Kaizen: Japanese for continuous improvement and the change for better. This philosophy was implicated by many Japanese businesses after the Second World War. “By improving standardized activities and processes, kaizen aims to eliminate waste” by improving efficiency. To put it in short, the Kaizen philosophy believes that they key to achieving your ultimate goals is to improve little by little, rather than trying to go for the whole thing at once.
When I was first introduced to the Forex market (like many traders) I spent the majority of my time surfing the web looking for any and every bit of information I could find on trading. purchased DVD sets, hundreds of YouTube videos, read many books and articles, joined trading forums, etc. Since technical analysis was new to me, I believed every bit of information that I saw and thought that each new technique I learned was my holy grail to success. Fast forward two years and the main item that stuck with me has been a singles word; Kaizen. I’ve learned a lot throughout my first few years of trading and currently I’m at the point where I can attack the market using numerous strategies and tactics However, despite having all of the knowledge in the world the Kaizen philosophy is what allowed me to get to the position I’m at now.
It was not even two years ago when I began trading full time. A lot of hard work, disappointment, kicking, screaming, and even depression happened before that point in time, but I’ll save those stories for another time. Anyway, after an incredible education through a Pro Trader Course, I felt as if I was more than prepared to trade the markets live and begin my path to becoming a professional trader. I had a trade plan written out, completed back testing, I even a client that trusted me to trade his money. In my mind I was all set and ready to make millions. I vividly remember taking the train home from New York City (after meeting with my client) and having a quarter million dollar check in my pocket saying “this is it Akil, this is way to do it.” By “do it” I meant become a millionaire by the time I turn 30 which was one of my goals from when I was in middle school. Long story short, after having a profitable first two months of trading I ended up having a psychological meltdown which resulted in me almost blowing my full account along with over $50,000 of my clients money. After cutting ties with the client do to disparate viewpoints on trading, I took long look at myself in the mirror and told myself “something has to change.”
This change began and ended with me when I realized that if I wanted to become a successful trader, and a millionaire, it wasn’t going to happen overnight. It was going to take hard, consistent work over a period of time. This is when I first began adapting the Kaizen philosophy to my trading. I knew that I was still rather inexperienced in the field and that I was still going to make rookie trader mistakes so my goal wasn’t to become a perfect trader overnight. Rather, it was to become a little bit better each day, week and month. Just as the Kaizen philosophy says,, small, continuous improvements. In order to do this I began taking detailed notes (and pictures of the charts) every time I made a trading mistake. Whether it was something as little as trailing stops too soon or something more major like missing a trade entirely. I would force myself to remember each “dumb move” as I called it and try not to make the same mistake again. This was rough at first as I constantly made mistake after mistake after mistake, but over time I found myself making less and less. After a few months of sticking with this approach I could feel myself slowly improving and becoming a more efficient trader. Yes, I was learning more about the market and was able to understand it better strictly due to the time I spend watching it. But as I went back through my month to month results, I noticed that the amount of mistakes I was making was significantly decreasing and this had a direct affect on my winning percentage and the profit I was taking in.
Today I hold the position of Live Room Moderator with the same group that originally educated me on the market. It’s such an honor to feel that the company entrusts me with the responsibility of working with a room full of traders looking to learn or turn their trading around as well. I still don’t like to call it a success story yet because I personally feel that I am very far away from my ceiling and overall trading goals, but I do recognize that I made it over the first hurdle. Do I owe it to a magical system, a secret money management strategy, or simply being a better trader than others out there? No. I owe it to one thing, and that’s the will and desire to get better. Having the mindset that trying to become a little bit better each day in the market will eventually allow me to achieve my long term goals as a trader has helped a lot and I recommend that you give it a try whether it be in trading or another aspect of your life. I’ll end this article with a quote from the first page of my trading plan. “…I believe that people only fail because they give up before they have the chance to succeed.”