August 10


From Losing Trader To Superhero By Doing This One Thing!

By Jeff Swanson

August 10, 2020

getting started, Jeff Swanson, Learn EasyLanguage

Do you have a trading super power? 

I do.

It's knowing EasyLanguage! Yep, that's my trading super power and I'm going to explain why. I'm also going to try to convince you that you should learn EasyLanguage as well.

This is a part one of a 3-part series on why I think you need to learn EasyLanguage. At the conclusion of these articles my goal is to convince you that EasyLanguage is critical to your success as an algorithmic trader. I’m also going to give you some solid advice on how I learned to code in EasyLanguage so you can learn it too.

So, let's get started.

A Failing Discretionary Trader

There was a time when I wasn't making any money trading, and I was feeling like a complete failure. This is a feeling that most traders have had when we first started out on our trading journey.

For me that was back in 2006 when I wanted to be a day trader. I needed money to fund my trading account. So what did I do? I made a really *smart* move and borrowed $20,000 on credit cards (cash advance). Those were the days when you could bounce credit card balances around between different cards at 0% interest.

I opened my trading account and started trading!

I had no idea what I was doing, particularly looking back, but I figured out how hard it can be, right? You buy low, sell high, pretty simple. Within a few weeks, I made an excellent breakout trade on a stock. I generated around $1,400 within an hour or two. I was absolutely hooked.

With victory fresh in my mind, I felt awesome, and thought, trading is what I should be focusing on. But of course, right after that, I was struggling to discover a consistent trading setup. I read every book I could, read blogs, and even magazines on the topic. This went on for months and months.

I saw thousands and thousands of dollars drain from my trading account during that first year. Naturally, I was getting more and more frustrated and depressed as this happened. How do I explain this to my wife? How do I pay this money back?

I saw thousands and thousands of dollars drain from my trading account during that first year. Naturally, I was getting more and more frustrated and depressed as this happened. How do I explain this to my wife? How do I pay this money back?

By the end of my first year, it was apparent that I was a losing trader. 50% of my capital was gone. I attributed not wholly blowing up my account to risk management. I was naturally risk-averse so I stuck to my stops most of the time, and that's what saved me from completely annihilating my account.

But I pushed forward with trying to learn how to trade.

Yet, each month was a defeat as I saw more money drain from my account. It was disheartening. The year was coming to a close, and all those hours reading, studying, and sitting in front of a computer screen was costing me money and lots of it. The harsh reality of learning to trade was sinking in.

Then I tried understanding trading psychology and becoming more disciplined in my approach. Now, this did work a little bit. Once you understand psychology and try to work at that, you can start to make changes. I did start seeing some improvements.

Bringing discipline to my trade setups and researching some ideas with a little more rigor, I was able to make some money. But the market was not done toying with me. I would maybe be consistent for a week or two and build up a nice little chunk of money. I began to feel hope again. Then my good luck would turn as I made dumb mistakes, and the money would disappear quicker than it appeared. I would lose weeks of profit in a single day. It was totally frustrating, and I would get angry. 

For example, I deviated from my plan by taking trades that were not part of my trading plan. I would also avoid trades that I should have executed. Sometimes losing trades would so enrage me that I would open "revenge" trades to earn back the money I lost. It rarely worked, and I dug myself deeper. Another losing day. Another losing week. Another losing month. I was getting absolutely eaten alive by trading discretionary. I was doing absolutely everything wrong. Those times were miserable.


Other times I was full of fear. I may have experienced a series of losing trades, then upon my next trade setup, I would not take the trade. I was paralyzed with fear! I was too afraid of losing more money to open a new trade. Often the market would move in my favor, and I would feel like a complete idiot. I would ask myself, why can't you follow a simple trading plan? How dumb are you?!

In short, my psychological issues were getting in the way. I could not pull the trigger when paralyzed with fear of losing more money, and I could not follow a trading plan 100%. Instead, I would exit early, I'd skip trades or make other mistakes that cost me dearly. Furthermore, there was no testing to demonstrate if a trading idea would work. How crazy is that to think about? I found an idea on the web or in a magazine, and I just traded it.

My trading was not rooted in cold, hard facts. 

So, not only was I the weakest link in my trading plan, I'm basing my trading decisions on emotion or on a belief on what I think might work. There were no cold, hard facts backing up my trade setups. My trading was faith-based. I believed a particular setup would work. I thought I could make money. What other industry do you go in with this mindset? If you want to become a doctor, do you simply read a few books and jump in?

It's crazy, right? But that's what I was doing.

I knew something had to change.

The Ah-Ha Moment! Computers & EasyLanguage

I tried leveraging the power of computers to build automated trading systems because a computer is going to execute the plan, right? Just had four losing trades in a row, the computer is going to execute the next trade. No emotion. Just correct execution. It's not going to move the stop. It's not going to exit early. It's not going to miss trades.


So, the light bulb went on, and things started to change.

After I stopped my discretionary trading experiments, that's when my account started to grow. Now, obviously, it didn't start right away.

There's a learning curve in there, but I put that as the pivotal time when my account started to grow, and things completely changed. So the missing piece was fully embracing automated and quantitative trading.

Again, the critical point was I'm the weakest link in reaching my trading success. To fix this, trading could be automated by a computer, which allows for near-perfect trade execution.

EasyLanguage Allows You To Test Ideas To See What Works

Beyond perfect trade execution, learning code allows you to test ideas and see what works and what doesn't. You're actually able to test ideas to see if they work or not. This can save a massive amount of time, money, and frustration. Learning how to code allows you to cut through the noise and trade effectively with confidence. So evidence-based trading provides a powerful edge, and that's the main thrust here.


Learning a language, such as EasyLanguage, is evidence-based trading that provides a powerful edge. Most retail traders aren't doing this. I guarantee that most people are not very skilled in EasyLanguage or other computer languages, and are really taking advantage of this. This is a potent edge. In fact, I think it's almost necessary for you to succeed.

Why So Many Traders Fail

Why do most traders fail? Well, as I discovered most trade on emotion without any empirical evidence to back up their trade setups. Another problem is unrealistic expectations. New traders think trading is easy, and they think it's a get-rich-quick game. Outside of a few lucky or extremely talented people, this is not true at all. Expectations are a huge component of why new traders think trading is easy, and they fund their first account with the hopes of getting rich quick.

Here is another reason why so many fail.

When you attempt to make money trading, you're competing against the very best in the world. Think about all the well-capitalized institutions, equipped with the best hardware, and populated with the best minds money can buy. This field is filled with very competitive individuals that are aggressively attacking this problem, and you're going to go up against them. 

Most fail because they rely on emotions and hope to make trading decisions instead of quantifiable evidence. Most fail because they don't realize that while trading is simple in concept (buy low, sell high), the psychological impediments actually make it difficult. Mix these factors in with the fact that you're competing with the very best in the world, and you can see why most traders are doomed to fail right from the start.

How to overcome these problems?

How To Win At Trading

I think you need to leverage the power of computers and become a trading scientist. What does that mean? A trading scientist is a skeptical person who just does not believe in a trade setup or merely accepts a trading truth. Instead, he attempts to gather empirical evidence by performing a little experiment on the market to see what works and what does it.

And that's how you have to approach your trading. You must perform experiments to see what works and EasyLanguage allows me to do that. To become a trading scientist, you'll need one skill that opens the door to the kingdom, and that is coding in EasyLanguage. 

What can you actually do with EasyLanguage? What kind of experiments can you perform, and how will this really help you? We'll go over some great examples in the next article!

Until then you can get a jump start on learning EasyLanguage by getting this free eBook and video series.

Jeff Swanson

About the author

Jeff has built and traded automated trading systems for the futures markets since 2008. He is the creator of the online courses System Development Master Class and Alpha Compass. Jeff is also the founder of EasyLanguage Mastery - a website and mission to empower the EasyLanguage trader with the proper knowledge and tools to become a profitable trader.

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