9 Questions For Traders

About a week ago, I took a training (not related to trading) which was a tremendous learning experience. It was a deliberately small group of highly successful people so we could get more personalized training.

In the group were the following professionals;

1) Aerospace Engineer for Test Pilots/Mission Control (ya know ‘Houston, we have a problem‘…he is a part of that team)

2) High Profile Trial Lawyer – Billion dollar cases vs. multi-national corporations, music artists, murderers, you know…the easy stuff

3) Three gun national champion (pistol, shotgun and rifle) – working towards a world championship.

4) And me – y’all know my story.

All of us were there for one reason; to either go from good to great, or great to dominant. Ironically, we all had the same Achilles heel. Keep in mind we all came from different backgrounds, fields, training, etc. Yet, we all were standing in front of the same mountain.

mountain to climb forex trading chris capre 2ndskiesforex
This training sparked all kinds of things in me about trading, my students, and how to increase both trading performance and one’s learning curve.

I’m already building this material for students, but wanted to ask a series of questions which I think would be highly revealing as to where you are in your trading process, and how you could increase your learning curve in trading.

Here are the questions below. Read them all, think about the answer, and then share your answers in a format of 1: answer, 2: answer, 3: answer…

You get zero benefit for not participating, yet there is only upside for answering these questions, so the best R:R trade you can embark upon.


Question #1: For each trade, I either win or ______________________?

Question #2: I control _________ % of what I think about during each trade?

Question #3: I have a daily, weekly or monthly goal in terms of how much profit I make (yes/no)? Which one?

Question #4: I train to _____________________?

Question #5: How much of the time am I thinking about the outcome (profit/result – win/loss) of my trades in % terms?

Question #6: How do I label each trade, such as a win, loss and break-even trade? Use the same language that pops in your mind when experiencing a win, a loss, and a break-even trade.

Question #7: For every 10 trades I take, how many do I go back and forth on my decision?

Question #8: I have a goal in trading which is related to making x% or x$ in profit (yes/no)?

Questions #9: The most harmful thing for my trading is _____________________?

If the questions have provoked something on the inside, how you look at yourself and trading, then that is a really good thing. If it provoked no reaction in you at all, then either a) you’ve mastered trading, b) you have to develop your level of self-reflective awareness, or c) you are not engaging the markets enough.

But I look forward to seeing your answers as they will reveal a ton of information about your trading mindset, your psychology of money, and how you relate to your learning process in trading.

Looking forward to your responses.

Buddhist, Trader and Philanthropist

I'm Chris Capre, Founder of 2ndSkiesForex. I help traders of all levels change the way they think, trade and perform. As a professional trader, I specialize in trading price action. As a teacher, my passion lies in showing you how to re-wire your brain for successful trading. Want to improve your edge right now? Visit my Price Action Course page.

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  • Boris

    Let’s start things off.
    1) Or I learn a lesson
    2) 100 percent
    3) None. I trade the best that I can each trade and let the gain/loss take care of itself.
    4) Achieve mastery.
    5) 70 percent
    6) Win? Great, move on. Loss? Can I learn something from it? Breakeven? Market is currently not agreeing with me.
    7) 3-4
    8) No.
    9) “Bad trader side”. (Lack discipline, not following system etc). My alter ego. Haha. It surfaces from time to time.

  • Santosh Kanekar

    1. learn 2. 10% 3 . yes monthly 4. reach my goal 5. 50% 6. profit, loss, loss (BEV is loss post brokerage and taxes) 7. 8 out of 10 8. 20% 9. i) not being present and ii) doubts about myself and my trading. Looking forward to hear the next part of this article. It provoked a lot of thinking to me esp around time to control and back & forth Q. Thanks Chris.

  • Steve C.

    Hello Chris,

    1. Lose and think about what I did wrong.

    2. This is a good one. Honestly maybe 40% after entry, emotions drive the bus.

    3. No

    4. I train to develop good trading habits.

    5. Most of the time say 75%

    6. Win – good job a pat on the back I knew it. I go over all the reasons the trade worked very positive thoughts.

    Loss – W.T.F just happened? I thought I was spot on in my analysis. I just don’t get it.

    Break even – Okay cool no damage done I feel relief it didn’t turn into a loss.

    7. If I don’t walk away from the computer 8/10 times. If I walk away maybe 3/10 times.

    8. yes

    9. How I think of myself after losing a trade. Confidence and self-esteem take a hit.

  • Lio

    3.yes – daily 0.5%, monthly 10%
    4. succeed
    5. 100%
    6. win, stopped, not triggred, be
    7. don’t know
    8. yes
    9. fear-greed / mental

  • 1. lose! Though, I prefer to study my winners more than my losers.
    2. 100%
    3. No, I dont like quotas or having extra pressure.

    4. be better, get better…a little bit at a time.
    5. think/ponder frequently throughout the day. I love the weekends for free time, but cant wait for the work week to start as the markets are open.
    6. Dont understand the question.

    7. Never really noticed. If I have to try really hard to figure my approach/see conditions, I don’t bother. I prefer relatively simple approaches/setups.
    8. No expectations. I focus on simply making wins big big big…and keeping my losses small small small. I guess I try to take what the market is giving, or likely to give.
    9. giving up…having no faith; despair. I suppose this is my greatest fear in anything.

  • Sean

    2. 100%
    3. Yes
    4. Improve
    5. 100%
    6. Profit – try maintain a neutral emotional state but usually happy trade worked out
    Loss – not too fazed mostly unless i deviated from my trade plan or did something daft like chase an entry (doesnt happen too often anymore) – disappointed if the setup was good but stop was hit and market then moves in direction of original trade due to a bad entry or just bad luck
    Breakeven – relief mostly as i only aim for breakeven if the technical reason for my entry is no longer valid
    7. Not often
    8. Yes in terms of monthly daily goals, but these aren’t hard targets, merely an ideal – you cant take any more than the markets are willing to give (or any more than your current skillset allows you to see)
    9. Indiscipline

  • Haig Gocherian

    1. Lose
    2. 75%
    3. Yes, a weekly goal
    4. To be a winner
    5. None….take it as it comes, as long as S/L and Position Sizes are OK
    6. I’ll label them in my trading journal, as realistically as possible, as it happened.
    7. No, when a proper decision was taken for a trade, that would be the last thought.
    8. No, just be a winner and stay out of trouble.
    9. Have a doubtful and blurred mind. If can’t decide, stay out.

  • Sanjeevbhadresa

    1. Lose & learn
    2. 100%
    3. Yes – weekly 1% and monthly 5%
    4. Improve
    5. 50%
    6. Win – sense of satisfaction trade worked out, BE – neutral. Loss – acceptance that I’m not going to win every trade, see if there is anything I can learn from it and move on.
    7. 0
    8. yes, based on weekly and monthly goals.
    9. sometimes not learning from my mistakes the first time!

  • Hi Chris and thanks for the exercise;

    1. win (positive system expectancy)
    2. 0% (system does the thinking)
    3. No (can only take what the market is prepared to offer)
    4. perform
    5. 100% (shouldn’t, but can’t help it)
    6. Money, Hunger, Unsatisfied
    7. none
    8. No
    9. me

  • haji warithu

    1. Lose
    3.use to be but not anymore because it lead me to be destructive at some piont.
    4. To be skillfull and confidence.
    5. 70% of the time
    6. Win = happy lose =angry breakeven = little happy but neutral.
    7. Once a twice
    8. Yes 150% per year but now not anymore.
    9.self sabotage.

    That was interesting.

  • red bull

    1.loose and learn something from it; 2. 15%, i admit i have laack of discipline; 3. weekly; 4. understand market behaviour to find reliable patterns-the biggest matter is to understand when market conditions has changed; 5.always; 6.i feel in my belly when the trade will be good, while everytime i fell bad it often means i made a bad decision; i feel disappointed when i loose and i feel concerned when i close at be: something did not work in the right way; 7.never; 8.i think always in terms of percentile; 9. my own built tool

  • red bull

    sorry, errata corrige for point 9: always too much informations

  • IvanFX

    1 – Learn (note I learn when I know I have committed mistakes, if not, is “win” as I know I have applied my edge and trade just didn’t work…) so the answer would be “Win or Learn” or “Win or Win.”
    2 -110%
    3- No, I just make myself available to the markets, and I collect pips if opportunity available. . Setting % monthly/Weekly/daily may create unnecessary stress on me
    4 – Develop myself/personal development – one either goes downhill, gets stuck where it is, which leads to eventually go downhill, or makes sure there is always constant progress.
    5 – Still struggling in this area, a weakness I am correcting nonetheless. I am working on developing my mental capacity further each day. I apply the philosophy that success largely depends on how much uncertainty I can handle as well as adopt the fear of missing trades while I work on the realization that a trade means nothing in the big scheme of things. To address the problem, I have set new screen paper wall with Chris equity curve over years.
    6 – I laber them based on the RR outcome
    7- Ive learned this quote word by word, so answer is 0%… “Once I am in a position, the market will do whatever it wants to do, and I no longer have control over anything except my exits” Van Tharp.
    8 – No
    9 – I do have goals, but they do not relate to specific numbers/%…
    Monthly – To follow my trading plan without reservation. Minimize my mistakes to the bare minimum while perfecting “the process.”
    • Yearly – To continue learning through my day-to-day activities of being in the market. Consistency on my trading and mindset. To see a steady rising equity curve (no number attached)
    • Long Term (3/5y+) – To become an independent trader.

  • shahabbakk

    1.Acquire knowledge
    2. Depends on how I feel at that moment
    3. No
    4. Kill the market
    6. On to the next one, F me, waist of time..
    7.Depends if the first trades were profitable or not.
    8. No
    9. Me

  • grif

    1. Learn
    2. I have the option to control 100% of what I think –
    3. my goal is the process not the pips
    4. learn the process, try it, learn some more, adjust, repeat until mastery
    5. 50%
    6. Win = awesome. Loss – what can i learn? Break even – what can I learn?
    7. 50%?
    8. No
    9. A negative mindset about, the market, money, myself

  • Jian-Onn

    1: For each trade, I either win or lose
    2: I control 60% of what I think about during each trade
    3: No
    4: I train to improve my trading skill and mindset.
    5: 60%
    6: Win-happy and move on to the next one, loss- review the trade and move on to the next one, break-even–just move one to the next trade.
    7: 5/10
    8: no
    9: The most harmful thing for my trading is fear

  • artur

    I don’t, or not yet
    be financially independent in doing what I really enjoy doing and not having to do a job that I hate and working just for the sake of getting money
    too much. Am still worrying to much about loosing a trade
    win – great, it actually worked, I’ve learned something
    loose – what did I do wrong? what could I’ve done better? what can I learn out of this?
    break-even – is there something I could have done better?
    at the moment I’d say almost every trade
    goal – yes, making xy $ or % profit – no.
    becoming consistent in my trading and profitable on a long term base
    my emotions, especially the fear of loosing and my willingness of taking too high risks

  • degrafie

    1. lose
    2. 50%
    3. Yes (weekly and monthly)
    4. improve
    5. 65%
    6. Yes!!, crap. (Don’t have break even)
    7. 1 or 2
    8. Yes
    9. Me

  • Florin

    1. get experience
    2. 70%
    3. monthly
    4. bring out the best in me
    5. 100%
    6. win: great trade; loss: what was my mistake in this bad trade?; break-even: I consider a win trade because I learned a lesson anyway
    7. 0, when in doubt I stay out
    8. yes
    9. fear of losing, not pulling the trigger

  • Rangel

    1. Lose, break even
    2. 70%
    3. No
    4. succeed
    6. Win – good trade and a loss – bad trade. I noticed this in the comments of my journal
    7. 2
    8. No
    9. trading counter trend

  • Carlos G. Weins

    Some of these question seem a bit unclear to me nevertheless I will make my best effort to answer them.
    1. wining trades, loosing trades and break even trades. I make an effort to make the trade outcome a learning experience.
    2. It is really difficult for me to quantify the % of what I think about each trade. I make effort to isolate myself and concentrate only on the task in front of me, trading.
    3. Presently I only have a monthly goal.
    4. I train because I love it and my goal is to be a great trader.
    5 Don’t know how much I think about the outcome of a trade, probably more than what I should nevertheless I believe that every trade I take has the potential to be a winning trade.
    6. Don’t label them perhaps I should but I have endless notes in my journal depicting each trading decision as best I as I can.
    7. All of them, my number of monthly trades at best is 8, sometimes less.
    8 Yes
    9. The most harmful aspect of my trading is the most challenging, to concentrate. The lack of it leads me to distrust my trading plan and strategies.

  • Farhad

    Question #1: Loss
    Question #2: 0%
    Question #3: NO
    Question #4:Develop skill
    Question #5: 70% to 80%
    Question #6: For every loss i think, I have violated the plan and i was excited take the trade
    Question #7: None
    Question #8:yes
    Questions #9: not disciplined

  • ApexPredator

    1. Learn

    2. Virtually 80% I think.. The other 20% is impulsive brain waves telling me to interfere.

    3. No. Why would you? Is it fear? I understand institutions doing it to protect clients money.. But for me? I dont think it appeals..

    4. To be better than my fellow market participants.. Aim high and fail, instead of aiming low and achieving. If you’re achieving your goals.. You’re not aiming high enough!

    5. Difficult to say, I have long term positions I dont think about, but the intraday positions – most of the time.

    6. Win – Yes! (Im the boss!) Lose – Yes! (A learning opportunity!) BE – Yes! (I avoided a loss!) 😀

    7. MAX 2/10 – Thats the worst case..

    8. No. Although once Im trading for a living, I would defo have a minimum target – So I can pay bills etc..

    9. Justin Bieber. 😉

  • Paul

    Question #1: Learn
    Question #2: 100%
    Question #3: Yes, Monthly
    Question #4: Learn
    Question #5: 20%
    Question #6: Win, got it – Break Even, still got it – Loss, What did I do wrong (review), did I follow my own rules?
    Question #7: Rarely, I must see it through, but I try to cut loose early if I am obviously wrong-side.
    Question #8: Yes.
    Questions #9: Patience and greed 🙂

  • Braam de Villiers

    Question #1: learn
    Question #2: 100 %
    Question #3: Yes. Monthly
    Question #4: Improve
    Question #5: 0%
    Question #6: win = win; loss = loss; break-even trade =win
    Question #7: None
    Question #8: Yes
    Questions #9: Doubt

  • Dave

    Hello Chris

    1 lose but stick to plan
    2 90%
    3 no still tuning in
    4 get better and better
    5 70%
    6 win happy,loss bit attached how can I improve my trade and did I stick to my trading plan
    7 all
    8 no
    9 missing great oppotunitys ,not pulling the trigger

  • Question #1: For each trade, I either win or ———– take a loss and go over reasons for that loss whether I could have done anything differently and the same with the wins.
    Question #2: I control _____100 % of what I think about during each trade, but the little gremlin on the shoulder gets to me at times?
    Question #3: I have a daily, weekly or monthly goal in terms of how much profit I make (yes/no)? Which one? ——-No– I have a goal to win more trades than I lose, the rest will take care of itself
    Question #4: I train to ____ improve my understanding of the market to enable me to make better trading decisions. become more consistent and disciplined
    Question #5: How much of the time am I thinking about the outcome (profit/result – win/loss) of my trades in % terms?——- 50% I try to let trades pan out for themselves and spend time studying and looking for other setups.
    Question #6: How do I label each trade, such as a win, loss and break-even trade? Use the same language that pops in your mind when experiencing a win, a loss, and a break-even trade.——– Win I got it right, Loss I was probably too impulsive, or if happy with my take on it move on to next trade. BE , I take that as a win free trade just didn’t make it or lose it
    Question #7: For every 10 trades I take, how many do I go back and forth on my decision——- probably 8 out of 10, lack of confidence in my ability to read the market
    Question #8: I have a goal in trading which is related to making x% or x$ in profit (yes/no) ——– yes and no –to be consistent enough to achieve the mindset of a successful trader, where I can accept a loss equally as well as a win, with little emotion, The % $ will follow
    Questions #9: The most harmful thing for my trading is ——- fear of losing, not being consistent and pulling the trigger ever trade setup,, usually taking the losers and leaving the winners. My head gets in the way.

  • Basil

    Hi Chris

    1: lose
    2: 0% control of my thoughts / 95% control of my mindset (how I think)
    3: no specific target in terms of profit
    4: develop and improve my skills
    5: less than 5%, most of it before pulling the trigger
    6: positive result (win) and negative result (loss or BE)
    7: I don’t go back on my decision once I’m in a trade (unless new infos come in) but I hesitate pulling the trigger every 2 or 3 trades out of 10, to some extent
    8: yes! definitely, in terms of MM
    9: laziness

  • paul

    Re: 9 Questions For Traders

    Postby fxpaul » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:43 am
    1. lose
    2.) 100%
    3.) no goal yet but to be consistently profitable weekly
    4.) I train to master trading
    5.) 10% of the time i think about outcome
    6.) no emotions on win, on a loss i think about the possibility that i miscalculated, breakeven trade is no emotion
    7.) 1/10 trades I really have to debate in my head whether or not i take the trade. but overall my criteria is has become so strict that either it’s an obvious trade or its not
    8.) no profit goal
    9,) most harmful thing in my trading is having to manage my side business while trading, because at times i have to be away from the computer. another harmful thing is that my side business causes me to be a bit tired and makes getting up at london and staying up to be a real chore! it also makes analysis to be more difficult I have criteria in my trading in that if i’m too tired i dont trade which is my fail safe

    thanks again chris for being awesome and caring enough to share with us your wisdom, and being with us answering our questions and commenting on our trades, etc.

  • JH

    So lets be HONEST here:

    Question #1: For each trade, I either win or crash and burn
    Question #2: I control 5 % of what I think about during each trade
    Question #3: I have a daily, weekly or monthly goal in terms of how much profit I make (yes/no)? Which one? no
    Question #4: I train to learn following rules (didn’t really get this question)
    Question #5: How much of the time am I thinking about the outcome (profit/result – win/loss) of my trades in % terms? 98%
    Question #6: How do I label each trade, such as a win, loss and break-even trade? Use the same language that pops in your mind when experiencing a win, a loss, and a break-even trade. “Great”, “Aww effing hell, not again. what’s it this time? Are you kidding me? This s**t can’t be true. Has some stupid a** been talking about the stupid Euro again, like five minutes after I got into the effing trade? Will you stupid id**ts update that twitter tweet already!”, “at least I didn’t lose it all. again.” (sad, but true)
    Question #7: For every 10 trades I take, how many do I go back and forth on my decision? 11
    Question #8: I have a goal in trading which is related to making x% or x$ in profit (yes/no)? yes
    Questions #9: The most harmful thing for my trading is my impatience, which is dwarfed by my lack of discipline and my disgust at losing a single cent

    Hm. I see a pattern here.

    • @JH (in Germany 😉

      Some honesty indeed. I appreciate your openness.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • 1: I don’t win
    2: 50%
    3: Yes (Monthly)
    4: Learn
    5: 20%
    6: Win = Good discipline, executed properly. Loss = What can I learn? B.E. = What can I learn to lock in some profit next time
    7: 1
    8: Yes- only because I started in the hole before coming to 2ndSkies- so I’m trying to make that money back which I lost.
    9: Over thinking and overcomplicating things

  • Isaac

    I hope you had a great experience at your training and that you learnt something that stuck with you.

    Here are my responses:
    1) Lose 1-2%
    2) 95%
    3) Yes, weekly.
    4) Be the best so I can bless others.
    5) 50%
    6) Win = Awesome! Can I improve on my entry/exit? Lose = Learn from it and don’t do it again! Break even = Good try, learn from my mistake and make profit on the next trade.
    7) 2/10
    8) Yes.
    9) Not sticking to the rules.

  • Bob

    1- Learn
    6-Win Great. Was it a fluke or due to good analysis
    Loss what could I change, Did I make a mistake?
    BE. Better that a loss
    9- over trading

  • kabalpathi

    2.Half %
    3.Nothing so far .I am studying PA .I take trades when I see a setup.
    4.Be a winner
    5.Before each trade
    6.Win or Loss only.
    9.Trading without knowing PA.

  • David

    Question #1: For each trade, I either win or invest in my learning 🙂

    Question #2: I control 30% of what I think about during each trade?

    Question #3: I have a daily, weekly or monthly goal in terms of how much profit I make (yes/no)? Which one? NO! My goal is to have unlimited profit potential consistenly!

    Question #4: I train to improve my trading knowledge and improve my ability to profit from it.

    Question #5: How much of the time am I thinking about the outcome (profit/result – win/loss) of my trades in % terms? For now 40% Hopefully it will be lower in the near future when I am more confident trading thanks to your videos Chris!

    Question #6: How do I label each trade, such as a win, loss and break-even trade? Use the same language that pops in your mind when experiencing a win, a loss, and a break-even trade.
    Win: A nice trade
    Loss: A bad trade/a learning opportunity/why didn’t I see that?/that’ll teach you for ignoring fundamentals,
    BE: a learning opportunity / waste of my time /I should have took profit

    Question #7: For every 10 trades I take, how many do I go back and forth on my decision? I’d say 9 out of 10 if not 10 for now, however watching your videos Chris, I have stopped trading and will soon become more disciplined than ever!

    Question #8: I have a goal in trading which is related to making x% or x$ in profit (yes/no)? No my goal in trading is to learn how to trade profitably & consistenly, as well as to gather trading experience that I hope one day I will be able to pass on to my friends/relatives.

    Questions #9: The most harmful thing for my trading is myself of course! It’s all about having the right mindset and the way you look at things.

  • Sally

    Hi Chris, great questions!

    1) learned from mistakes; exit to early; lose
    2) 100%
    3) yes, all 3
    4) reduce risk, expand knowledge, improve, master trading
    5) 80%
    6) win/loss
    7) 5
    8) yes
    9) me

  • Shaishen

    1) fight my monkey
    2) 100% I think but it could be a perception
    3) Weekly
    4) prove that it can be done
    5) I don’t market decides for me
    6) Win: can’t deny it is mood lifting. Loss: part of the expenses BE: let’s try again
    7) none, once in a trade there is nothing I can do but manage risk
    8) Yes, besides making a “good trade” in the end it’s about the bottom line
    9) Trigger happy