Friday, July 15, 2011

Martinez, The Forex Mindset

Jared F. Martinez’s The Forex Mindset: The Skills and Winning Attitude You Need for More Profitable Forex Trading (McGraw-Hill, 2011) is meant to be an uplifting book—part pep talk, part sermonette—that is directed at all traders. I think that Forex may be mentioned more often in the title and subtitle than in the text itself.

Much of the book is derivative, some of it is banal. We read such nostrums as “For every minute you remain angry, you give up 60 seconds of happiness.” (p. 122) Or “If we don’t stand for something, we have the potential to fall for anything.” (p. 93) Some quotations get badly mangled. For instance, C. S. Lewis wrote: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” Martinez writes (p. 168): “Humility is thinking less of yourself rather than thinking of yourself less.” I don’t think so.

In fifteen chapters Martinez tries to help the reader with such things as finding a mentor in trading and in life, understanding how your head and heart work, the importance of change, dealing with frustration and anger as you trade, learning patience and self-control to avoid temptation, listening with humility, learning to trade with confidence, and achieving excellence at trading.

Here are a couple of his recommendations.

There are eight elements of excellence “that can guide you from the dream of excellence to the actual end result of daily applied excellence. 1. Work with purpose and with passion. … 2. First identify questions, and then find answers. … 3. Be clear about your purpose. … 4. Venture from your comfort zone. … 5. Strive for perfection, but aim for excellence. … 6. Take risks, and never give up your right to be wrong. … 7. Respect yourself and each other. … 8. Search for excellence as you strive to keep perfection in perspective.” (pp. 46-48)

“The biggest temptation most traders fight is the temptation to settle for too little. Some traders succumb to the temptation of settling for too little. … Every trader must find a balance between settling for too little and wanting too much.” (p. 158)

If you’ve never encountered a self-help book before, this might be a reasonable place to start. If you want to track down proverbs that aren’t referenced as such, it might be provide a few hours of diversion. (For instance, the author writes that “A handful of patience is far more valuable than a barrel of brains.” This didn’t sound like something he dreamed up, and—indeed—it turns out to be a Dutch proverb.) But The Forex Mindset is definitely not among the most useful books on trading psychology that I’ve read.

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