Traders Toolbox: Forward to Gann theory

To TRULY be a success at almost any profession takes commitment — the type of commitment which comes from the heart, not the mind. Most successful people I know have a dedication towards their chosen path which was forged through hunger. Hunger for knowledge, hunger for power, hunger for wealth, and, in many instances, the hunger associated with survival. It's hard to be "rich" if you haven't been "poor"; "happy" if you haven't been "sad"; or "satisfied" if you haven't been "hungry".

I believe Gann's biggest secret consisted of hard work and common sense. Hard work follows a true commitment and a desire to learn. Common sense is sharpened by the process of learning from experience. In my opinion, THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HARD WORK AND AN OPEN MIND.

In trading commodities, a critically important early step towards success is learning about yourself and how you function. You can learn about yourself quickly in the marketplace. By far, the weakest tool in a trader's arsenal is the TRADER. In this business, it is so very true that you are your own worst enemy. It is critical to understand yourself and to bring your emotions under control.

Emotions are tamed by confidence. Confidence is gained by knowledge. Knowledge is achieved by dedication to study and willingness to learn from experience. The entire process takes persistence. Persistence is fed by desire and hunger. You stay hungry by realizing and believing there will always be more to learn Never reach the point where you consider yourself an "expert" instead of a student. Stay humble, lest the markets humble you.

Become an independent thinker. Don't concern yourself with what "they" say. Don't conform your opinions for the sake of conformity. I constantly tell myself, "don't take the advice of another unless you know they know more than you know. Dare to be a success without fearing failure.

Do not apologize for failures nor be embarrassed by them. Instead view failures as an opportunity to learn. Much more will be learned from losing trades than from winning trades. Failures are a challenge of your commitment and can make you stronger if you will meet the challenge. Failures are the fuel to keep the hunger burning.

Through the learning process, you will develop the important patience and discipline needed to become a winner. In his book, "How to make Profits in Commodities", which I highly recommend, W D Gann listed 28 rules for success in the commodity markets. The vast majority of these deal with money management and/or mental discipline. Some of the sharpest analysts I know are not successful traders because they cannot overcome their own mental weaknesses.

Success does not come easily, nor should it. I CANNOT OVER EMPHASIZE the importance of mental preparation and self-examination. As an additional aid, I suggest Rudyard Kipling' s poem If.