As a student of the market, I have always wished there were things someone told me before I started. It would have saved a lot of time and lessen the mistakes. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t have it any other way and now I am given the chance to pass these realizations forward.
As you start your journey, I am in best hopes that you are well-equipped for the life that is ahead of you. After all, preparation is key.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
1. Set your goal.
Your goal is not a number. Making it a number is the biggest mistake you could begin with,it puts a limit to your growth and it reflects nothing of what you have become. This is a narrow focus you shackle yourself to.
Your goal is becoming the person worthy of that number. It is the mindset, the capability, the skills that you want. Not the money. Currency is an illusion. As a trader, you know this, any country’s monetary value can boom in a day or free fall overnight. The real power is in what you can do.
Jim Rohn said it best. He said and I quote, “You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming.”
If you really need to pin a figure, Rohn, at age 25, was told by Earl Shoaff to “set a goal to become a millionaire for what it makes of you to achieve it. Do it for the skills you have to learn and the person you have to become.”
In this tricky craft that we have all chosen, one bad phase can wipe you out, but if you have what’s important inside of you, then you can rise again, and again, and again. Better each time. Blow after blow.
Don’t aim for a number. Become capable of that number.
2. The boring stuff will save you– write that down.
Trading is a journey. You don’t join one day and suddenly you’re in kilometer 60, oasis at sight. You begin where everyone else does, specially if no one else dared to brave the path you’re entering.
Your journal will be your map and your compass. When nothing makes sense, when you have no idea where you’ve been, where you’re going to, or what you’ve even been through. Refer to it. It will hold the answers.
You would be surprised at the number of times the mentors reiterated this. Your journal is a personal reflection of who you are as a trader and what kind of battle you’re facing. It shows your strengths and weaknesses.
From there you can plan your way around and capitalize on the idea.
Mentor Boaris mentions this as one of his tips and tricks. “Keep a trade journal
Bushido’s Date said the similar thing. “Create a schedule for scanning, analyzing, and recording all your trades… so you can improve as a trader and most importantly track your progress.”
Can you turn your life into an RPG? I have always wanted to. I complained I would be much more motivated if I knew how much I’ve improved even if I was sleep-deprived, exhausted, and despairing. I wished there was a bar on top of my head somewhere, telling me how far I’ve come and how much farther I have to go!
Well, let’s play a game. Here are the rules: if you didn’t document it, then it didn’t
happen. Bad trades give you more XP than good ones, so don’t cheat and sweep those under the rug. :p
Don’t trade unless you’ve set up your trade journal. Like what they say, “Don’t waste a good mistake.”
ZFTs have Excalibur. It’s amazing and something the new kids should look forward to. If you’re not a part of ZFT, that’s okay too! There are a lot of ways to create your own. 🙂
What’s important is you have one, even with a pen and notebook would do. After all, how could you review something you didn’t keep a record of?
3. Know yourself.
“Know and match your trading profile with your personality. Most of the time there is
trader and trader profile mismatch.” – Date, Bushido
Inevitably, you’ll find out what kind of trader you are as you analyze, plan, and execute a trade. Do you have the risk appetite to buy a stock that reached ceiling price? Or would you rather pass and find another trade?
Does your schedule permit you to do what you want to do? You can’t execute a day trade entry when you can only check at EOD. Don’t compete with swing traders when you’re a trend follower, and don’t wish for a trend followers’ bagger profits when you’re a swing trader.
Both are art. Choose your color, the palette is diverse.
Pretty self-explanatory, but don’t go on fisticuffs if you’re a bloody archer nor should you use Charizard on Cerulean gym.
4.Pick your poison.
Now that you know yourself better and you’ve been keeping a trading journal religiously, you’ve placed yourself at the best position in finding what your best weapon is.
Remember that trading is a game of probabilities, and this is where you’ll see your journal TALK to you. What does it say? At what set-up or circumstance do you usually win? Lose?
Wherever you win the most is where you should focus. Capitalize on your strengths and minimize the damage from your weakness. This is a part of risk management. Here are some sage advice from the mentors themselves.
“Prioritize mastery over jackpot trades. This means that you should trade with a small volume first, get a lot of wins on a specific set-up, and make it your bread and butter.” – Henry Tan
“My bread and butter. When I finally think that I have found my bread and butter set-up, I will always have a higher rate of success whenever I trade these set-ups.” – Brave Fencer
Mentor Lance confesses, in the beginning, he “only trades the ones he’s used to.”
Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you have played any of the final fantasy series this should be familiar.
This is a skills tree.
Whenever you gain more experience, remember to focus on building points on what seems to be your strongest weapon. Whatever element it may be, it’s your choice.
The most important thing is, when a play comes to your choice of territory you know, deep in your heart, that “You got this.”
5. No one type is better than the other.
Albert Einstein allegedly wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
(I say allegedly because it doesn’t seem like he did say that. The closest match one could find is written by Matthew Kelly on his self-help book, but I digress.)
Whatever result you get from your arena is incomparable to a game played elsewhere. Stay at your arena. The Paralympics are as good as the Olympics, both are impressive.
Walk your own path and have the discipline to practice your own art even as you see other people’s results. Be a master of your own journey, not a copy of another.
I can guarantee you this, Sirius Lee would sometimes want to get Alpha Centauri’s profits. And Alpha Centauri would sometimes want to trade as quick and precise as Sirius Lee.
But they stay at their path and become masters of their own. This is fine. This is NORMAL. This is part of mutual respect and admiration.
6. The Twin Ps: Patience and Perseverance
I’m going to focus on this point a lot. I tell you, this early on, have patience and have perseverance on both yourself and in the system. If you do not, your light will die before it can begin to illuminate.
If you think the system is going to rake in money the moment you start the lessons or end the course, you’re wrong. But it’s okay.
This has got to be the most important aspect not just in trading but in success. You have to fail, repeatedly, until you’re sure of the right answer and the margin for error has so diminished because you know, intimately, which does not work for you.
It’s a process. Sitting shotgun at a friend’s car, I ranted I was getting impatient. I
remember I was only 22 then and was already
horribly tired of the job I have. He was a serial entrepreneur and was gracious to hear me out.
“Don’t get impatient,” He advised. “Because if you’re impatient, you will rush everything. I suggest you just go through this.” There are things that are going to take time, this is one of those. Considering the rewards you could reap at the end, wouldn’t it be worth the time it’s going to take you?
IMG of Eques, the most recent OFW turned fulltime trader, mentioned as part of his advice that “you shouldn’t rush. Don’t have the mindset na kailangan kumita agad. Focus on learning the process first. Money will come after that. AGAIN, focus on learning the process first.”
Lance recalls his own journey. “At first I failed, A LOT. But I guess without those
failures, I wouldn’t push myself even more.” This was from the man who had a 43% loss AFTER the course due to “excitement in using the system and not following rules.” He later on broke even from the loss and began bagging his own trades. “Trading is a journey, you’ll really fall down, it’s how you get back up that sets other traders apart from you.”
Henry Tan has his own confession. “I was highly inconsistent”, He wrote. “But I did not stop trading. I just continuously learned from my mistakes.”
Akio of The Gentlemen Bastards had a similar experience. “I’ve gone through the worst. After finishing the course din I suffered big losses but I didn’t stop. Yung system will fall into place once you bounce back from your adversities. Only failure can lead you to success.”
Even Boaris echoes the same patience and perseverance. “I took breaks when I am not 100% but I never stopped. I just studied/practiced everyday until I got better and better.”
Timmy wrote his words of encouragement as well. “Just be patient. Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. Wag nyong madaliin… Dapat wag kayo mafrustrate. Kayod lang ng kayod. Review. Study. Ask questions. Sa simula lang yan mahirap, once nakuha nyo na tuloy tuloy na yan.”
Sirius Lee adds something of similar thought. Understand that these mentors answered individually, and anything that comes up repeatedly must be true and important. “Newbloods are excited to practice what they learn. That’s a good thing but they should also be reminded that having consistent gains doesn’t start right after or even during the course. They should take it step by step, building confidence, focusing on their strengths. Continue the participation and sharing. I mentioned those because I was also like that before. 🙂 “
Brave Fencer recounts his own story with good humor. “Don’t expect it to come easy. It took us a good amount of dedication and discipline before we became one with the charts. I burnt my port during the course. All ins, FOMOs, and half-baked plans. I have to say that planning is equally as important as the execution itself.”
Finally, the boss himself, Zeefreaks wrote, “Learning how to trade is not a race. It’s a marathon. Learn before you earn.”
7. Part-timers can make it too.
It’s actually the culture of ZFT to turn OFWs and office workers to fulltime traders. Every full time trader is a badge ZF wears on his chest as a job well done. Everyone struggles with their own schedule. Here are examples of how they managed when they weren’t fulltime traders yet:
IMG: “3pm to 6pm Qatar time ung class. Kapag may meetings or fieldwork, backread na lang LOL good thing sa mentors, if may namiss ka, willing naman sila sagutin questions mo anytime. mejo nahirapan lang kapag busy sa work then maraming assignments 😀 College all over again. pero it’s all worth it. Bali gising 4am pra ready sa market open, pasok sa office ng 8:30, silip-sades until 10:30. Ang problema after market, gusto ko na magcharts agad e. Pero there was work. Nasakto pa nun, we were starting to get busy sa work, kaya minsan 10 or 11pm na ko ntatapos sa work. then, try to charts pa kht hnggang 12
or 1am.” (Back when he was an OFW from Qatar)
Sirius Lee: “Luckily, I was doing night shifts regularly so I’d check top gainers/losers’ charts during my lunchtime which is about 2am-3am so I’d be prepared during market hours. I don’t feel exhausted to trade after work as I’m always looking forward when the market is open. If I get put to work in the morning then I don’t do intraday trading and only do end of day execution. I took the liberty to take extended breaks back then at the expense of my work performance. XD ” (Back when he was an OFW from Malaysia)
Date: “As part time trader I usually chart in the morning 5am until 8am then 8am to 4pm I work but while working I monitor the markets from time to time. I have a very sporadic schedule and when I have the chance I monitor and trade the entire day.
5am to 8am charting
8am to 4pm work
4pm Charting and documenting
Henry Tan: “Secretly trading during office hours then catching up on my work afterwards even after I get home.”
Timmy: “Nahirapan talaga ako nung may work then pinagsasabay ko sa trading. So i took a risk. Nag resign ako to pursue trading.” Intense, right? 😉
Zee: “Work schedule was either 6PM – 4AM or 10pm – 8AM. Trade in the morning. Sleep after lunch around 1PM. I took the night/graveyard shifts. I sacrificed my sleep in order to learn what I can so I wouldn’t have to be working for the rest of my life. It was damn worth it.”
8. Your self-confidence will take time to rebuild.
Remember the first time you fell inlove and got your heart broken? It took ‘forever’ for you to trust yourself to love again. Even if this time you knew better and the girl/boy is worth it.
Beginning to trade again is almost just the same. It will take time for you to completely trust in yourself again after a bad history. But as your patience and perseverance produces you consistency, so shall your confidence. Lance declared that “Confidence is key.”
Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” and this only means you have to try if you want to succeed. So try again.
IMG claims it took him almost a year after the course before he noticed his confidence rebuild. “Gaining ako during the course pero hit and miss. Yes, kumikita ako pero I can feel I am not one with the system kasi di ko kaya maging consistent pa na every month gaining. And then it clicked.“
9. Dont sabotage yourself. Empty your cup.
Everytime a ZFT mentor takes in a student, it all starts with one thing. The purge. The purge isn’t only clearing your account of ‘ipit’ trades and weeding them out.
It is symbolic of a new beginning. Tabula Rasa- Empty slate to write on again. Asked if he would rather take in a TA beginner or someone who was advance intermediate, and Zee said, he would rather take the beginner anytime.
Sirius Lee said it well, ” My tech analysis understanding was prolly beginner’s level at that time since I only know some terms. Since I know and seen how Zee/Kap executed their trades via their respective pages and that it works, I only focused on what they taught me, whatever I learned from the internet and other gurus, I scratched them all off and just sticked on ZFT systems’ core concepts. just focused on how to properly execute the one system nothing more and nothing less.”
And we all know what an excellent trader this made him. 🙂
10. The intelligent has the disadvantage.
Those who prided themselves for being intelligent will find themselves, all of a sudden, feeling very, very stupid. Making mistakes in the PSE is expensive. This is how trading works.
I’ve seen bright people falter and quit because for the love of anything holy, they can not take in the pain of being constantly wrong. The academe was easy, it was something they breezed through, and they were used to being naturally superior from their batch mates. They couldn’t understand how people couldn’t ‘get’ things, when it clicks so easily to them.
Trading does not require you to be intelligent. The stock market movement is a collection of emotions, not intellectual decisions. EQ wins over IQ.
Those who constantly failed at school but learned to get through it are those who have the perseverance and blind faith that’s required to push through.
Intellectual people needs to be constantly reassured of the gift they have, the C-grade people don’t have that disadvantage. There is no pride to ‘take care of’.
I was watching a Zombie film way back then and a scene marked something in me. There were two men taking their software invention to Russia. One guy, the intellectual one, sifted at his seat on their way to the meeting. He was very nervous and couldn’t think straight. The other guy, probably the charmer of the operation, smiled at him and calmed him down.
The intellectual guy asked him, “How do you know we’re going to be okay?” and his bestfriend shot back, “Because I’m more used to messing up than you do, and I got out fine.”
I’m one of those intellectual AND emotional people. My disadvantage is off the charts. Making mistakes was so new to me and embracing it as part of the journey was something I had to learn. I was in pain for losing money, and in pain for (suprise!) being stupid. I wondered, how do I cure this like it was some disease.
But it isn’t any rocket science, it’s just a new form of mastery. This time no one is
gifted with God-given intellect. Everyone, absolutely everyone, will be humbled and learn something new- Mastery of emotions.
“It’s not about intelligence or talent. It’s about dedication and willpower.” -Boaris
Useful extra reading from Business Insider: Why attitude is more important than IQ
11. Start small.
You’re just learning. You’re only beginning. We have settled that we should be patient, haven’t we? Then, start small. Your mistakes will not hurt as much while you try to master the system. You WILL recover your losses, for now learn how to.
“Don’t take a trade that’s too big for your pain tolerance.” – Boaris
I suggest that you withdraw some of the funds if you can’t control touching it. Protect yourself from yourself. During practice time, we all held wooden swords, otherwise we might end up hurting ourselves for not knowing how to properly wield it.
You’ll get there. 🙂 Patience.
12. The market will always be there.
In the beginning, I hurried off to fund my account. I thought ‘this’ opportunity is THE chance of the lifetime. This ‘will never happen again’. But there was always a new one, you know? I promise you that.
There will be super plays after every super play. They happen more often than you can imagine. If you miss this one, there will be three more coming. Don’t hurry, it will ALWAYS be there.
One day, you’ll get ‘lucky‘ and “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”- Seneca, Roman philosopher
For now, prepare for someday you’ll get lucky.
As for those who are already actively trading and are on a losing streak– purge. There will be superplays coming, don’t worry. If you keep trading while you’re chaotic on the inside, you wouldn’t even land these opportunities properly anyway.
Finally, more specifically for ZFT:
13. Be active at the tribe channels. Push yourself.
Stay. I know sometimes it would feel like you’re being left behind by all those who are gaining and you aren’t, but if you stay you could learn something. Leaving you forces you to grow on your own, and there is a limitation to what you can learn from YOURSELF.
A support group is important, they know what you’re going through. They’ve been there. No one will understand you better than they do. They’re better to talk to than your friends who don’t trade.
They can serve as inspiration too, only IF you remove pride and envy from your arsenal. Your environment will matter in anything that you’re trying to achieve. A person is most likely to be fit if he’s surrounded by gym-goers than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. It’s the ‘culture‘. It changes what you think is normal and what is not.
Here’s something from Date, “Honestly, I did not believe that I am capable of Doubling My Money in a year but when you see Boss Zee and Kapitan Kidlat Quadruple their money every year and your mentors left and right earning at least Double and some even triple then and only you really see that it can be done and it is possible to become this profitable in the market.”
Brave Fencer adds, “I believe that if you surround yourself with the people you want to become, you will naturally up your game.”
Mentoring is a dyadic set-up. Your teachers will gain something from you as much as you would learn from them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to approach them. This will also help them in the process. Just make sure that your questions are well-thought out and isn’t stemmed from laziness for an answer.
(Remember when you’re looking for something and it’s right in front of you? Your mom would say, ‘Anak, mata ang gamitin ha, hindi bibig.’ I suppose it’s kinda that way!)
Henry Tan mentions this, “Teaching help you master your craft.” and so did Akio. He wrote, “When you become a Mentor, you have the responsibility to teach your students the right things. Hindi ka makakapag turo, if hindi naintindihan and hindi ka credible if wala kang execution. So talagang dedicate mo yung sarili mo for this craft, para hindi ka mapahiya.”
Boaris says the exact same thing, “In teaching, you will also learn.” and Date shares my sentiments, “Teaching helps me learn and master the ZFT concepts more so it is a win for both student and mentor.”
Zee promises,”We’re going all out on this so we expect only the best in return.”
You have to understand the most important concept of all, it isn’t what you learn from the system that would make you money, it’s you execution. The practical test. How you translate theory to live trading.
“Being a ZFT means being a disciplined trader more than anything else.”- Brave Fencer
Our lessons will be simple but they will cover all situations, what’s going to be difficult is the execution.
But trust the process and you’re already more than halfway there.
Love and light to all. Good luck.
Don’t skip this.