Greetings fellow traders! That’s right, I’m a trader too. Been one for over 25 years now. If you view trading in the right terms, it’s something you can really fall in love with. I can truthfully say I think trading is one of the most honest and noble pursuits one can engage in. The successful trader is one who has mastered not only trading methodology but much more importantly, his own emotional balance. There are few, if any, professions that demand such a high degree of accomplishment in the area of personal evaluation and control. You either do it honestly without kidding yourself in any way or you most likely will fail in your quest for profit. Maybe not in the next few trades but over time you will surly fail. There simply is no way to become and remain truly successful if you fail to fix the emotional chinks in your armor. But if you do, you have a lifelong profession that affords you great independence and satisfaction. I have the great advantage (and honor) of being able to watch hundreds of accounts ( as I have been able to do for over 20 years now) trade the markets. I’ve been able to watch winners and losers do their thing over and over. Often I’ve watched winners and losers use the same trading methodology. It’s always interesting how the loser will always find a way to lose and the winner will always find a way to win while using the exact same methodology. Obviously they don’t do exactly the same thing all the time. The winner will tend towards more discipline while the loser will tend towards less, exhibiting his unresolved issues with fear and greed. “Unresolved issues with fear and greed”, you ask??!! No, I’ve not become an amateur psychologist and I don’t enjoy throwing around psycho babble like “unresolved issues” anymore than you like hearing it, but that’s one of them. There are probably hundreds more…psychological issues, that is, why people fail. But, I’ve noticed especially with the losers how they frequently exhibit the worst attitudes, the most excuses and the very least accountability in their trading and probably in their life. The winners virtually never place blame for their losses (yes winners have plenty of losses) on anyone but themselves, tend to be very positive about their trading and about life in general and seem to view the markets as a continuing unfolding opportunity that is there for the exploiting. While viewing the market as being a great opportunity they always treat it with great respect in the sense that money management is always their primary focus. In other words, winners can become losers if they ever become too cavalier with their money or take their eye off what the market is doing. Being a winner is a strange combination of guts, self-confidence, knowledge, emotional balance and above all, discipline. Putting all that together does not come easily and it sure does not come quickly. If you think you will become an ace trader who is able to hold his own in the world of professionals with a few weeks or months of experience, you may rest assured you will be taught an expensive lesson. If you have the determination, you will also be in for the ride of your life. Approach the markets and trading as the great opportunity it is and be, and act as, a STUDENT, not the winning professional you hope someday to become. Be humbled and learn as all winners must, and you will find the work hard, the failures many and the disappointments seemingly without end. The task is not to make a living at first, the task is to prepare yourself to be able to think properly. You MUST learn the discipline and the self-control or you will never be able to employ the various trading methodologies that you will learn over the years. After you “pay your dues”, then and only then, if you learned properly, you will begin to think like a winner and start to see consistent profits. Is there magic happening here? Not at all, only hard work. This is like anything else, it’s hard work and “time to task” that separates the winners from the losers. So, that’s why I love trading. It is a huge challenge but like any huge challenge, the rewards can also be huge. If you crave independence and particularly financial independence, the opportunities in trading can provide such independence and happily, the ability is within you. You may not be at that stage just yet, in fact you may never get to that stage, but it is within you to be a successful trader if you want it bad enough. Successful trading is by no means an impossible task, it is simply a difficult task. Those willing to work, those who truly want the success, have the vehicle to reach their goals. Training is possibly the best thing you can do to get started on your journey. In addition to whatever training you may be engaged in, I’d like to suggest a book. It’s called: The Disciplined Trader: Developing Winning Attitudes by Mark Douglas. In all my reading, this is the best book I’ve found on the subject of most of what I have just discussed here—self discipline. I only touched on just a tiny bit of the kind of things this book discusses—there’s a great deal more. I hope you get this book, read it and start to use the wisdom in it to prepare yourself to become the winning trader that is within you. Once you finish the training you might currently be engaged in and are ready for some advanced stuff, consider my new class. Actually it’s not new, it does not really exist yet. I’ve been working on a class I plan on calling “The Way to Trade.” Sometime in the first half of 2000 I’ll begin teaching small groups of students on the various techniques I use myself. We’ll cover the methodology (most of the class) and also get into the very important aspect of money management and also some on the psychological aspects of trading. I’m hardly an expert on the psychological aspects like Mark Douglas, but we’ll cover enough to get you on the right road. If you think you might be interested in a class like this, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m not looking for reservations, just indications of interest. Actually what you’ve just read was a tangent. My original purpose for writing you is to give you an update on fixes and improvements we’ve just made on our order entry software. In addition we are quite close to releasing a few other exciting improvements. And then, in the next few months we have even more significant improvements and advancements. RECENT IMPROVEMENTS: In the last two weeks we’ve made several coding changes in the WebForex software that have improved the speed of transmissions both inbound and outbound. It may come as a surprise to you but there was actually very little wrong with the WebForex software. Some code was changed and we pulled our internal network apart and put it back together. I can tell you that our network is about as fast as a network can get. If you still find delays in getting a quote from us, it most likely is the fault of some Internet connection somewhere other than here. We still want you to let us know so we can look into it but our system and network have been stabilized and maximized to the greatest extent possible. Some of the problems were traced to some faulty code or configurations in WebForex but even more problems were traced to remote Internet hubs and switches. While your personal Internet connection may be stable, it is possible you are going through so many connections to finally reach us that slowdowns could occur. Over the next several weeks we will work on ways to treat even these problems. Another area that has been upgraded is our demo version of WebForex. The demo version of WebForex now fills orders such as stop and limit orders automatically. Now the demo version works almost exactly like that of the live version except all functions are automated. IMMINENT IMPROVEMENTS: The few improvements that were not made to the system/software in the last few weeks will be finished up shortly (next two to three weeks). They include: Auto quote feature. This feature will automatically send quotes back to customers in response to their requests. The speed will be almost identical to that of the demo version of the software. One of the drawbacks to this feature is the possibility that a quote could be in error. This is normally based on a bad data feed quote that is passed on to WebForex. When quotes based on bad data are accepted as trades, we will “out” the trade and ask the customer to re-request the quote until the data returns to accurate prices. Initially this feature will be enabled for trades under $500,000. Dealers will still give quotes for larger trades. Improved data feeds. We are in the process of making several improvements to our data streams. They include the installation of a server in our offices in Ada where our customers will be able to link. This will eliminate the problematic European connections that have contributed to the “data feed hell” many of us have experienced over the last several months. One of the more exciting aspects of this data feed issue is the introduction of our new charting package. We will be getting back in touch with you as soon as this comes together later in January. One interesting feature we plan on offering is a “voice quote” option. The voice quote will allow you to set up the software so that you can listen to bids and offers spoken to you like a squak box. This will allow you to look away from the screen and still hear live quotes from your personal “trading assistant.” The new “Everest” charting package will include indicators and tools that are not currently available on the Global FX Data Center. We will be adding some improved Fibonacci analysis tools as well as other indicators and features that have been widely requested by our customers over the last year. One additional feature will be our “Internal Trading Network” (“ITN”), which will be accessible by select clients who wish to receive premium market information. Somewhat along the lines of our ITN will be our Online Mentoring Program which will provide a live online forum offering market updates, online trading classes, with real-time (while you are actually watching the chart) trading examples and much more. Did you ever think you learned something and then get home and turn on your computer and have doubts. This will be your chance to ask an expert in real-time while you both are watching the same chart. Others will also be able to share in the meeting and learn at the same time. With many people asking questions and getting quality answers, all in real- time, the learning experience will be very effective. FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS: In the next few months we plan to introduce some exciting new additions to our offerings. In the area of order entry we plan to offer customers the ability to post their own bids and ask quotes to our system. No longer will Global Forex’s dealing prices be the only ones available for execution. You will now be able to better our bids or our offers at any time with any size order you wish. If you wish to trade in between our bids and offers and someone else posts such a price you will be able to not only hit their bid or offer but you, yourself place your own bids and offers for others to hit. This feature will essentially make YOU a forex market maker! I will be getting back to you with more information on this feature as we get closer to our launch date. There are several other important things in the works that I’ll get back to you on as soon as they are ready for launch. Since the timing is not certain I’d rather not mention them until they are ready to go. The last year has been one of great growth in the forex business. Many procedures and “modes of operation” are new to this business and many participants are still getting used to what is shaping up to be one of the best trading vehicles the public has access to. We here at GFT are committed to offering the very best of everything to our customers. As technologies change and new ideas come up, we plan on implementing the best of the best to serve our customers. Our goal in the coming year is to eclipse everyone out there in terms of customer service, software quality and innovations. We’ve already committed a huge amount of financial resources to new and better software products as well as other innovations that should keep us ahead of the curve as we move into the new millennium. In closing I’d like to thank you for your continued support and loyalty and wish you all the best during this holiday season and the New Year. Gary Tilkin Global Forex Trading Ltd.