August 24, 2011 at 10:46 am | | Comments 0

Intelligence is Only Part of Trading Success

In a recent conversation with a trader who had just accepted some small but frequent losses, it came to light that his emotions were flaring.  Taking a small loss here or there doesn’t affect him, but taking a few in a row does.

What’s interesting though, is that it wasn’t the money that bothered him so much.  It was the fact that he came to doubt his intelligence after a string of losses.

Every one of us has been there, and it’s no fun.  Losing is a part of trading, and each of us knows that, but how we cope with those losses will determine how quickly we rebound from those hits that inevitably come.

Here are 3 steps I suggested he take

1.  Trade smaller.  If you’re getting frustrated and angry, it’s a sign you’re placing too much importance on each trade.  The way to diminish that is by reducing your size for a little while so that trades take on much less importance and you’re simply focusing on managing them properly.

2.  View losses differently.  Losses aren’t fun, but when viewed in a different light, they can be seen as helpful.  They will make you better, because you scrutinize your mistakes and either learn something new or get reminded of a lesson you’ve previously learned.  Losses also free up your capital and attention to shift toward another trade which may quickly overcome that loss.

3.  Expect losses to happen.  This isn’t negative thinking, but rational thinking.  Begin each day knowing you might take several trades, and some might be losses.  That makes it easier to accept them when they happen and it allows you to keep moving without letting emotions take over.  Expect winning trades as well.  And be sure you’re stopping out for smaller losses than the winning trades are providing.  That will keep you net profitable and that’s the aim.

Remember, being right every time is not the aim of trading, so get out of that mindset as soon as you find yourself in it.  Intelligence is only a small part of trading.  Trading is a numbers game, and it’s one that requires you to deal with emotions rather than allow them to flare.  Those who have an edge and who can manage emotions (tied to both losses and gains) are the ones who will succeed in trading.

What else would you tell this trader?

Trade Like a Bandit!

Jeff White
Producer of The Bandit Broadcast

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