Jankovsky on the 'Art' of Trading

In a new book, a trading vet explains how he discovered that the markets are about a lot more than 'making money.'
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The markets are a brutal place to find out who you are or what you can do -- especially if you don't know who you are and don't know what you can do. That is why I wrote The Art of the Trade.

The Art of the Trade

is the story of what I learned by becoming a true futures/FOREX trader. I don't think my experience is all that unique; most brokers and traders have seen a lot of what I have seen. But what makes my story unique is the nature of what I learned. I discovered that the markets and trading are about a lot more than just "making money." In fact, I think "making money" is the smallest part of the business. I honestly don't think I would have developed as a person to quite the same degree without the years of constant losses and suffering that I endured trying to make a career as a full-time trader.

Successful speculation is one of the most difficult things an individual can attempt to do. For example, many people were buying crude oil as it rose above $100 a barrel. Sure, that would have made them some money, but the real money was on the short side, as that oil market dropped to less than $40 a barrel recently -- more than $100 from the highs! Both a long


a short position would have worked from that important $100 level. But which was the best option?

Successful speculation requires time, energy, guts, originality, hard work and, to no surprise, some capital. Along with long hours, speculation requires education and hard choices.

Suppose you didn't know those conditions for success when you started. Or just gave "lip service" to those things. Your results would be similar to mine: complete failure at least once. I blew out my accounts more than once before I learned that successful trading requires a lot more than reading a few books or attending some training seminars. It requires some inner character and discipline.

These are the kinds of things most people never develop in the first place. Losing my entire life more than once and watching others succeed, created a burning desire to pay the price for success no matter what the cost would be. Once I made that choice, there was no going back. In the end, I figured out how to win.

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By "winning" I mean trading successfully no matter what is going on in the markets. It might surprise you to hear me say this, but winning has little to do with the charts and the markets. It's all about discipline.


The Art of the Trade

I share my insights on this process of gaining the most important part of lasting trading success: true self-knowledge and commitment to win. Along the way, I share the situations and circumstances that pushed me closer and closer to gaining this precious insight. I share how to bounce back from loss and how to keep your mind sound during a time where your psychological state may be tested.

Sometimes I share stories from the markets; other times I recount what I learned working as a registered broker, an experience that taught me how to relate to others and their needs. Working in a brokerage, I learned how to be on the other end of a "sell," which helped me connect with my clients now as an independent trader.

However, through the whole process I share what made the difference for me personally and how that knowledge is available to any person wishing to become a winning trader. There really is no secret knowledge; it's more like hidden knowledge you personally must uncover for yourself.

The book is not a "how to..." book on trading (although I share a lot of insights that make trading work for me) but more of "I finally got it when..." book. Many of my insights are standalone thoughts on how to be successful, as listed above. I have tried to stay with a narrative style as often as possible. People tell me it is an insightful yet easy read.

I reading about my experience will give you at least a few tools to prevent yourself from being yet another one of the bodies we stack up around here after the day is done. LaSalle Street in Chicago and the Chicago markets aren't Wall Street and New York City -- I can promise you that. I think my insights can help you shorten the learning curve to the corner office on either street -- if that is what you are looking for. At the very least, the book will give you a few things to think about next time you pull the trigger on that "perfect trade."

Jason Alan Jankovsky is a 20-plus-year veteran of leveraged transaction trading. Jankovsky has traded extensively in futures, options, and FOREX since 1986, first as a customer and then as a registered broker. He is the author of "Trading Rules that Work: The 28 Essential Lessons Every Trader Must Master" (Wiley & Sons) , an Amazon.com "Futures" best-seller. His second book for Wiley & Sons is "The Art of The Trade: What I Learned (and Lost) Trading the Chicago Futures Markets." Jankovsky teaches a six-week course on trading psychology. To contact Jankovsky,

email Kristina Vasilakis