The Financial Markets

Knowing how to secure financial well-being is one of the most important things for me. Forming a financial plan, and sticking to it allows being able to end up where you want to be.  It allows me to be able to trade financial securities and commodities, at prices that reflect supply and demand.  The types of securities I like include stocks, currency and commodities including precious metals and agricultural products.





Goal Setting Ideas That I Use

I prefer to begin with a top down approach, taking a step back to look at the bigger picture.

I like to get the ball rolling with a few exercises…

Dreamlining Exercise

This is the biggest picture exercise of the bunch and should be done first. I pulled it from The 4 Hour Work Week

I would start by asking myself, “what would I do if there was no way I could fail, if I were 10x smarter than the rest of the world?”

The goal here is to think big and uncover my passion. The thing I live for. What I would do whether I got paid to do it or not.

Next, put together a 6 month and 12 month timeline listing the 3 things I would like to be, do, and have.

In 6 months what do you see yourself…

1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________


1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________


1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________

I can repeat the process for a 12 month timeline.

Additionally, what is…

  • One place you’d like to visit?
  • One thing to do before you die, memory of a lifetime?
  • One thing to do daily?
  • One thing to do weekly?
  • One thing you’ve always wanted to learn?

In order to live the lifestyle I want to live, determine my target monthly income. That is, how much money would I need to support my lifestyle?

  • Monthly income:  $________
  • Weekly income:   $________
  • Daily income:       $________

I utilized this article on Ideal Lifestyle Costing to help determine this number.

Create a BHAG

The BHAG or “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” exercise is something I picked up from reading Jim Collin’s book Built to Last

As Collin’s proclaims, “It is more important to understand who you are, rather than where you are going, because where you are going will almost certainly change.”

The exercise starts off by writing down my core values, core purpose, and a really big scary or wild goal I would like to achieve in 15 years time.

  • Core Values: ____________________________________________

(Values that will not change over your life)

  • Core Purpose: ____________________________________________

(Why were you put here on this earth)

  • 15 year BHAG: ___________________________________________

(Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

Then, I would create a list for the following year of my…

Top 3 goals to accomplish

1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________

Top 3 things to stop doing

1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________

Top 3 supporting mechanisms to build

1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________

The BHAG exercise helps uncover core values. It is only when our work is aligned with these values that we can be truly happy and succeed.

Weekly 80/20 Exercise

This 80/20 is something I like to do on a weekly basis, usually Sunday night or first thing Monday morning. If you haven’t done an 80/20 of your trading  I highly recommend it!

I Start by asking myself the following four questions:

1. What’s working right now (in my trading & in my life)?
2. What’s not working?
3. What should I be doing more of?
4. What should I be doing less of?

The objective is to stop doing the things that are getting in the way of reaching my goals. Focus on doing the 20% that produces 80% of the results. Put another way, what 20% of people and activities are producing 80% of the positive emotional states and results in my life?

Think & Grow Rich – Self Assessment

The last exercise I would deem the most important. That is because this one really helps me gather a deep understanding of myself on many different levels.
I start by asking a series of questions to which I respond. Afterwards, I will go back through my answers and re-frame them with a positive and meaningful statement.

For example:

Do I like my occupation? If not, why?
Answer: I love the challenge of trading, and the fact that it’s different.
Positive Re-frame: I strive to be different and do as others do not.

Some of the other questions are…

  • Do I Have a method by which I can shield myself against the negative influence of others?
  • Do I face squarely the circumstances which make me unhappy, or sidestep the responsibility?
  • What habits of other people annoy me most?
  • Do I form my own opinions or permit myself to be influenced by other people?

Questions like these can really help us understand who we are at the core and what things are holding us back from achieving our goals.

As Napoleon hill explains,

“You have ABSOLUTE CONTROL over but one thing, and that is your thoughts. This is the most significant and inspiring of all facts known to man! It reflects man’s Divine nature. This Divine prerogative is the sole means by which you may control your own destiny. If you fail to control your own mind, you may be sure you will control nothing else.

If you must be careless with your possessions, let it be in connection with material things. Your mind is your spiritual estate! Protect and use it with the care to which Divine Royalty is entitled. You were given a WILL-POWER for this purpose.

Mind control is the result of self-discipline and habit. You either control your mind or it controls you. There is no half-way compromise. The most practical of all methods for controlling the mind is the habit of keeping it busy with a definite purpose, backed by a definite plan.

Study the record of any man who achieves noteworthy success, and you will observe that he has control over his own mind, moreover, that he exercises that control and directs it toward the attainment of definite objectives. Without this control, success is not possible.”

In Summary

Take action!

Schedule an hour one morning to sit down with a cup of tea (without distractions) and go through these exercises. Reflect on the year coming to a close, and look at how you’ve grown. Use these internalizations to formulate new goals and aspirations for the year ahead.

Remember, success isn’t necessarily measured in monetary terms. More money will not bring more happiness if we’re not aligning our core values with our work and striving to reach beyond our limits.

Only when we are completely comfortable with who we are and truly honest with ourselves can we reach success (who’s definition is different for each and every one of us).