The Difference Between Winners and Losers

This week we are diving into psychology again and looking at the mindset needed to win in trading. We asked Head of Trading College, Lee Sandford, to share with us the main differences between “winners” and losers”. He had some surprising answers.


Firstly, Lee, can you tell us how important mindset is in trading?

Trading is 10% knowing your strategies and making good choices, and 90% having the right mindset, the right psychological approach. The way you think and behave will always have a massive impact on your trading.

What are the main differences between “winners” and “losers”?


This is one of my favourite sayings. I always tell people, “I’m a loser.” I lose on plenty of trades. No one can win every trade they place. But I’m not just a loser in trading, I’ve been a loser in life, and I’m proud of the losses I’ve been through. When you lose, you learn and that’s an important part of your psychological development. The biggest winners have lost the most times. This is because winners will get out of their comfort zone and takes risks. Winners actually make the most mistakes, but they learn from those mistakes, and that’s what gets them closer to winning. If you never put yourself out there, if you never take risks, if you’re not prepared to lose… you’ll never win!


If you don’t know what you want, you cannot win in life. How can you measure your success if you haven’t set any goals? If you don’t know where you are going, you are just swimming around in circles. Winners are focused. They know what they want and, most importantly, they know why they want it. All the most successful people I’ve met in life have a big “why” behind everything they do. Know what you want and why you want it, and you will be half way to winning.


In my book, Goals to Gold, I wrote about how the most successful football teams always play like they are winning, even when they are losing. The most exciting games I’ve ever played or watched are ones with great comebacks from a losing position. If you play like you have already lost, you literally cannot win. You must play like you are winning, even when you are technically behind. You never know what might happen.


This is related to the point above. Winners don’t play like they are losing, nor do they let the past define them. Winners don’t look backward. Many people get put down in life, even bullied. Those who are able to shake off the past and keep moving forward are winners. Those who let their past define them, believing they don’t deserve to win simply because of how badly someone else has treated them, only lose again if they can’t get out of that self-loathing mindset. You have to address whatever is holding you back and break free of your past.


Again, following on from the point above, when you have high self-worth, you believe you are worth investing in. I have spoken to many people who say they want to improve their lives, but are not willing to invest in the education and tools that would help them. I’ve always invested money in my own development and education, and I’ve seen great results.


Again, when you allow yourself to fail, you learn. Winners do not expect to achieve something without practice. They practice patiently; they take the time to practice. I always get frustrated by people who come to Trading College with a get-rich-quick attitude; I have to explain to them that it takes a lot of time, practice and patience to get good at trading.


We constantly promote this message at Trading College because it trips people up so much. You cannot have a big ego if you want to be a winner because your ego will be crushed when you lose and, going right back to the first point… WINNERS ARE LOSERS! You have to leave your ego at the door if you want to win in life, or you will never get past your first loss.

Basically, winners think differently from losers. Work on your winning thinking and you will keep getting better. You never stop losing in trading, but as long as you are always learning while you are losing, then you are actually always winning.This applies to everything in life, to trading, to learning any skill… even golf!

Thanks, Lee! That sounds like a win-win!


8th August Trade Updates

Last week on our Pro-Trader Programme we had a plan to short the GBPJPY and now we are in profit 100 pips. Lets look at some other trades we discussed on our webinars.


One of the markets we have been looking at on our weekly Pro-Trader Programme Webinars has been the Pound versus the Japanese Yen (GBPJPY). What we saw here was a lower high being made on price which could not get through 1.4700 and then we had a Pro-Trading System short entry at 144.98. Students are now in profit around 100 pips in 3 trading days. We do have a target on the GBPJPY at 143.61, as you can see by the arrow on this chart, so a good start for anyone joining the Pro-Trader Programme this week.


Looking at the USDJPY, you can see that we’ve had a significant sell-off in this market, which was signaled when the Pro-Trading System turned from green to red around the 112.50 zone. And now we’re trading, as I’m doing this newsletter, at 110.38. We have hit one target and now we’re looking at another target down at 109.06. This will then create a huge double support zone where we could get a significant bounce, this is a target that we are shooting for. I think from there we’ll get a decent bounce but I’m looking for the market to resume even lower on weeks to come.


The charts still has the Pro-Trading System green, but we’ve got a little bit of sideways price action on these last three candlesticks. We’re losing a little bit of momentum on the story teller indicator below so if you haven’t locked in your profits, it’s certainly time to. Especially after the engulfing candlestick we had last week, it’s time to trail those stops even tighter. However, we’re getting no sell signals here on the Pro-Trading System, it’s still green from it’s original entry around the 1.1300 price, which still has green candlesticks, which means stay long the market.


And finally, Gold here … we don’t have a new buy signal on the Pro-Trading System, but we are making a higher low on the daily time frame and we have a huge triangle pattern on the monthly time frame which tells us that we are expecting a big move. So looking for a buy signal on the system on gold, but as yet, we don’t have one.

This week on the Pro-Trader Programme we’ve also discussed the AUDNZD chart. This has an inverted head and shoulders pattern on the monthly chart still, but we had a new buy signal just above this 107 mark, which is currently bringing in as I’m doing this newsletter around 70 pips profit on this trade. Target on this market is 108.57.

Don’t forget, we have our intensive 1 day courses Learn To Trade Live coming up In Leeds and London on 9th September 2017.

Trader Of The Month: August

August’s Trader of the Month is Naeem Vance. Congratulations, Naeem! The coaches chose Naeem because in the six months since starting his Mentorship Programme, he has tripled his trading account! We asked him how he did it.

Naeem is a self-employed company director originally from Essex, now living with his wife and two children in West Yorkshire. He has always been in the printing business. He was an employee for 6-7 years before deciding to start his own company in 2001.

How do you find the time to trade when you’re running a company, Naeem?  

I used to be very hands on, but over the years I’ve got much better at delegating. I now employ 10 people and, although I’m often at my desk, I do get plenty of free time, which is perfect for trading.

Is it difficult to juggle family time with trading?

I would have found it hard when my children were young but they are 18 and 12 now so they’re more independent. The flip side to this is… as they get older they only get more expensive. What do you think motivates my trading?!

How did you first get into trading?

I first tried trading a few years ago when I got a random email from a company promising great profits if I invested money. Unfortunately, I got into it but ended up losing a lot of money through being naive. I was opening and closing trades without knowing what I was doing… just gambling really. I stayed curious though, keeping my eye on what the markets were doing and looking into trading education companies. Eventually my research brought up Trading College.

What was your first experience of Trading College like?

I took things slowly. First, I listened to some free webinars that Lee was giving. I had a good feeling that he really knew what he was talking about and I liked the fact that I could get a good feel for Trading College before committing to anything. I was cautious because I’d had my fingers burnt previously. The Pro-Trading System really intrigued me so I eventually bit the bullet and signed up to do the PTS course in London where I met Federico, who also greatly impressed me. I became a member and got to know everyone—the staff and students, and felt really happy with the whole Trading College community. I found strategies that worked for me and began to see real results.

When did you start your Mentorship?

 I signed up for a 6-month Mentorship in February 2017 and haven’t looked back since; I responded very well to the coaching from both Lee and Fed. I ended up tripling my trading account within those 6 months!

What’s the secret of your success?

I learnt how to lose! Anyone can make profits, and it feels great, but if you don’t learn how to cut your losses, you will lose everything you make. Before, I would always chase losing trades and madly open new positions to try and recover my money, and end up blowing my account. Now I am extremely disciplined and I get out of losing trades without losing more than necessary. I manage my losing trades really well. People would make more profit if they learned to do this. But it’s not easy because it hurts your ego! You have to be prepared to go on a massive learning curve if you want the rewards. To sum up I’d say the secret to my success is simply that I learned to get the balance between my winning and losing trades correct, so that I maximised my profits. It doesn’t matter how much you win if you then go and lose it all. You have to get the balance right.

Are you going to continue your relationship with Trading College?

 Definitely! My Mentorship has officially finished, but I’ll stay a member. I love getting tips in the live trading room, and bouncing ideas off other students in the chat rooms. Trading could easily be a very lonely activity; the chat rooms and events offer members the opportunity to meet all sorts of people from different walks of life.

And what are your long-term trading goals?

I would love to trade full time. My business is getting to the point where it can probably take care of itself. At the moment I am day trading. I get up very early and trade from 6am – 9am every day. Going forward I would love to do more swing trading. I actually get a lot out of trading. For me it’s not just about the money (which is great), it’s also the satisfaction of doing well because I’ve learnt a new discipline.

Congratulations, again, on being picked as Trader of the Month, Naeem. Thanks for sharing your great advice with us all and good luck with all your trading goals!

7 Traits Of A Successful Trader

This week we’re going to look closely at the psychology of being a successful trader and identify the character traits that are necessary to maximise your profits.

At Trading College one of our mottos is, “ANYONE CAN TRADE.” While this is true, there are definitely certain characteristics that are prevalent in the people who succeed in trading. Don’t worry if you feel you don’t have these traits at the moment, anyone can develop them. Some of them take constant work, even for the most successful traders!


Successful traders are disciplined. For example, they will dedicate time to setting up their strategies correctly. They will also stick to a set routine, often trading during the same hours every day and checking for macro-economic news every morning to see if there are any big announcements (but remember, as technical analysis traders we don’t trade the news, we trade the reaction to the news). Discipline is also important when it comes to not placing trades. At Trading College we teach “REASONS NOT TO TRADE.” You need a lot of discipline to stick to your plan, taking only high-probability trades and not overtrading.


In trading it is all too easy to get excited and jump the gun. Even when you’ve chosen a strategy, it can be very tempting to enter a trade too early, without confirmations. You need the patience to wait until your strategy tells you to enter the trade. The same applies to coming out of a trade too early. Successful traders set their targets and stick to them. They don’t lose their bottle and come out of the trade too early. Psychologically, it’s almost better to lose but know that you stuck to your strategy, rather than come out of a trade early because you got nervous and then miss out on bigger profits!


This is not the same as a positive attitude. Many people have a positive attitude, but to be a successful trader, you have to have a winning attitude; you must be comfortable with winning. It’s surprising how many people are more comfortable losing than winning; they will “win small and lose big”. Maybe people find it easier to have a losing attitude so that when they do lose it is not as disappointing. They are afraid of wanting success in case it doesn’t happen. Successful traders have no fear of success!


If you want to be a successful trader you cannot take any of your wins and losses personally. Truly successful traders are able to remove their emotions from the process. But this is one of the hardest things to learn to do! One of our top traders monitors his heart rate for fitness. Every time he places a trade, his heart rate goes up about 10%! Removing your emotions from trading is a long, on-going, but highly necessary process.


Most people, as they get older (and, ironically, more successful in other walks of life) seem to find it harder to learn new things. They cease to be humble. You have to be prepared to learn if you want to be a successful trader. Some our students have found that trading has been their most successful venture. When they learn to trade, they have the humility to take new information on board, they are not trying to second guess the trainers, assuming they can work everything out for themselves, which is what people who have worked at a more “senior” level tend to do. When you start to trade you are starting a brand new career and you need to start learning from scratch.


To be a successful trader, you need to be okay with losing money because you can’t always win. You also need the humility to accept when you are wrong. People with big egos don’t make great traders. You must stay humble. The markets will always be more powerful than you because they are free to move in any direction. Your job is to use your strategies to try and predict where the market is likely to go. But it won’t always go in the direction you expect, so you have to be comfortable with getting it wrong sometimes.


You must be flexible in your trading. Certain strategies work better in certain market environments. You might have a couple of weeks where your strategy works 90% of the time and some weeks where it works only 60% of the time, for example, because the markets move in cycles. You can’t rigidly stick to one strategy; you need a group of strategies to tailor to where the market is going.

The technical/practical aspects of trading (understanding your charts and indicators, and learning how to place and come out of trades, etc.) are only part of what you need to learn. Developing the right characteristics is as, if not more, important. Stay very honest with yourself, observe which of these character traits need to be developed in you and work on them. It’s all part of the essential learning process!


Five Advantages Of Financial Freedom

Financial freedom has become a real buzz phrase in recent times, but what does it actually mean and what are the main advantages of being financially free?


Many people confuse financial freedom with financial independence or simply being very wealthy. At Trading College, we define financial freedom as having the freedom to choose how and when you work, and having the confidence that you can pay your way in life without depending on anyone else to give you a salary.

Many traders are financially free without being exceptionally wealthy. All they’ve done is work out how much money they need to live on each month, and then developed their trading skills and strategies to ensure they are making that amount, on average, each month. Goals can be achieved if you set them at reasonable levels and give yourself time to get there.

Trading is simpler than starting your own business. There are no products to develop or sell, you don’t have huge overheads and you are not obliged to be in a certain place at a certain time. When you are a trader, all you need is an initial investment to get the right technology and education, and then a good attitude and work ethic while you learn your skills.


We’ve identified what we feel are the top five advantages of being financially free.


The number one advantage of financial freedom is that you are in charge of your own time. You can go on holiday when you want. You never have to miss your child’s birthday or an important social event. You can schedule the times you work to fit around your life instead of fitting your life around your obligated working hours. To many people this is the number one benefit of financial freedom. They value time with their family and loved ones over anything else, and becoming financially free is the only way to guarantee that.


Anyone who has ever suffered through rush hour on the trains or roads knows how stressful commuting is. To start and end your day standing in a packed train or crawling along in solid traffic is no good for anyone’s health. When you are financially free and able to work at home, picking your own working hours, your health will improve dramatically just from the reduction in stress and pollution.


There are few situations more stressful in life than being forced to interact, every day, with a toxic colleague or boss. Getting stuck in a situation where you can’t escape working with someone who drains your energy, and even sabotages your work, is extremely toxic and bad for your mental health. When you are financially free you don’t have to spend time with anyone who treats you badly.


When you work for someone, they are in charge of how much you earn. Even if you are on commission, someone else is setting that rate. You can put in 100% of yourself, but you will only ever get a proportion of that back. When you are financially free, you get out 100% of what you put in; no one else owns the results of your hard work.


Following on from the point above, when you are financially free you have the freedom to maximise your potential. Most people don’t get anywhere close to achieving their full potential in their working lives. Why? Because they are working for someone else, so what’s their incentive when they know their efforts only go into making their employer’s company more successful? When you decide to become financially free, you have an incentive to push yourself to your limits and beyond because you know it’s your life, your business, that will directly benefit.

With our new Pro-Trader Programme, Trading College has made it easier than ever to work towards financial freedom. Now you can learn to trade at your own pace and in your own time. You can hold down a regular job while you are learning all the skills you need to become a successful trader. You can study in the evenings and at weekends, and because everything is recorded you can repeat as many training sessions as you like. You can set your own time frame for completing the course. You can even listen to webinars and learn while you are on that commute that you will soon be giving up! There are no excuses. Anyone can be financially free!

Improving Your Swing


This week we spoke to Lee Sandford about one of his greatest passions… golf! We asked him about the parallels between golf and trading (after all, both inevitably involve some swinging!)

How long have you been playing golf?

I discovered golf when I was about 12 and started hitting a ball around in the fields near our house. I’ve been playing on and off ever since. I played a lot when I was playing professional football. You have quite a bit of time off when you’re a footballer, between games and training sessions, and it’s the perfect alternative sport because it’s so different to football. Golf’s also quite sociable and relaxing, and you can’t get too badly injured, like you could if you were skiing, for example.

What do you most like about playing golf?

I really like the social aspect of the game. There’s plenty of time for chat and banter as you go around the course. I also like the challenge of the game, and that it’s never a linear journey. Like with trading, you can make some great gains but then suffer some big losses. You have to control your emotions through the ups and downs, and simply keep working at it.

What are the parallels between golf and trading?

The first comparison I’d make is how both golf and trading have so many different components that you’re juggling and trying to get right all at the same time. Just as you get one component right, another will often go wrong. It’s a real challenge to get everything working together perfectly. The components of a golf swing include your grip, your posture, your back swing, your clubface impact, and even choosing the right club. You’ve got to get all components right to get the best shot. In trading, you need to get your money/risk management right at the same time as setting the right profit levels and stop-loss levels, and picking the right strategy. If you pick the wrong strategy you could miss out on profits. If you pick the wrong club in golf, for example if you pick a wedge when you should be playing the shot with a 5-iron, you’ll come up short.

Another very clear comparison to me is the importance of having the right mindset in both golf and trading. It’s so important to get the psychology right; you have to manage your emotions. If you get angry and upset about stuffing up shot in golf you’re probably going to continue to play badly for the whole round. You have to be able to forget about it and approach the next shot without any residual resentment. Similarly, in trading, I see so many people get badly affected when they lose trades. They lose money and it totally throws them off balance so that they start making bad decisions about future trades. You have to walk away from every bad shot like you have to walk away from every trading loss.

I love how in both golf and trading you are playing the same course (and respectively the same money markets) as everyone else. In football you can’t just show up and play at White Hart Lane, you have to be a professional to play there. The same applies to tennis, you can’t turn up and play in Wimbledon, you have to qualify. In golf, however, I can go and play at St Andrews or Augusta where the pros play. We can all play on the same courses. When you are trading, you are trading the same money markets as the top hedge fund traders. Furthermore, in both golf and trading you have a fair chance of beating the pros. If I’m playing a pro or a scratch player (i.e. someone who plays at par) and I’m playing off an 18 handicap, it’s perfectly possible for me to beat him. If you make a better decision than a hedge-fund trader with a multi-million pound account and you make money on a trade that he or she misses, you make more money than them, even if you only make £100.

I’d also say that golf and trading are similar in that both are lifelong journeys of learning and improving. You have to give time and commitment to both, and look at both as lifetime pursuits. You don’t take up golf and if you’re not playing off scratch in 6 months give it up. Similarly you shouldn’t take up trading and if you’re not a millionaire after 6 months give up! In both it’s a process of taking the rough (pun intended) with the smooth, taking your bad shots and losses on the chin, and always moving forward and gradually getting better.   

To sum up, and to expand on the comparisons I’ve already made, I think the thing I like best about both golf and trading is how collaborative and supportive you can be in both. I don’t lose money by helping my students win. And I encourage them to share information and help each other. Similarly in golf, if I help my friends get better we all have a better round.

What are your golfing goals?

My golfing goals are the same as my trading goals, really… to keep improving. I’m always looking for ways to improve my trading, and I’m always working on my golf game. Currently, I’m taking golf lessons and they’re going really well. I’m hoping to reduce my golf handicap and increase my trading account by the end of the summer.


Thanks for all the interesting insight, Lee, and good luck with your swing... in both golf and trading!