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In my 18 years as a trader, things were very simple. I did everything that I could to simplify my thought process and to streamline my actions so that when information came to me, I knew exactly what to do and with how much gusto.

My staff was trained to use expedient vocabulary and to execute orders according to exacting instructions. We did all that we could to eliminate excess information that could lead to confusion.

If I said "80 bid" my clerk knew that I was an 80 bid for 100 contracts of gold on the Chicago Board of Trade. When he said "Bought 20," I knew exactly what he meant. When he proceeded to work the order that I had given him to its fulfillment, it was easy to know exactly how many contracts were purchased and how fast.

Because of this streamlined order of communication, I could beat my competition to the jump and carve a niche out in the markets that generated money everyday.

I wasn't trying to invent the substitute for electricity. I was simply making money. I found a niche to do so and I learned that the more efficient I was at it, the faster I could generate it.

Wasted movement and wasted information were not rewarded. There were no judges standing around giving points for style or effort. Cut-throat exactitude and diligence brings home the prize.

We can all gather information. Have you ever asked yourself why? What is the purpose of reading the newspaper? What is the reason that you watch the news? Trading is fun. It can be exhilarating. The rush of "the game" is comparable with highly competitive sports.

Still, I never trade to trade. I trade to make money. I trade to win. This should be your motivation for gathering information.

Stop entertaining yourself with the daily banter and the daily undulations of the markets and get serious. Streamline your reading and focus your attention. Create for yourself a system that will lead you toward expertise.

Get good at something. Become an expert in antiques and begin to scour the yard, estate and garage sales. Read everything you can find about a certain company or commodity. Get good at something and start today. Stop dabbling.

John Maxwell says that if you will read for 30 minutes a day on any topic, within two years you will be an expert. Experts make money. Dabblers do not.

We are moving into a time when opportunity will abound. We may already be there. However, that opportunity will be harnessed and harvested by those who are trained to take risk and to take advantage. Extra movement and extra discussion will leave you picking from the remains.

Get ready. Focus. Then pounce.

Author Biography

Dan Stratton
Web site: Faith Exchange
Faith Exchange is a non-denominational Christian church in lower Manhattan, NY. It was founded by Dan Stratton, a Yale football star who built a successful career on the trading floor of the Commodities Exchange. His original church location was destroyed in the 9-11 terror attack of 2001. Today, Faith Exchange holds services on Wednesdays and Sundays, often featuring guest inspirational speakers.

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