I Promise I Will Never Do That Again!

Have you ever experienced doing well for a period of time and then something just snaps and you end up losing a significant amount of money? It happens in a variety of ways and for different reasons, but what typically follows is a self beating-up process, and/or a promise that you will never do THAT again!

Sound familiar? It’s a very common phenomenon.

Unfortunately, the promise you make to yourself typically gets broken again…and again…..and again.  As the pattern continues, the potential for more psychological damage becomes very real.

Over many years as a clinical psychologist people have come to me who are struggling with repetitive problem behaviors. Many of them previously tried various forms of ‘willpower’ without any long-lasting success.

As a trading psychology coach and consultant I can tell you that most traders see the solution as an act of willpower or “trying harder next time”. But I have news for you.  Although willpower is certainly necessary to be a good trader, it alone will not break a deeply rooted problematic pattern. If it was simply a matter of  ‘doing it differently next time’, then many traders would of already done that and the pattern would never appear again.

So, how does one break the pattern? I suggest that the ‘promise’ you make to yourself is not only about willpower, but also a promise to learn about what makes you tick, such as your emotions and your sub-conscious process.

22 Trading Principles -By Paul Tudor Jones

  1. It is possible to see that a market is dramatically overbought and prepare for, and then capture, huge gains after the sell off.
  2. Risk small amounts to make big profits.
  3. Bet against times when numerous leaders must agree.
  4. Long hours and a strong work ethic are keys to being a successful trader.
  5. While it is good to trade any market that will turn a profit, specializing in a market can lead to great success.
  6. The markets go down faster than they go up.
  7. If the market will not go down during bad news, it will likely go higher.
  8. The stock market moves in patterns and in cycles. Past price patterns repeat themselves due to human emotions.
  9. Many times traders think a big position order size means that a whale knows something, most times they do not. 
  10. It is okay to skip a trade if you can’t get your entry price.
  11. A momentum move does not just stop, it takes time to roll over.
  12. It is possible to trade successfully by gaming the actions of other traders.
  13. Be aggressive at high probability moments.
  14. Always stay in control of your trading and manage risk.
  15. Focus on risk management as the #1 priority in trading.
  16. Having the right mindset during a big loss that it is just temporary, is the key to coming back and being successful.
  17. Letting profits run is sometimes a great plan.
  18. Being long at all time highs in the indexes is a great strategy.
  19. Great money managers trade with passion.
  20. Even Market Wizards have doubts about winning when entering a trade. 
  21. When the top in a market is reached,  there is a lot of money to be  made shorting as panic selling sets in. 
  22. Guys from Tennessee can trade!

Thoughts For Day Traders

Seize the moment: It may come in the midgame, it may come in the ending, but seize the moment, even if it comes in the opening. There are seldom second chances.

Build well: A good game, like a good house, must have a strong foundation

The Follow Through: Once you get a win you have to know how to execute it, or your opponent may execute you.”

Fools Gold: The search for a fool proof system is always in vain.

The Wise Skipper: Start your game with a plan, but always be ready to change course in mid-stream.

A Time for Everything: The good player knows when to play for a win, when to play for a draw, and finally when to resign.

The Unexpected: Unless you are prepared to expect the unexpected, be prepared to expect the unexpected defeat.

Seize the Moment: A passive move is best met with an aggressive reply– or an opportunity may be lost.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The trouble with a loss is that it usually looks like a win or a draw.

Don’t Argue with Success: If you are doing well with your lines and style of play, don’t change them. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Reckless or Wreckless: the player who moves without a motive is an accident going somewhere to happen.

No Risk Policy is Risky: The player who never takes a chance may be taking the biggest chance of all.