Meet Hannah Braun
Hannah has been with Trading MasterClass since March 2021 and has been a collaborative, engaged, committed member ever since. Hannah shows up consistently, week in and week out, and she knows how to transmute failure + challenge into opportunity! A skill every trader must learn and master on their journey. We are extremely honoured to share Hannahs story, as we feel that she epitomizes what it means to be a trader. Amazing individuals like Hannah are what make the TMC Club so amazing... we are grateful and we are inspired! You will be too after reading this interview. Thank you Hannah!
When did your trading journey first begin?
I first learned about foreign exchange trading in a finance course in 2014 at university, but didn't think much of it since I thought the only way to trade was through working for a financial institution. About a year later, my boyfriend introduced me to OTA (Online Trading Academy) and later, Infinite Prosperity. I was so excited by the thought that any person, regardless of their education or background, could learn to trade the markets. I jumped at the chance of the Platinum membership with IP and spent my nights, after bartending, watching Live Trader with Irek until 4 am. Back then, even though I showed up and attended all of the webinars, it took me years to be able to implement the mental and emotional teachings that are vital to finding success in this field.
What was it that made you want to pursue trading?
Initially, I was interested in being in control of how much money I deserved to make. However, as I continued my education, the value of my time became increasingly more important. The option to bring in income differently than from a traditional job was appealing, but once I realized that owning my time was the most powerful thing I could do, that completely shifted my outlook.
What is something unexpected that you love about trading?
The personal growth journey that came along with the trading education was a lovely surprise. Even though I fully understood the technical aspects of specific strategies, I greatly struggled with my emotions. I constantly oscillated between greed and fear for a long time, spending many nights fretting about a trade or not going to sleep worried about what would happen when I woke up. It messed with my mind, and no matter how much I understood the technicals, I couldn't find consistency. I'd have months of high gain followed by months of drawdown. Through this journey, I have learned to take responsibility for my actions, thoughts, and habits regardless of what is happening to me or around me. It's hard to get to this point of awareness, but I believe trading effectively showed me exactly where I needed to focus my attention.
"The personal growth journey that came along with the trading education was a lovely surprise."
What advice would you give to an inspired, driven individual about to step into the trading world?
Take the time to learn who you are. There's not necessarily a set end or timeframe to this, but I urge you to venture down this path as early as possible. There is so much quality information when it comes to trading different strategies. Still, many teachers and companies don't place near enough emphasis on the mental aspect and emotional intelligence that is required to find success in trading. In the beginning, I would also recommend starting a micro account with maybe $100. I did this shortly after using a demo account because it forces you to acknowledge how you respond when you both gain and lose real money. I think it's an excellent opportunity to reflect on your behavior and thought process when making or losing capital is at stake before trading on a large account.
What do you believe are the three most important characteristics of a successful trader?
Curiosity — Thinking you know everything about trading will hurt you in the long run. There will always be opportunities to learn and improve on what you know. I have found that it's much more enjoyable, even through periods of drawdown or mental turmoil, when I welcome my curious nature and approach trading in this way.
Tenacity — Maintaining an approach of not giving up is easy until you hit some serious obstacles. It's in those seasons filled with tribulations where persistence pays off. Challenges are always temporary, but they can feel permanent in the moment, and it's so tempting to quit.
Be okay with failure — This isn't the same as quitting. Failure is simply an outcome different from what you expected or wanted, whereas quitting is making an active and conscious decision not to follow through on what you're doing. All traders will fail at some point. That's okay. It allows you to reevaluate and learn from what you've done. It forces you to make necessary changes and adapt to variables around you, which can be especially difficult. Thinking every trade will have a "perfect" outcome will ultimately lead to endless frustration, which will undoubtedly affect your trading.
How has Trading MasterClass assisted your evolution?
While the education is absolutely phenomenal, Trading MasterClass has connected me to a world of like-minded people. This has become far more important to me as I get older and don't care about fitting into certain molds like I did when I was younger. It's okay to have goals that are larger or different than those around you, but being around others who think similarly to you is extraordinarily helpful.
"TMC has connected me to a world of like-minded people."
TMC has also been instrumental in refocusing my attention on the mental and emotional aspects of trading. It's easy to get overwhelmed without realizing how much it impacts your trade execution and management. Without that clarity and awareness, long-term success in this field would be incredibly challenging and, in my opinion, not sustainable. An educational system that equally prioritizes the psychological and technical elements is why TMC thrives in this space.
What are one to three books that have deeply influenced your life?
Three Feet from Gold by Sharon Lechter & Greg S. Reid — The personal growth journey can be intimidating and overwhelming initially, with many esoteric concepts floating around. This was the first book I read related to the self-development field, and I think it's a great introduction for people who are just starting down this path. I love the emphasis on how important it is not to give up on yourself, especially when faced with challenges.
Infinite Self by Stuart Wilde — This modern interpretation of the Tao Te Ching focuses on the thought that you have the power to control your life; otherwise, you'll be stuck at the mercy of your ego. It teaches you to transcend the limitations we've accepted as true at different points in our lives. While it discusses many spiritual concepts, including "God," this is not a religious book. It presents the concept that God/Life Force/the Universe is within you, not strictly some external being that dictates your life.
Reality Transurfing: Steps I-V by Vadim Zeland — Transurfing is a tool that is used to help us create and control our personal realities. This book presented me with unique ideas that made me question how I perceived the world around me. Life is more ambiguous than we think, and your understanding of reality is likely very different from everyone else's. Transurfing teaches you to consciously choose your own path, be able to recognize when you're headed in a direction that does not serve you and make the changes to get you closer to your goals.
What new belief, behaviour, or habit has helped you gain the most forward momentum since becoming a trader?
Changing my limiting beliefs about my capabilities and worthiness has been crucial in my journey. I thrived in formal educational settings where other people told me what to do, but upon entering the trading world, I had to be fully in charge of my decisions. This was a difficult transition, and I thought I needed external pressure to perform at my best. Once I committed to moving past that way of thinking, I could embrace the things I was great at and also identify where I needed to concentrate my effort. I also didn't think I was worthy of making more money than anyone I knew (family, friends, mentors, etc.). I now understand that it's okay to want more out of life, and just because not everyone around you accepts that outlook doesn't mean you shouldn't if that's what you want. Adjusting how I perceive myself has probably been the most significant change that has positively affected all areas of my life, including trading.
"Adjusting how I perceive myself has probably been the most significant change that has positively affected all areas of my life"
When you're experiencing chaos, struggling with your performance, or are in draw down, what do you do?
The best thing I've learned is to take time away from the charts for a short time, maybe a few days, to a couple of weeks. I've learned that when I am forcing myself into trades from a place of desperation, I need to reevaluate where that negativity is coming from. I believe it's critical to spend time regularly doing things that invigorate you to be prepared when those chaotic periods occur. For me, that's going on walks, spending time with my dog and people I love, journaling, meditating, movement, and reading. If you need to shake yourself out of a slump, try doing something different than usual, such as a weekend trip or a new activity. Do something that is fun and out of your comfort zone.
Also, don't be afraid to seek quality support, whether it's from a performance coach, mentor, or mental health professional. Other people can greatly help you identify the root of what's causing your issues, as well as a way to move past those blockages. Professional guidance has been and continues to be essential for me. Lastly, always revisit your goals. If they're important enough to you, you'll start to embrace those challenging times because they will get you closer to where you want to be.
What is your next immediate trading goal?
I'm currently working toward securing additional funding, with my first goal being $500k, then $1M+ assets under management. I've created a robust action plan to get me there, so it's not just a fantasy anymore. In addition to trading, I'm also in the process of building a business and will be striving to maintain a balance between doing two things that I love. Of course, along the way, I'll continue to develop my mindset and appreciate this beautiful life I have built!
Any final words of wisdom?
Belief, certainty, and trust in yourself will get you further than anything else in this world. And don't forget to have fun along the way!
How can we keep up with you?
You can find me on Instagram @hannahbraun_ or, of course, on Slack in the TMC Community!