Forex trading, much like becoming a professional chef, is a high-performance endeavor that requires skill, patience, and discipline. In a way, the forex market is like a kitchen and you’ll need the best tools you can get and your A-game each and every day in order to conquer it.
After meeting with several chefs and hours and hours of watching them in action in cooking-related shows and documentaries, I have identified at least four things that forex traders can learn from professional chefs:
1. Mastery of the fundamentals
Aspiring chefs start their training by learning about basic things like the types of meat, vegetable cuts, and knife-handling techniques. After all, you can’t make the perfect beef wellington if you can’t cut your mushrooms uniformly or if you don’t know when to take the beef out of the oven.
Understanding different chart patterns, technical indicators, and economic correlations is key if you plan on becoming consistently profitable. How else can you distinguish a good EA from a bad one, or be confident in taking trades if you don’t know what makes the forex market tick?
2. Drive to develop their skills
Not many chefs have successfully made soufflés and coq au vins on their first try. Behind every successful dish is the reality of hot, gruelling hours of practice needed to perfect the recipe.
Unfortunately, a lot of trading newbies take this important step for granted. Since successful trading requires passion, patience, and practice, it is in this stage where traders-at-heart are separated from the get-rich-quick crowd.
Just like a lot of chefs had to spend their early days in the hot kitchen getting shouted at and chopping onions throughout their shift, you, a forex-trader-in-training, also have to clock in hours of taking, adjusting, and backtesting trades.
This is the part where you learn to treat losses as your friend and learn your trading strengths and weaknesses the hard way. Deliberate practice, trading journals, and using demo accounts help a lot in developing those much-needed skills.
3. Using more than one recipe
Chefs (and even good home cooks) know that a one-dish wonder won’t cut it. They constantly try to update and upgrade their menu depending on what’s in season, cheap, or in demand.
They take note which recipes worked out at specific times of the year and cook them accordingly. Some even travel around the world just to pick up techniques and ingredients to add to their recipe books.
As traders, we should also try to mix things up. Just because a trend-catching system worked out well for you doesn’t mean that it will continue to do so for the rest of the year.
Don’t be afraid to experiment on different trading styles, indicators, and techniques. In fact, having multiple, tried and tested trading strategies under your belt increases the chances of you becoming profitable no matter what trading environment you’re in.
Record your experiments, test them, and refine them. If you run out of ideas, you can always visit forex trading forums and ask around for other traders’ opinions and strategies. You won’t even have to book a single flight!
4. Keeping the knife sharpened
The journey to become the best trader you can be doesn’t stop at mastering the fundamentals and having a bunch of strategies you can use.
Just as the constantly evolving culinary scene keeps professional chefs on their toes, we should also keep up with the latest trends and changes in the forex industry.
The correlations that you know today may not be valid in the years to come. Likewise, the trading methods that you’re currently using may one day be replaced with better, faster alternatives. The learning never stops if you’re passionate about what you’re doing.
There you have it, folks! I hope you learned a few bits from this comparison and as just as hungry as I am after writing this piece. Share with us your two cents or other trader-chef parallels that you know of!