Discover more from Upside Unlimited by Greg Duncan
If You Want to Succeed as a Trader, You Must Be Hyper-specific
A couple of tricks to make sure your actions are aligned with your goals.
As we enter the final week of trading in January, it’s a great time to take a look at your own strategy and analyze if your actions so far this year align with your goals.
More importantly, this weekend is yet another incredible opportunity to focus on hyper specificity.
What Being Hyperspecific Means as a Trader
A clear plan of attack
To be the best trader you can be, you have to know what setups have performed the best for you over the past couple of years. You also have to know what environments allowed these setups to perform so well. You have to have a good grasp on your position sizing rules, sell rules, your daily routines, etc. This knowledge will build a clear picture of what you should do.
With this information in hand, what you shouldn’t do also becomes clear. If you know that trading pullbacks doesn’t work for you, don’t take any more of these types of trades! If you know that buying breakouts doesn’t work in bear markets, don’t buy breakouts!
It sounds too trivial to actually work, but it really is that simple.
With that being said, here’s what a clear plan of attack looks like:
You have defined most optimal market environment
You have defined best setups / strategies
You have defined the setups / strategies that don’t work
You have defined specific routines to conduct on a daily/weekly basis
Doing just this step alone already makes you more hyperspecific than most traders.
Holding yourself accountable
You can have a clear plan of attack and know all of the important metrics behind your trading, but if you aren’t holding yourself accountable, you will fail.
The best way to hold yourself accountable is to conduct your post-trade analysis every single weekend. My trading drastically improved when I sat down and took a hard look at all the bone-headed mistakes I was making on a weekly basis.
As you analyze your performance, look for these two patterns:
Most common mistakes
Causes for lapses in judgment
If you can cut down on repeating your most common mistakes, and find the root causes for your lapses in judgment, focus and performance will improve drastically.
Rules that I’m Following to Be Hyperspecific in 2023:
Through the analysis of my performance over the past 3 years, I’ve come up with the following hyperspecific rules that I believe are going to optimize my performance in 2023:
No shorting - focused on cash in downtrends and longs in uptrends.
Only trading 3 setups when the market is in an uptrend
Concrete daily scans (3-5 scans, takes no more than 1hr)
Focused weekend analysis (5-10 scans, takes no more than 2hrs)
Mini Case Study: Hyperspecificity from a US Investing Champion
It was no coincidence when Mark Minervini won the US Investing Championship in 2021 for the 2nd time in his trading career (with a return of 338.42%!).
There weren’t any secrets–he just executed his plan (and did it at a level that blew every other contestant out of the water).
Mark has clearly mastered being a hyperspecific trader - one who knows the exact actions they are going to take in any given scenario.
We can see this in his monthly returns, outlined below:
Mark knew that from January-April, it was time to be hyperspecific and step on the gas.
He is also experienced enough to know when to let up the pressure, as was the case in May, July, November, and December (when he would return less than 3.5% per month).
It’s this level of specificity that allows him to consistently outperform the market year after year and be one of the best traders we’ve seen in the last 30 years.