Adrienne Toghraie, Trader's Coach
Adrienne Toghraie, Trader's Coach -
Phone (919-851-8288) - Fax (804-768-6890)
Trading On Target - 12112 Hadden Hall Drive, Chesterfield VA 23838
The Right Fix

by Adrienne Toghraie
Many traders begin looking for the wrong fix when something is amiss in their trading. The result is
that they often try to fix things that are not broken while missing completely the one thing that is.

Recently, I worked with a trader who started our session by telling me all about his personal
problems with his spouse, his family, his associates, and even his pets.  One by one, we worked out
solutions for these problems.  Finally, he said, “Now, let’s talk about the problems I’m having with my
trading.”  To which I responded, “If you followed your rules, would you be making money?”  “Of
course,” was his reply.  As you can see, he was attempting to fix what was not broken.

At that point, I said,  “You know, you are anchored to a very high level of peak performance in your
trading which, in turn, is tied to your trading system.  When you are not in a state of peak
performance, your neurology will give you a message to stop trading.  However, you are the most
important part of your system.  So, if you are not working properly, it is just as though your computer,
or software, or any one of the trading tools you use is not working.  In this case, the thing that is not
working is you, not your system, which is doing just fine.  What is happening to your trading is a
result of all of the things that have pulled you down into a lower level of performance.”  

This highly experienced trader was ready to fix the wrong thing, rather than face the real problem in
his trading. But, why do so many traders want to fix their system when it is clearly the trader,
himself, who is not operating well?

Many years ago now, my very first client also began by telling me all of the things that were wrong
with him while informing me that his system was perfect although he could not follow it.  Then, in a
spectacular feat of Double Think, he proceeded to ask me, in so many words, to fix his system so
that it would make him money.

I observed in this first trader what I have seen repeated over and over again - most people are
looking for a magical, technical formula for success.  Trading appeals to several different groups of
individuals, probably the largest group is composed of people who like math, logic, and technical
things.  These traders feel very comfortable around technical things because they operate on the
basis of rules.  The idea of fixing a problem by fixing something technical is very familiar and
comfortable for them.  Although the technical fix might require a great deal of work, it is what they
understand.  What they do not understand and do not feel comfortable doing is fixing themselves
when you tell them that the problem is in their own lives.

To make matters worse, fixing things in themselves and in their lives might require these techno-
traders to make major life changes such as giving up non-supportive relationships, getting a divorce,
moving, or quitting a job.  Sometimes people are so attached to the way things are that they would
rather keep things the same and continue to fail rather than make those changes.  Keeping things
the way they are can also protect these traders from feelings of failure, inadequacy, insecurity, and
loss.  So, it becomes clear how fixing the wrong thing can look very right when so much is at stake!  
For this reason, it is important to ask yourself the next time you want to fix your trading problems by
fixing your system, how well your system would work if you could actually follow it?