June 24, 2011 at 9:43 am | | Comments 4

Be Imperfect!

trading-be-imperfectSociety trains us to want to be perfect.  And in many endeavors, that’s something worth striving for.  Surgeons, for example, can put you at ease when they tell you they’ve performed this operation hundreds of times without any problems.  Students with perfect grades get academic scholarships, saving boatloads of tuition money.  And the list of examples of the benefits of perfection goes on and on.

From our appearance to our performance, someone else will always be a little better, and it causes us to try to perfect whatever it is we’re doing for the sake of improvement (or keeping up). Unfortunately, it carries over into our trading – much to our detriment.

You see, when it comes to trading, there’s no room on the perfection list.  And that’s a good thing, because perfection isn’t required for success.

The very worst traders try to be perfect.  They either stay sidelined in search of a perfect strategy (backtesting galore), or they practice trade until they make $1M in hopes of duplicating it live, or they simply refuse to lose.

Perfection in trading is paralyzing, both to you and your account.  Growth is prevented, confidence suffers, and you feed the very traits you should strive to shun.

I’ve said before that in trading, you succeed by not failing.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t have failed trades – quite the contrary.  Expect losses!  As negative as that might sound, it will mentally prepare you to accept them gracefully and move on to the next trade which might be a far bigger winner).

The best traders are imperfect – by choice.  They grow from mistakes, not successes.  Lose small and face the music when your current approach isn’t working.  That shows true confidence.  By definition, imperfection brings opportunities for growth – both in your account (lose small and win bigger) and in your abilities as a trader (learn new methods).  But you’ll miss out if you’re not willing to bend.

Trade Like a Bandit!

Jeff White
Producer of The Bandit Broadcast

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  1. Perfection is the enemy of the discretionary short-term trader. Most newer traders and even many experienced traders get caught in this trap. Learning to be comfortable with imperfection is one of the keys to successful trading.

    Andrew Menaker PhD

  2. Hey Andrew,

    Thank you for your comment. You do very good work, so I’m glad you stopped by! I couldn’t agree more, getting comfortable with that is a constant battle each of us face.

    For those of you who haven’t visited Andrew’s blog, I highly recommend it – great stuff!

  3. It pays nothing to be perfect before discovering that trading is for them that not perfect but those who want to learn because they are imperfect.

  4. Okenta, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this, I appreciate you reading!

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