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7 Ways Golf is like Trading

7 Ways Golf is like Trading

Written by Real Life Trader, Robert Meek

1. Have a Plan: In golf, just like trading, you must have a plan if you are going to be successful. Without a plan of attack in either you are really just setting yourself up for failure. In golf it is very important you are ready before teeing off on the first tee. You need to be prepared for the weather that day. If it's hot make sure you have sunscreen and plenty of water, if rain is in the forecast, or if it's cool enough for a jacket. Your bag should be checked for enough balls, tees, the right clubs for the course you are playing and maybe a GPS of the course, and snacks. To trade you have to have a platform to trade from that you have a basic understanding of: how to place a trade, how to exit, and the cost of the trade are just a few of things you must know. Speaking of the course, knowing the course is just as important. Things like speed of the greens and distance (this is where the GPS comes in very handy), the best angle of attack to hit your shots, and where the hazards are; these are just some things you should know. Oh, and don't forgot to check the wind: how hard and the direction it's blowing. Ready to place your trade? Check the overall market direction and maybe the sector of the stock you are looking to purchase to see the effect that could have on your stock. You'll also need to have a charting software and the ability to read it to help you understand the course the stock is taking. Some indicators on the chart help you understand the movement and even speed of the stock as it moves. As you can see, being prepared and having a plan leads to a better, more enjoyable, successful trade or round of golf.

2. Consistency is the key to winning: Trading is about sticking to your plan and doing the same thing over and over again and golf is no different. Not getting too high or too low is very important in both. Once you have figured out how things work best for your swing and putting, sticking to it and repeating it is key. When you get ready to hit the ball, having a routine and following the same routine every time helps with your consistency. Having a routine in trading helps, too. Follow the same routine every day before you start. Maybe you check the market, run a scan to find the stocks to watch for the day. In trading, finding stocks, setups, strategies that work for you and sticking to it is very important. Doing the same things that work over and over and never deviating from the plan are a must if one is to be successful at trading or golf.

3. Concentrate on the details: The details are very important in golf, maybe more so than most sports. Same thing in trading. Before you hit a shot in golf you may take a practice swing to make sure you have the swing prepared that you want to use to make that shot. Then you need to check your grip, your stance and alignment. Now take a look at your target and double check everything before finally taking that swing. When putting, focusing on your grip, alignment and speed, you are going to hit the putt, while knowing which way the ball is going to move on the green. Before you hit a shot or putt, everyone is quiet and not moving, so as not to distract you. Well, before placing a trade, make sure you are fully focused on trading and nothing else. Have a place that is as free of distractions as possible. Before you place that trade read and reread your order form to make sure you've filled it in correctly. Maybe even read it out loud to yourself and then double check before you push the 'enter' button.

4. Perfect practice to get better: Just practice by itself doesn't make one better, but perfect practice does. I can go to the range and just hit a bucket of balls with no purpose and have fun, which is OK, but not helping me to get better at golf. Same with trading. Trading stocks just to trade them, I might have fun and might make some money, or at least not lose any, but not be a better trader. To get better you have to practice with a purpose. On the range I must try to hit a shot a certain distance, or have a training aid to help my swing. I could video tape the swing and watch it back to see what I did right or wrong. It's the same thing with chipping or putting. Take a lesson to learn how to do what you want to do correctly and then practice what you learned the right way. Trading is no different. You back trade a strategy until you have it down. You trade virtually until you understand what you are doing, You take a class to teach you; heck, you might even join a Real Life Trading room and work every day with the best traders in the world to get better.

5. Keep emotions in check: You will need confidence and an inner calm to be able to execute! Getting overly excited leads to mistakes in the golf swing. Just a little mistake in a tee shot can cause a BIG difference in the flight and direction of the ball. Trying too hard when emotions get high also leads to over swinging the club and thus not getting the desired results when you hit the ball. When you do get to the green, putting is the place emotions have the biggest impact on results. You may get there with a chance to get that score you want like a birdie or even eagle and the hole starts to get even smaller. You may be at the end of the round and have a chance for that best score ever, or to win, and being able to control the emotions and hit that putt with the right speed, with the right read of the green to get to the hole takes a steady hand. While trading takes the same restraint and steadiness, you have to stay calm when you have a winner and lock in the profit; don't get greedy. Be 'okay' with a loser and don't overreact. Just set your stop and forget about it. Never get excited and chase a stock that is moving too fast. Have the same steady hand used in putting to place an order on that stock you just know is going to be 'THE ONE'. Being able to trust the analysis and the plan you have without letting your emotions get in the way is the only way to be successful in the long run with trading and golf.

6. Have the right equipment: Did you know there are such things as soft golf balls? They all look and feel the same, don't they? Well, there are many different varieties of golf balls and you need to pick the right one to go with your swing style and speed. Getting fitted for clubs just right for you and your swing improves your game as well. Now, what type of clubs to use? You have to choose the shaft of the driver and the degree of loft in the head for your woods, for the irons you choose the shaft and blade, cavity, or midsize head. Need a hybrid club in the bag? A blade putter or mallet? Don't forgot the type of grip. How about the brand? Wow, 'I just want to play golf” you may say, but the choices you make here will determine your success in the game of golf. I will say you don't have to have the best or most expensive equipment to get started or have success, and trading works the same way. To have the best chance at being successful you need the right equipment. You need a good charting software that gives you everything you need and there are numerous ones to choose from. There are more tools and indicators to help you that can be added to the charting software as well. Brokers are plentiful, too, and picking the one that fits your needs and you are comfortable with makes all the difference. Operating with the right equipment helps you reach your goals.

7. Fellowship and be a blessing: I've personally never played a solo round of golf. There is something special about being on the golf course with friends and enjoying some good fellowship. I enjoy the game of golf for sure, but a big part of the enjoyment is the people I play with. We spend 18 holes talking, praying, and encouraging each other. We have fun and of course there is good nature smack talk and competition, too. At the end of the day golf is just a game and nothing more. Blessing people around you and good friends are what really matters. Trading is much the same way for me. Just trading by yourself, even if you are successful, is not as rewarding. If you do make lots of money trading alone it's just an empty feeling if you are not blessing others life in some way with it. I believe in the proverb 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. The object is to pour into other trader's life and help in any way you can. Sharing your ideas and celebrating the winners and dancing when you lose an R just makes trading more enjoyable. Having the support of a real life family is a blessing that not all traders get to experience. The honesty, accountability, and support of a trading family makes it easier to trade and less stressful, thus more enjoyable. Hey, you can even take a cruise with other traders and have a great time together. That's what 6 of us did back in May. We hope to see you on the next one!

Have a great day!

Robert Meek