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The Little Book of Market Wizards: Lessons from the Greatest Traders by Jack D. Schwager

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Chapter Six

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Good Trading Should Be Effortless

In reading this chapter’s title you are probably thinking, “Wait a minute. In the last chapter you told us successful trading involves a lot of hard work. Now you are saying good trading is effortless. Make up your mind. Which is it?”

The hard work in trading comes in the preparation. The actual process of trading, however, should be effortless.

There is no contradiction. It is the difference between preparation and process. The hard work in trading comes in the preparation. The actual process of trading, however, should be effortless. I will use a running analogy. Picture someone who is completely out of shape, whose longest pedestrian excursions are from the couch to the refrigerator, trying to run one mile in 10 minutes. Now, picture a world-class runner running a marathon one mile after another, easy as can be, at a sub-5-minute per mile pace. Who is doing more hard work? Who is more successful? Well, clearly the out-of-shape runner is doing more hard work, but the world-class runner is much more successful. The world-class runner, however, didn’t get to this level of proficiency by just getting off the couch one day and going for one short run. He has been training hard for many years. So, his hard work came in the preparation. When he is performing successfully, however, the actual process of running should be effortless; ...

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