When we first started learning how to trade forex, we studied with Peter Bain and one day he said "Pilots make the best forex traders". It was just one of those little comments that stuck in our heads. Over the past decade we've met many traders who were pilots, and they indeed do seem to share many of the qualities that verify Peter's statement.
Pilots are organized and able to stick to a clear plan. They know that their ability to do so is literally a matter of life and death. And yet, they also are able to emotionally handle a great deal of risk with calm and equipoise. When you think about it, it's truly the winning combination for becoming a great forex trader.
One of our great joys in having begun this side business of selling the trading tools we use in our own forex business has been the opportunity it has given us to meet many interesting people. And now that we have this blog setup, we want to introduce you to some of them ~ our Illustrious Power Users. Kevin lives in Alberta, Canada and has not only written the following guest blog article for us, but has also taken this great photo showing his own first aviation logbook on top of own of his route maps. Kevin - we thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us and writing this up for us. And we also invite any of our Smart Tools users to tell us what your trading experience is like too.
I was an aircraft pilot for 27 years and would still be one if some health issues hadn’t forced me to retire. I flew bush, charter and corporate aircraft. Upon my forced retirement I had to look for a new career. One day I received an advertisement in the mail to learn about trading commodities, which then led me to trading forex.
Thinking back to learning to fly, I remember the tools that I used in aviation. The very first tool was the pilot’s logbook. In the logbook I would record all the flying that I had done. This included whether I was pilot-in-command or co-pilot, whether I was flying multi-engine or single engine aircraft and whether I was flying at night or on instruments. All of this was recorded along with my destination, time enroute, and notations of any of the things that were out of the ordinary.
All this required information was important because it proved that I was qualified to fly the aircraft and that I had had recent experience on the aircraft type. Some pilots were so particular about that logbook that they would write their memoirs from that book. I wasn’t that diligent. However, this logbook gave you a picture of your career as a pilot.
The second tool we were introduced to was the E6B computer. With this tool we calculated complex navigation problems, required fuel, time to destination, true airspeed and groundspeed. All the things one needed to know in order to get to your destination safely and as planned.
The third tool we used was the flight simulator, which teach us how to fly when we could not see what was coming up ahead of us. Did you know that if a pilot does not have a visual reference and cannot use the instruments properly, it will only take 120 seconds until that pilot is in a deadly spiral towards the ground. This simulator tool honed our instrument flying skills and gave us a place where we could learn and practice navigation and instrument landing procedures so that we could avoid that deadly out of control spiral.
Now I trade Forex and I still need the same tools.
I started with a notebook for a logbook. A number of them, as a matter of fact. That was fine but as I went along I would become frustrated with them because as I learned more, I needed more information. So I would rip it all out and start over and over. It was also impossible to create any sort of meaningful report. Eventually I gave up on it and just used the account history report from the broker along with a calculator that I used from time to time.
For a simulator I used MT4’s strategy tester and tried to work with its limitations, but I found I couldn’t trust the results.
I found Forex Tester, (my simulator) through an Internet search. I needed it because in trading forex I do not know what is ahead. This tool is worth every penny. I use it to develop and prove my strategies. More often, I use this tool to practice trading. Just like flying, I practice entering a trade, managing the trade as it develops, and exiting the trade. I take screenshots of entering the trade with a pending order, as it is activated, and more screenshots of the changes I make along the way, and finally what the trade looks like when I exit. This is where I really learn. Not only that but I can back up and do it over again if I want. I find it helps me develop better habits just like the flight simulator in aviation.
About 18 months ago I found FOREX SMART TOOLS. Not only that but I found two ladies who have an amazing work ethic and who are absolutely dedicated to helping their customers learn to use their tools to trade smarter. Included with these tools I found a rich library of videos and articles on trade management, psychology, resource management and help for the Smart Tools and the Forex Tester.
The Smart Tools Trade Log allows me to record my trades, the notes I make while the trade is developing and take multiple saved screenshots of those trades. It allows me to add new parameters to record as I learn more and it allows me to have multiple accounts, even demo and Forex Tester accounts too.
I have recently started to use the Smart Tools Calculator too in order to calculate the position size I should have for any given trade. The calculator can also be used for multi-leg trades or stop and reverse trades.
As I use these three tools, I learn more about them everyday. Then I seem to peel back another layer and learn some more. These tools are not perfect but they are everything I need.
Because I use these tools so much now I decided to add another monitor to my computer system. So now I have the Smart Tools Trade Log and Calculator running on the second screen. It makes it so much easier to use them and it reminds me to enter the data as it happens.
I am not a pro trader like these ladies at Forex Smart Tools - far from it - but with their help I am getting better and better. I notice that my wife has even stopped commenting about my losses!!!
There is no doubt that these tools are a sound investment in my toolbox.
Our thanks again to Kevin! And please let us know if you would like to be a guest contributor to the blogs too.