you can use repeatedly in your trading career. It’s not a winning trade. If I had to pin it down to a single item, the one thing I hope to have my readers understand, it’s the importance of risk management.

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