Public market investors and traders, by and large, fit a certain mold. They are:
- Optimistic, but extremely skeptical.
- Data-driven, but creative.
- Ambitious, but soberingly realistic.
And most of all, they are always looking for an edge.
More often than not, we look for edge via outside resources—better research, information, technology, etc.—but in my experience working with top Wall Streeters, the difference between the good and great is never outside of them.
The difference is inside. The difference is their mind.
More specifically, great investors and traders recognize that they have access to more or less the same outside resources. What separates them is, of course, what they do with it.
While the right outside resources are crucial to making good investment and trading decisions, the fundamental tool we rely upon is the 3 pound organ that sits between our ears. Great investors recognize the crucial importance of getting their mind right in the way that they approach each and every trading day.
This Isn’t Some “Life Hacking” Nonsense!
With the amount of “top performance” mumbo-jumbo in our world, we should all be skeptical, but with what we’re talking about, the data is clear. For example:
- When you’re fatigued from sleep deprivation, you become less averse to losses and more attuned to excitement for gain, making you statistically more likely to place a risky bet. Do you have a routine for resting and recovering your body and mind?
- When your mind is distracted by unexpected stimuli, memory formation is disrupted, leading to incomplete tasks and thoughts. Do you have a system for limiting distractions and preventing them from derailing your trading day?
- Unaddressed chronic stress and anxiety actually damages your brain, reducing your capacity for decision making, productivity, and information intake. Do you have a sure-fire strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety as they crop up?
Why do you think Ray Dalio is such a vocal proponent of transcendental meditation? Because conditioning his mind for top performance is part of what makes Ray great.
Good public market investors and traders are smart people who know how to use the information in front of them to make money.
Great investors and traders are smart people who have the systems and strategies in place to optimize their performance each and every trading day.
Let me give you one quick example of what I’m talking about.
A Top Investor’s Strategy For Instant Focus
The ability to instill a calm, laser focus whenever you need it is a massive advantage for any public market player. While many people turn to caffeine or other stimulants to “try” to create on-demand focus, there is a much more effective technique anyone can use.
The trick is to get yourself to stop thinking about distractions and instead create a calm and focused state that you drive into your day:
- Stare at a point out in front of you, ideally somewhere above eye level. Just keep staring at this point, as though you’re looking at something way in the distance.
- As you keep staring at this point, in some 30 seconds or so, you’ll notice your eyes begin to strain, and your vision starts to blur. When it does, allow your eyes to relax, your vision to soften, and just notice your vision in your peripheries.
- Now, do the same with your hearing. Stop listening to your inner voice and tune into the sounds around you. As you keep paying attention to your hearing, just notice how your breathing has changed, and become more calm.
- Now that you’re tuned into your vision and hearing, start paying attention to the feelings in the body. Begin to notice the sensations in your hands, feet, perhaps your left elbow, and other parts.
- With this calm, focused way of being, get on with your day!
This is just one of many techniques that we utilize with top performers, that you can start using right now.
But if you want to consistently optimize your performance each and every trading day, you want a systematic approach for getting into and maintaining a top state of mind.
It’s Time To Build Your System
If you want to invest and trade in the sort of deliberate, methodical way that Ray Dalio advocates or Stevie Cohen has for decades brought to his top traders, the first step is designing your daily system.
Rather than bouncing out of bed and showing up at the desk seemingly ready to play, you want the types of routines that professional athletes use to show up their best on Gameday.
They don’t leave anything to chance. From the way they prepare weeks and days ahead of a competition, to their pre-game, in-game, and post-game routines, professionals are constantly seeking better and better approaches to optimizing their day.
While the essential step to developing powerful daily routines is identifying the routines that are right for you, at BLK we’ve developed a series of daily routines for public market players that are designed to help you reach top performance on your game day.
The system we call Tradeday, which is detailed in nearly 50 pages inside this report, includes dozens of top principles and practices for investors and traders looking to show up their best and win more each and every trading day.
I’m going to be publishing a few more tools from the Tradeday System in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more.