Profitable ETF Trading Strategies: become more professional in your trading
James Q. Wilson is a UCLA sociologist who has written extensively about bureaucracy and professionalism. He said professionals receive important rewards from members of their group, that their group has special membership criteria usually related to formal education and the group defined code of conduct, and that they learn things in ways that are different from most of the population.
This raises the question about whether or not an individual trader can be professional in the performance of their trading practice without being a member of a professional group.
It seems clear to me that an individual trader does not meet the formal definition of being a professional, but I believe that the qualities of professionalism can be adapted and used in your trading practice. I think you would get a lot of benefit from this effort for the following reasons:
We can identify the qualities of professional behavior and hold ourselves to that standard without being a formal member of a professional group.
These qualities have to do with a code of conduct, ways of knowing and learning about the professional domain and bringing the qualities of preparation, self-discipline, attention to detail, rigorous thinking, and a commitment to excellence that will clearly add value to our practice.
One of the members of our trading mastermind observed that professionals identify a baseline of minimum acceptable performance that is not negotiable. As an example, we may experience a string of five losses in a row in a trading system that is designed and tested and reliable at .55 win rate.
The minimum acceptable professional behavior is that we have thoroughly tested and prototyped the system, we understand the reliability and expected distribution of results, and we are trading it at an appropriate level of risk given the known performance parameters. Without these baseline behaviors being performed without exception, then we are just yet shooting like amateurs and not behaving in a professional manner.
Because trading can be such a lonely job, having a traders mastermind to help reinforce professional behavior is a major advantage. This is why I strongly recommend a traders mastermind for every trader regardless of experience level. The positive reinforcement of effective group norms will help you in your darkest hour and keep you humble on what you think is your best day.