August 09, 2006 at 5:20 pm | | Comments 8

Slay Your Trading Giants

They’re waiting for you when you wake up. They may have prevented you from sleeping at all.

They might come around before the opening bell, and sometimes they won’t leave even after the closing bell rings.

If you don’t skip a trade because of them, then you’re likely to hear them after your order gets filled.

They are your trading giants, filling your head with anything but confidence, and you must overcome them if you’re going to make it in this business!

If you let them, they’ll prevent you from achieving the success you know you deserve. They can even sabotage your good days by spooking you into taking profit too soon. They’re anything but helpful…..

“I should be trading better in this market….. I should have caught that move! ….. I should have already made “X” dollars this year.”

We’ve all dealt with those voices at one time or another that tell us we’re behind where we should be…..for the day, for the month, for the year, (or worse) for our trading career.

It’s best to just ignore them and stick with what you know you should be doing – trading the best setups in the direction of the stock’s trend. Listening to your trading giants will do you no good. Listening makes you force trades to try to get something going, usually at precisely the wrong time. Listening to them takes you out of your groove to where you’re focusing on the dollars rather than the trades. Swapping your concentration for the negative thoughts of your trading giants is the worst trade you can make on any given day.

So how do we deal with our trading giants?

The first thing I would suggest is that we replace them with a plan. Doubts will always be there to turn to, but if we’ve got an agenda to follow then it’s easy to look beyond the doubts. Have a trading plan. Know your key levels and pivots for the stocks you’re looking to trade. Employ a stock trading strategy to give you a method of dealing with your trades, whether they’re working or not.

Trading Giants Andre the Trading Giant gets headlocked by another Bandit trader….

Secondly, overcoming your trading giants is always much easier when you set trading goals. Keeping your eyes on the prize will narrow your focus to what you’re looking to achieve, rather than what you’re hoping to avoid. If I said “don’t think of an orange,” you would almost certainly have a crystal clear image of one in your head. But, if I said “replace that orange with an apple,” you’d be able to think of a Washington Red Delicious instead of that beaming Florida Sunkist. They’re complete opposites. That’s why you must replace your doubts with specific goals.

Finally, monitor your progress. Check your trading stats regularly and see what’s working and what isn’t so that you can adjust your plan of attack and continue moving forward. Keep tabs on not just your P&L for a given timeframe, but also on your win/loss rate and the size of your average winning and losing trades.

Gravity and winds are constantly affecting an airplane’s flight, but the pilot is continually making adjustments to overcome them in order to reach the destination. He knows that his job is to stay focused on where he’s going rather than what might happen to his plane.

Think of your trading the same way. Be aware of what risks are present, but don’t allow them to keep you sidelined more than you should be. Don’t let your trading giants get you off course and keep you from making it as a trader. Commit to a plan, set some goals, and constantly monitor your progress!

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Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.

[tags]Stocks, Investing, Stock Trading, Trading[/tags]

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