04 Sep

How Commodity Traders are Like Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson Practice

Who remembers this infamous interview?

We’re sitting in here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talking about practice. I mean, listen, we’re talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking about practice. Not a game. Not, not … Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last. Not the game, but we’re talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? … And we talking about practice.

It actually goes on from there, but it all sounds the same. (Watch the clip below.) Iverson is saying practice doesn’t matter. It only matters what you do in the game.

But when we see that interview, we cringe. Because we know it’s ridiculous. Nobody doubts “The Answer’s” talent and skill level. He was truly one of the greats of the game. I’ve got nothing but respect for his game. But these statements are cringeworthy. We cringe because we know it’s not true. We cringe because we know that practice is vital for any sport. I mean, how did Iverson get to be as good as he was in the first place? That’s right…Practice. We talkin’ bout practice.

But if we take a minute and think about our own trading habits, isn’t that how we approach it? Don’t we also have this attitude? We aren’t concerned enough to even try and practice an idea? Instead we’ve got Iverson’s attitude. We say, not the real market, not the real market, we’re talking about paper trading. Paper trading!

And that’s where we miss the point. If you cannot succeed in practice, then you cannot succeed in real life. Furthermore, professional athletes don’t just stop practicing when they reach the NBA. They actually practice more. That’s their job!

So, here are three ways that commodity traders are like Allen Iverson:

  • They put their money on the line without paper trading first.
    If you’re like me, you’re excited about using different trading techniques. Whether it’s trading off of a different chart type, or getting the inside scoop on a piece of advice, your ears are tuned to see new ways to gain an edge. But the problem becomes a refusal to paper trade it first. A refusal to see if we understand the concept properly. We rush out to try it using real money. It’s a recipe to losing money quick.
  • They follow a “guru’s” advice hook, line and sinker without testing him out first.
    It always amazes me how quickly traders will blindly follow advice. I remember a broker offering me advice on a trade he felt I needed to get in to. I didn’t really have the money to make the trade, so my response was that I would take the information and paper trade it this time around. Guess what? That trade lost money. This was a lesson that actually helped lay a foundation that would eventually lead us to create papertrademe.com. Read more about that here.
  • They think we’ve arrived.
    There’s nothing worse than a cocky athlete that’s too good for practice. Allen Iverson certainly fit that bill at times. But we can do that, too. We have a couple of successful trades and we think we’re ready for the big-time…that nothing can go wrong. But if you’ve spent any time in the commodities market, you know that things can turn against you really fast. Even the most advanced trader needs to continue working on his skills.

Papertrademe.com’s aim is to make sure that you have a chance to test out all your ideas and continually work out your own personal trading technique. Our platform is dead-simple and get’s straight to the point. We don’t mess around with trying to get you to trade real money. We see that as a conflict of interest. We just want to give you a simple, clean platform to paper trade commodities.

03 Mar

Professionals Rehearse Until they Can’t get it Wrong

Today I’ve been pondering the following quote:

“Amateurs rehearse until they get it right. Professionals rehearse until they can’t get it wrong.”

I initially heard this quote on the Pat Flynn Podcast with Michael Port. Which, after a quick Google Search, is apparently attributed to Julie Andrews.

I absolutely love this quote! It so encompasses the difference between an amateur and a professional. When I first heard the quote and the discussion that followed, I immediately identified with it. I’m such an amateur! And it’s because I don’t rehearse enough.

I initially felt bad about this. But then I realized that this was already an area of my life that I’ve been working on. Whether it be giving a speech, teaching, or practicing music, or whatever, it’s no longer an option to just “wing it”. Practice must be taken seriously and it must be done as a regular habit of life. And, indeed, this is being displayed in the creation and development of papertrademe.com. The whole concept of “practice until you can’t get it wrong” is enveloped in our application.

When it comes to investing money in the futures market, it is not good enough to just learn the fundamentals and a few techniques about trading commodities – you’ll lose your shirt that way. We need to practice until we can’t get it wrong. That it is how fortunes are made. And that is what using papertrademe.com will do for you.

14 Aug

Jimmy Fallon, Dana Carvey and the Art of Practice

The other day I was catching up on my Jimmy Fallon clips and watched the very funny Dana Carvey and Jimmy Fallon doing “Wheel of Impressions”. They took turns doing spot-on impressions of Al Pacino and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But it was a comment at the beginning that really took me by surprise. In fact, it was a comment that was hardly even a comment at all. It was just said in passing. Fallon, referring to Dana Carvey’s impressions, said, “I love your impressions, obviously, and I’ve studied yours.”

“I’ve studied your [impressions]…” -Jimmy Fallon @fallontonight

Wait, Jimmy Fallon doesn’t just DO impressions? He has to “study” them? Does that mean everyone has to study to do impressions? They can’t just do them? I can just picture Jimmy Fallon standing in front of his mirror practicing his Al Pacino impression. No one is laughing at him or criticizing him. But his confidence goes up with each practice, so that eventually he can go out before his audience of thousands and entertain us.

Maybe this isn’t as shocking as it was to me, but it really got me to thinking, Hey, if Jimmy Fallon can LEARN to do impressions, why can’t I? Why do I have to just stand in awe of his work when I can do the same thing myself? Honestly, I can! I’ll never be Jimmy Fallon, but I can be just as good at something that he does…or even better.

Knowing this kinda takes away the intimidation factor, doesn’t it?


And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do with trading futures by creating papertrademe.com! Trading commodities is intimidating, but you don’t have to sit back and just stand in awe of people who do it well, you can LEARN to do it, too! Papertrademe.com is a platform where you can practice trading in real, live conditions with absolutely zero risk. It’s like practicing in front of a mirror in your bathroom. With each practice trade you make, your confidence level goes up so that you can one day trade with real money.

And that’s why we like to say, “Practice Makes Profit”.

Come over to papertrademe.com and sign up today!