Looking for some trading inspiration? Well you're in the right place. We spoke to a handful of traders to find out what quotes from trading greats inspire them in their daily battle with the markets...
Some admitted to even having these quotes framed or as posters near their trading desks to glance at for a reminder of positive principles and habits when the going gets tough.
Have we missed your most inspiring trading quote? Let us know on Twitter @_TraderLife_.
1. Jesse Livermore
It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon. I found it one of the hardest things to learn. Jesse Livermore
This quote from one of the most famous speculators of all time is a brilliant reminder that patience is a key constituent to successful trading, coupled with an ability to let your trading plans play out to avoid the natural inclination to tinker with your trades once they are set.
2. Mark Weinstein
I also don’t lose much on my trades, because I wait for the exact right moment. Most people will not wait for an environment to tip itself off. They will walk into the forest when it is still dark, while I wait until it gets light. Although the cheetah is the fastest animal in the world and can catch any animal on the plains, it will wait until it is absolutely sure it can catch its prey. It may hide in the bush for a week, waiting for just the right moment. It will wait for a baby antelope, and not just any baby antelope, preferably one that is sick or lame. Only then, when there is no chance it can lose it’s prey, does it attack. That, to me, is the epitome of professional trading. Mark Weinstein
This quote reinforces the necessity for patience in trading, remind traders to maintain the rifle shot approach to trading as opposed to the scatter gun. It reinforces the stalking nature of this business, the need to watch and wait for the premium set ups to present themselves.
3. WD Gann
Mathematical science, which is the only real science that the entire civilized world has agreed upon, furnishes unmistakable proof of history repeating itself and shows that the cycle theory, or harmonic analysis, is the only thing that we can rely upon to ascertain the future. William Delbert Gann
This gem from Gann reinforces the principle of defining and trading price patterns that repeat or at the very least rhyme. The cyclical relationship of price patterns is a core principle in many traders' trading.
4. Monroe Trout
Make sure that you have the edge. Know what your edge is and employ rigid risk control rules. Basically, when you get down to it, to make money, you need to have an edge and employ good money management. Good money management alone isn’t going to increase your edge at all. If your system isn’t any good, you’re still going to lose money, no matter how effective your money management rules are. But if you have an approach that makes money, then money management can make the difference between success and failure. Monroe Trout
This quote is a positive reinforcement of the principle of developing a trading strategy with a positive edge, and then executing the trading strategy with a tested risk and money management strategy allowing the edge to play out over time.
5. Victor Sperandeo
To be a successful trader, you have to be able to admit mistakes. People who are very bright don’t make very many mistakes. In a sense, they generally are correct. In trading, however, the person who can easily admit to being wrong is the one who walks away a winner. Besides trading, there is probably no other profession where you have to admit you’re wrong. In trading, you can’t hide your failures. Your equity provides a daily reflection of your performance. The trader who tries to blame his losses on external events will never learn from his mistakes. For a trader, rationalization is a guaranteed road to ultimate failure. Victor Sperandeo
This pearl of wisdom is a constant reminder that one of the essential aspects of excellence in trading and in life is the requirement to disengage from your ego, to admit your mistakes and correct them at the earliest opportunity. Many traders struggle with the need to be right versus profitable trading. As explained above, better to admit your mistakes and correct them at the first opportunity than to let stubbornness or ego impact your performance.
6. Alexander Elder
Markets offer unlimited opportunities for self-sabotage, as well as for self fulfillment. Acting out your internal conflicts in the marketplace is an expensive proposition. Traders who are not at peace with themselves often try to fulfill their contradictory wishes in their market. If you do not know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere you never wanted to be. You can succeed in trading only if you can handle it as a serious intellectual pursuit. Emotional trading is lethal. To help ensure success, practice defensive money management. A good trader watches his or her capital as successfully as a professional scuba-diver watches his or her air supply. Alexander Elder
This comment keeps traders focused on position sizing, stressing the importance of remaining detached psychologically and financially from the outcome of any single or series of trades, and keeping on track with your trading plan and set ups.
7. Mark Cook
Most aspiring traders underestimate the time, work, and money required to become successful. To succeed as a trader, one needs complete commitment. Just as in any entrepreneurial venture, you must have a solid business plan, adequate financing, and a willingness to work long hours. Those seeking shortcuts are doomed to failure. And even if you do everything right, you should still expect to, lose money during the first five years – losses that I view as tuition payments to be made to the school of trading. These are cold hard facts that many would-be traders prefer not to hear or believe, but ignoring them doesn’t change the reality. Mark Cook
This keeps traders focused on ‘the grind’ nature of trading. Like any endeavour, to be successful requires a tremendous amount of hard work and discipline, repeated to the point where it becomes habitual.
8. V Graifer & C Schumacher
This (Trading) is not a job where you get paid by the hour. You get paid for doing the right thing. Forget that your money is at stake. Money in trading account is just a tool for making money. Preserve your tool. You need it to make money. Don’t let the outcome of one trade alter your trading discipline. One trade doesn’t make a system… Trading is a game of probabilities. You don’t have to be right every time. You just have to follow your rules. You decide your fate; the market doesn’t.… Learn or you are bankrupt. Be aggressive in trending market and conservative in choppy market. Take home runs when you can, but don’t beat yourself up about missing a few. One trade should never make or break your account. V Graifer & C Schumacher
This quote is a fantastic reinforcement of the nature and realities of trading for a living. It highlights the necessity for patience and the absolute adherence to a rigorously tested trading plan.
9. L B Rashke
My weakness has always been being a bit premature on entering positions. I’ve learned to think to myself, “Patience, patience , patience.” I try to wait until things set up just right before I take a trade. Then, when I am ready to take the trade, I slowly count to ten before I pick up the phone. It’s better to have the wrong idea and good timing than the right idea and bad timing. L B Rashke
Patience. Patience. Patience. Nothing more to say.
10. Alexander Elder
You can be free. You can live and work anywhere in the world. You can be independent from routine and not answer to anybody. This is the life of a successful trader. Many aspire to this but few succeed. An amateur looks at a quote screen and sees millions of dollars sparkle in front of his face. He reaches for the money – and loses. He reaches again – and loses more. Traders lose because the game is hard, or out of ignorance, or lack of discipline or because of both. Alexander Elder
A second entry from this world class Russian-American trader. It's why most traders are in this business and what they truly aspire to; a life of liberty underpinned by a disciplined and patient approach to trading!